A Final Letter

It seems somewhat ironic that during ‘Buy Nothing New’ month, a few of my absolute essentials have abandoned me and therefore required replacement – the first was rather small (a coffee plunger), while the second was rather more expensive (a new computer – I’ve made the move from a HP laptop to a Mac!). Both items are absolutely essential to my existence, and therefore could not wait until November. Perhaps something I’ve discovered about ‘Buy Nothing New’ month is not just how easy it is to stop shopping for new things, but also recognising just what is ‘essential’ – which is an interesting reflection in itself.

Anyway, to recognise a change in my computer relationship status, I thought I’d share a letter addressed to my former companion …

Dear H,

I think we’ve known this day would come for a while now. In fact, even from the first day we met, I think deep down we always knew our time together would be finite. Sometimes our histories can prove too big a hurdle to overcome …

As you know I’m a girl who values reliability in her significant others, and well … that’s never been your strong point, particularly in the last few weeks. Things have been steadily getting worse.

You started taking less care of important things I entrusted to you, and there was never any guarantee just when, or if, those things would ever come to the surface again. And then, just when I thought we’d found some quality time together, you shut me out of your world … making any further communication virtually impossible.

So you probably already know I’ve found someone new. While I wish you well in whatever your future holds, I really need to focus on what my future holds with M.

Take care,

Tracey.

What essentials have you purchased recently? Or perhaps you’ve also written a letter to an inanimate object?

16 Comments

  1. Erika Lee Sears

    Tracey you are so right! I think the problem is …. that our American programming is that we need things.. and we need brand new things and things we don’t necessarily need. I love a good handbag like the next girl, but I always ask myself- Do I need that? and the splurges even if it’s a delicious venti latte- it’s more of a reward and it’s less often.

    I think my last essential I had to pay for was going to the dentist and that was today and there was a screaming kid in the chair next to me. Seriously 🙂 He was screaming before he even got in the chair about how painful it was.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Erika – I think part of growing up is definitely coming to that realisation that there is a big difference between a want versus a need. Sadly though, I think in our society of ‘encouraged consumerism’ this idea becomes diluted. Like yourself, I love a good handbag too – but I’ve also asked myself that very same question, ‘Do I really need it?’ … More often than not, I’ll find myself leaving the store without making a purchase.

      Oh my! Your last essential purchase is definitely no fun at all … though you remind me that I also need to schedule a dentist check-up too! How awful that you had a screaming kid next to you … and that was before he got into the chair – I’m sure that wouldn’t have helped with your sense of calm!

      I hope your tomorrow is a wonderful day! 🙂

  2. Gabrielle Bryden

    Haha – love that letter 🙂 I seem to spend huge amounts on the food that disappears very quickly – my children are so little but they have an endless capacity for eating (hollow leg syndrome!!!). I haven’t written to an inanimate object but just recently I was thinking it would be easy to get emotionally attached to a robot (if we had really good ones that did all the housework and talked to us when we were feeling down).

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – Glad you liked my letter! It’s certainly not every day you pen a note to your computer! 🙂
      I think it’s so easy to spend lots of money on food … I can’t even imagine how much you must buy to feed the whole family. For me, it’s just me and my husband (well, and the dog) … but we seem to go through a lot of food. While it’s no good for your bank balance, your kids are lucky to have hollow legs … that’s something I miss from being a child.

      I agree with you about it probably being easy to get emotionally attached to a robot … it would be lovely to have ‘someone’ to look after the household chores and to listen to our nonsense without complaint … surely with a robot in the house there’d be SO much more time for writing! 🙂

  3. hila

    I think I would have a heart attack if my laptop died on me now. Really, it’s one of the few things I consider ‘essential’.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Hila – I think I almost did have a heart attack when I realised how close I came to losing all the work and photos I had saved on my old laptop … it was touch and go there for a while. Luckily my husband is a ‘techie’ person, so he was able to rescue everything before the old computer died completely. I suppose I really should start a better habit of backing up my work more often on the new computer … I’m normally really bad at that.

