Like so many others, I have looked for ways to reduce my spending, my use of resources, and my commitments so that I could enjoy a less hectic lifestyle. Over the years I have tried "no spending" time frames and challenges to use less. I have budgeted. It works, up to a point.
Last week the little light bulb (CFL, of course) went on in my head when I read Sharon Astyk's post about the Anyway Project. The title referring to the way we should live, anyway. (Love the logic in that.) Her post from this past Tuesday goes on to explain the different aspects of the project. It puts it all together. Through her project, everything I've tried to do piecemeal gets connected as a whole including a few areas that I had not explored, such as Community. After reading her posts and the reader comments a few times I've developed my own list of goals to make my life more sustainable. In joining this group (I’m not thinking of it as a challenge), I am setting goals to accomplish in each of the following categories.
Since I don’t have the luxury of a pantry room, I will create a list of basic provisions (dried beans, etc) and purchase what I can store in the kitchen cupboard that I emptied during last years “clear out”. The stored foods will be the basics for meal planning, hoping to return to the food storage, meal-planning lifestyle from years back.
A few years ago I found an amazing excel budget spreadsheet online, which I tweaked to fit my needs. It worked great for the year that I used it, showing me all my spending habits and where I needed to make changes. I will pull up the old copy and update it for my current needs.
First, I need to reduce unnecessary short driving trips.
Second, I need to address the drafty windows in my condo. Last winter I used the plastic that is applied indoors with a hair dryer. I can combine this with window quilts, which other participants mentioned.
Cottage Industry and Subsistence:
I need to find an outlet for the vintage items that I have accumulated, possibly through eBay or etsy. Then explore a possible cottage industry to supplement my primary income.
Family and Community:
I tend to become an indoor person during the winter months, but need to find group activities for the next few months. I’ll research events held at the public libraries near me for this.
I have an intense and demanding job, which can cause stress and the need for “decompression” time. I’d like to find ways to improve my workflow/workload.
Time and Happiness:
I’d like to find time for relaxation (possibly yoga?) to even out my lifestyle, and return to a regular exercise routine.
I may have to fine tune these, or provide more detail. You may want to follow along or even join in. Here’s the link to Sharon’s blog. Right now I’m off to look for and update that old excel spreadsheet.
Please take time on Thursday, November 11th, to remember our veterans!