We had an interesting question at our Life Group last night: “How do you determine what is a need in your life versus what is a ‘want.'” I feel like we answered the question quickly. Too quickly. We need food. We need water. We don’t need the latest renovations on our home. We don’t need the newest iteration of the iPhone. It was of course followed up with the question of what are we going to do with this knowledge? The obvious answer is, keep our perspectives right! And then we moved on to the remainder of the study. But I couldn’t let it go in my heart or my head. It stirred something deeper up inside me.
Ironically, when I got home Nick was updating our budget and announced how well we were doing this Fall with all the projects lined up. This got me thinking even more about this need vs. want thing. A couple weeks ago I cleaned up this blog and hid most of the older posts. I was kind of annoying 5 years ago, and I didn’t want it up here, lol. Also, I didn’t want all my old, crappy photos cluttering up what I’m gradually morphing into a personal / business blog. However, while I was archiving old posts, I stumbled across memories from our first few years of marriage. The time I dug a record amount of pop cans out of the office’s garbage and we treated ourselves to Tim Horton’s coffees, and then won a free one and were over the moon. The time we had only $32 a week for groceries and God provided $1,000 worth of free groceries to us. The times we did without. The times we celebrated the little that we had. The times we didn’t take for granted all of the wonderful things that are ours in a first-world country.
And then I had an idea, which I pitched to Nick and convinced him to go along with. For one month, starting today, we are not going to purchase anything extra. We can fill the car with gas when it runs out. I can renew my bus pass in a couple weeks. We’re going to buy a little treat for our anniversary dinner this Friday and pick up some fresh produce so we don’t contract scurvy while pulling this off. Other than that, Nick is contributing to a kick-starter campaign that needs to be completed this week and I had already planned to pay for a portfolio review mid-October. But that’s it. (Oh, and for nutritional reasons only, I did agree to reconsider the not buying extra groceries in a couple weeks if we truly have no fruit or vegetables in the house, but given the state of our freezers, I think we’ll be just fine).
Well, here’s an update on how it’s going. I woke up and within 20 minutes I thought, “Oh, I need to pick up a pack of glitter from the dollar store for a photo idea… oh wait, no.” That’s right. I lasted 20 waking minutes before planning to buy something. I think this will be really good for us, and I’m excited to learn to appreciate the little things again and be thankful for what we have. When a coworker tossed me a free granola bar this morning I was already extra thankful for it because of this. I may be less thankful when we run out of coffee next week, but I think that’s the point. It’s not supposed to be easy! And that pack of glitter? I’m going to get it, but I’m going to do it the way I would have three years ago. I already picked $0.65 of pop cans out of the office’s garbage bin today. I should have enough to buy it in another 2-3 weeks. And guess what? I’ll be thankful for it! Really, really, thankful.