“Carpe diem” has not helped me much at the mall. My carpe diem has stalled my simplifying for years. There’s always that latent desire for the simple and less complicated, but everywhere, temptations abound. Like any girl, I fancy clothes, eclectic styles, and looking good in general (my childhood dream was to be a fashion designer) that at the mall, my shoppingera self speaks the loudest, with her erroneous brand of conviction and haggling with my more sensible self. Just this one dress, that’s it. Its the last pair and I find it hard to look for my size. What do you mean ignore these leather pants– it’s a good bargain!
And like a big prank, The District at the Ayala North Point has just opened. And it has a Dumond store! What simple living hullabaloo am i getting myself into?
That is exactly the mentality that i want to let go of, otherwise i wont make any progress. If I die tomorrow and I still haven’t allowed this seed of simplicity to bear fruit, I lose the chance of a lifetime.
So that I can be more specific and “measurable” in my simplifying project, and to identify that which needs the most adjustment, it would help to take stock of what I currently have and what I tend to do. An inventory of my lifestyle.
I have more corporate clothes than weekend wear, and most of my clothes are dresses (cooler, keeping the crotch free, haha). Even then as I came home to Bacolod, I’ve promised not to buy clothes anymore, except those whose discounts one couldn’t just ignore. What I have in my closet then are the stuff I bought in Manila in the four years that I stayed there, with the Manila corporate landscape / Makati Garden Club in mind. When I came home, some items — large collars, bulky scarves and shawls, tight and uptight pencil skirts, bold prints — are too ridiculous to wear in a relaxed setting. I’m not an extremely hungry shopper, so even then, I just limited my shopping to three months – January and July for the end-of-season sale, and November for the pre-holiday sale. But, especially when shopping with friends and colleagues, I would tend to gravitate to Zara, Topshop, Promod, Terranova, and try my luck at Rustan’s, and that’s where the problem lies. Looking back, I can’t believe I fell for those brands. Put them all in a box, and bring to the market with a “bag-o bukad” label, and they’ll seamlessly blend in.
It’s quite difficult to get myself a pair of shoes. I don’t have a size at Celine or CMG or Charles and Keith or Rusty Lopez. Not even at Crazy Feet, Meryl and Shoe Earth. So I would go to Payless or Hush Puppies or Debenhams where I’m sure I won’t go home empty handed. But come July and November, I come to Nine West, or Dumond and rabidly look for a reward, a pacifier of sorts for my size 10. My style principle (when it mattered so much to me) was that you can tell by the fabric (especially of a gown) and the shoes (especially the material, the shade if it’s a silver or a gold pair, and the heel) if one has good taste or not. I would then head home trying to convince myself some more of my “good” purchase, and make up for the possibility of it being a bad decision by not eating. If I remember correctly, this is the theory of cognitive dissonance (or is it? GMG!). Months after, the pair would also lose its magic, looking very ordinary and uneventful in my eyes. That’s when I would start to realize the lost opportunity of putting money elsewhere that will make it grow, and where it will not disintegrate its heel over time.
3. Food and Entertainment
I love to eat out and try new places with friends. I drink, too, for loosening up, and though I can hold my liquor, I always get surprised by the tab — did a party of three just consume provisions enough for the Wedding at Cana? Also, many times, after a stressful day, or as a reward for lunch, I would go to a restaurant and eat alone, when I could have just looked for a clean carinderia, or gone home.
Now, what other forms of entertainment do I haplessly spend on? I have to think through, because they’re so varied. From countless dvds, to unplanned dinners and jaunts with friends. Keyword: unplanned.
3. Food at home / Groceries
Though I have tried to ease out on junk food and cancer-causing treats and most canned food, some still manage to get its way to the cart. It does help to refrain from doing the groceries when you’re hungry or else even the canned garbanzos would not be spared. What I also find quite taxing is buying vegetables, especially those that rot easily. You can’t get a bunch of greens in one go and keep it fresh for a week. You have to restock every three days.
4. Favorite Purchases
I love browsing through Booksale looking for back issues of magazines, crossword puzzle books, and other rare finds. Magazines always catch my attention as I love scrutinizing the layout, the ad placements, the photos, the editor’s note as much as the rest of the writing. Great if I find special interest back issues that cost less than P50, but my hands always have the itch for the costly ones that, if you think about it, just rehash and rewrite articles and have nothing new to say (Cleanse, tone, moisturize; Tips for a new you, etc.).
Speaking of cleanse, tone, moisturize, makeup takes much of my spending, too. The youtube tutorials are to blame (haha) for the many brushes my finger and one basic tool can replace, for the primer, and the bb cream, and all that shizz.
I have yet to come to terms with how I spend on books. I could spend over a thousand on one and not feel bad about it, until I find the book just lying around unread. Okay, yet to be read.
Fountain pens may also take much of my spending as a I take on a new hobby. But actually, I’ve always loved doodling and stylized lettering and untrained calligraphy even before I’ve come to know about the tools of the art.
So far, that’s what I could think of, and I need to make huge adjustments to suit my new lifestyle of going out less and buying less especially if unplanned, of commuting and walking more, and of prioritizing free entertainment.
Next Post: My Lifestyle Adjustments