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I asked for it March 24, 2008

Posted by phoenixhopes in Uncategorized.

My daughter cut my hair yesterday. I’d been considering getting it cut for awhile as I think my last haircut was 18 months ago, possibly longer. Overally, I’m pretty low maintenance in this area (as long as the gray stays hidden). I prefer my hair longer and I can’t stand the short-hair-framing-a-fat-face look. It was time for a trim, way past time, as my hair was starting to look a bit worse for wear. Too many split ends and grown out layers. I wanted it just past my shoulders (which would have meant cutting off about 4 inches) and all one length. That way I could still clip it back out of my face, or lift it off my neck in a pony tail.

So I asked her if she felt confident and was willing and she scrounged up some scissors (maybe that should have been my first clue). All the giggling was the second. It’s not horrible but it is rather short. Chin length, framing my face. It’s a little blunt across the ends but maybe if I give it a few days…

Today at work I got the comments. “You got your hair cut… it’s…. cute”. Said with just enough pause between “it’s” and “cute” and the voice raising into the “you know I’m lying” range. Someone even asked me if I cut it myself.

Tonight the remaining hair received the overdue dye job that I’d been postponing.  My hair is still up in a towel so I don’t yet know if it will behave when I blow-dry it. If it’s not too awful, maybe I’ll get a picture tomorrow. Or maybe not.


My Plan March 22, 2008

Posted by phoenixhopes in Consumerism, Goals, thoughts.

I have this silly little idea running through my head about a consumer-free April. I’m not sure where it came from but it doesn’t seem to be going away. I only call it silly because I know it’s going to be difficult. I would like to dismiss it as a silly little whim, but I just can’t.

 For the month of April, I am not going to buy anything, other than necessary food or other consumables, with a few planned exceptions. Nothing new, nothing used.

I wonder if I can make it. Already my heart is racing and my palms are a little sweaty. Is it really that unsettling to even think about not spending money? Out of necessity I’m pretty frugal as it is, although I am aware of a few areas where I’m not as careful as I could be.

 Here’s what’s out:

New or used anything that isn’t a necessary consumable such as food or toilet paper. If it’s something that can wait, it will wait until May. If one of the boys suddenly grows out of, or totally destroys, their shoes (again), that would be a necessity. But if the TV remote breaks (again!), that can wait.

Unplanned eating out. It is just too easy to give in to tiredness or just plain laziness and stop for fast food or call out for pizza. The convenience of the cafeteria at work is tempting, but the money adds up quickly. Truthfully, the only reason I buy food in the work cafeteria is because I didn’t want to make a lunch at home.

Yarn or other craft supplies that are not absolutly necessary to complete a project that absolutely must be completed NOW. Ninety-nine percent of the yarn and related supplies that I purchase is, at some level, an impulse buy and could easily be postponed. Yeah, I know, it’s on sale… it’s a deal… I’ve been wanting to try this yarn and how can I pass it up… but it’s money I don’t need to spend.

Books. Oy, this is going to hurt. Is there anything more pleasant than an hour spent in a bookstore, wandering the aisles, listening for the ones that call out to me? And I do listen and more often than not bring one or two (or more) home with me.

So what is allowed?

Necessary consumables such as food, etc., although I want to be more aware of how I’m spending this money. I need to do more planning for our meals and snacks and then follow those plans.

Planned meals away from home rather than the spontaneous. My monthly Team Lunch. My “date nights” with the boys to Caribou Coffee. Pizza or some other non-homecooked meal for the family once and only once.

Can I be successful limiting myself to only these items? I’d love to confidently say yes, but I honestly don’t know. I don’t waste a lot of money simply because I can’t afford to, but I know I blow it in the areas above. I’ve learned that the best way to avoid “retail therapy” and impulse shopping is to simply avoid even entering a store without an iron clad list in hand. But knowing that doesn’t keep me away from Hobby Lobby or Borders.

I’ll begin this April 1. It’s difficult to resist the urge to run out and stock up now but if I’m honest with myself, what do I really need to stock up on? I already own more books than I could possibly read through in the next month even if things like work and sleep didn’t get in the way. The same thing could be said for craft supplies. There is very little that I really need to add to my life.

Anyone care to join me?