Monday, September 04, 2006

Shopping day

Today was the day, the one and only day that we go shopping in the month. I used to go shopping whenever the need or fancy took me there but these days, I go once a month and follow my list carefully made as the month goes on. It provides a focus. Sometimes things get crossed off and sometimes an impulse buy does creep in. Its become an interesting experience instead of a dull one. Today, the must have list was small, some shoes for DS 1, some tea for me and a treat.......a visit to Starbucks. I used to enter very frequently there and now again,I savour the delight of my chai tea latte, sip it very carefully. The flavour and sensual experience has to last a month. Of course I could go more often but the whole point about voluntary simplicity is that it is voluntary, I have choices and I choose to engage with my visits fully, knowing why I am in town, what I am looking for and then going home having really enjoyed my time out. Starbucks, what an extravagance.....only once a month and when I am in there, sipping tea, I people watch enjoying the variety of transient people sharing the same space as I do. Did we spend much, probably not as the norm goes, but as far as we were concerned, we spent enough.
Our monthly expedition in town has not only become more focussed but also much calmer. The boys walk patiently, they are not too extremely bored because we do not wander aimlessly. They know exactly how much money they have to spend and make informed choices about what they need and how they make that money stretch until the next trip. They even offered to carry my bag and get my tea at Starbucks which is a form of politeness I have rediscovered in them. The point is this, now we value our time in town and we value how we spend our money. There is a direct relationship between the money we spend, the time we spend together, what we spend our money on and what value it gives us. One of the boys looked at a game shop and then moved away saying,’ nope, I don’t really want to go in there, I don’t really want to buy another game’ Moments like these are heavenly to hear. I don’t think them deprived from violent games, I see them having the opportunity to make different choices, their own.
To finish, my youngest DS, aged 8 has come to the conclusion that if he saves his pocket money for a whole year, he will be able to buy that electric guitar he really wants. I know this is going to be an impact, but he has wanted one for the last 3 years, it keeps coming up and its not going away. He is however focussed on how he can make that happen and I have no doubt that it will happen for him. The guitar will have value. Sometimes the stuff we buy with focus are the ones we value most. You can learn so much from little kids.

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