“Free” Isn’t Really Helping Until We Free Ourselves of It

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Being a single Mom in charge of all the money coming in and leaving the household is a big pressure. In times of perceived or real economic hardship, I have been known to hoard a tiny bit, thinking I am due to suffer very soon. I think: I better prepare!

I keep my stuff. I squirrel away the mismatched socks, our 5- year old socks without elastic, our outgrown socks; I cache my old incapable underwear with the same vigor; I even treasure the holey potholders that don’t really protect against burning hands. These are the opposite of helpful items in my life!

I want free stuff. When I am given free things at conferences, or white elephant gift exchanges, or someone hands my kid a free pair of sunglasses at the local fair, I get such a thrill! Free stuff! Ain’t life grand. I get grabby and obsessed like a 3-year old at her first Easter Egg Hunt. I forget that simple lives are easier to maneuver in.

I buy myself free stuff. Just 3-days ago, paid $49.95 for a mystery box of organizational doodads advertised “to help simplify my life”. I think I thought I was paying it forward, literally- I will have a treat arrive in the mail and it will feel free. How simply cuckoo is that?! I paid money for someone else to send me crap to clutter up my life. My brain runs backwards on me some days.

If I wanted to have a treat, I could pick up a (free) grocery bag from under my sink, fill it with stuff around my house (The Hobbit book I meant to read 7 years ago, the 3 extra set of coasters in my living room, the 4 pairs of free sunglasses we stockpiled in my glove compartment like a new glaucoma patient, the socks tha haven’t fit son in 6 years), and drop it off (for free) at Goodwill and have more free space in our house.

Breakthrough Idea: “Outer Order Creates Inner Calm” (Gretchen Rubin Feb 5, 2019). Clean out/declutter one corner, one counter, or one cupboard in your home. See what that feels like. Think of 3 words to describe your emotions.

I am heading to my bookshelf 1st to get rid of the 15-year old travel book for the country I am not going to visit.

More soon-

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

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