      Take care.

  4. Ricardo

    Welcome to the cult of Mac Tracey. Been a proud user for 14 years and I love my mac.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – Thanks for the welcome to the Mac cult! I’ve only been enjoying mine for a few days now, but I must admit I’m completely smitten already. My new mac ‘had me at hello’. 😉

  5. Linda from Heartfire At Home

    Wow, a whole month of buying nothing new… that would be hard. I’ve been trying to really limit my spending lately, so for the last couple of months I’ve concentrated on basically food, toiletries, any health/body care (I see a chiropractor regularly and have a massage regulalry), and petrol etc. I’ve found it’s interesting to try and focus only on these things without slipping in a cute card I’ve found (just because I love it), or a lovely thrift shop find. And, it’s hard when friends are discussing the great spring dresses on special at Target at the moment and saying how I should go and have a look! Even though I have heaps of clothes, there’s that tendancy to want to have something new for the new season!

    I’ve ended up buying a few little bits and bobs for my home (from a flea market), and also a couple of early Christmas presents that presented themselves, and a couple of second hand books. Not too bad I thought, but I found it very hard!!

    I agree with Erika, I think we’re so programmed now-a-days to ‘consume’ stuff that we do so without really asking if we really ‘need’ rather than just ‘want’ it.

    I’ve also been trying to ask myself if buying a certain object or thing will help me progress in the main areas of my life I’m focussing on at the moment… a big one of which is building an online presence and business. Sort of like, every time I see a new cushion I’d love to buy (boy do I love cushions), I say to myself “Do I HAVE to have this cushion (well no, I already have heaps), and “Will buying this cushion help me further my business?”

    The other thing is I’m saving money to do a few big jobs around my house like new flooring in the kitchen, and some roof work… so I have to learn to let go little things I love (like new cushions or artworks) so I can put the money towards the bigger things (which are more important as they involve looking after my major asset maintenance wise).

    I sometimes find too, that I have this sort of restless feeling of wanting to go out and buy ‘something’, anything, because it feels so strange not to be buying little things here and there and simply concentrating on the absolute basics.

    Well done for only buying the computer and the plunger, that’s amazing!!

    Loved the letter too. I don’t write letters to inanimate objects, but I sometimes give them a good talking to!!

    Linda. xox

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Linda – A month without buying anything new sounds like such a long time doesn’t it? I’ve actually found the distraction of Blogtoberfest has helped with reducing the temptation to buy, buy, buy. It is a constant challenge I think to limit or at the very least, change our spending habits – especially if you’re used to spending in a certain way. I think it requires a rather substantial mind shift. It sounds like you’ve been doing wonderfully well with your own reduced spending efforts – focussing just on basics and essentials is a really interesting practice. Like yourself, I think the thing I’ve found hardest about the challenge is resisting that need to just ‘buy a little something extra’ because it’s cute or pretty … I’ve really worked on splitting the needs versus wants into two separate sections, rather than have that grey area between the two.

      Sometimes when you find the perfect Christmas present for someone you just have to grab it when you can – I think buying presents is really an essential to some degree (and besides, I love finding and giving people presents).

      The way you’re looking at your spending habits is fantastic – that whole concept of whether it will help you progress your main goals. I really need to do more of that. It’s so much easier to achieve what we want to achieve if we have a clear idea of where we want to be heading. Cushions are SO easy to buy … I really have to stop myself from indulging in them and other comforting homewares too! 🙂
      I also need to do some work around the house … and would much rather spend money on making those changes than wasting money on ‘temporary’ happiness bringers.

      I’m glad you liked my letter to my poor old HP laptop … I think ALL inanimate objects need a really good talking to from time to time – they often need to pull their socks up! 😉

  6. Piper (DailyDivaDish)

    LOL! Very cute letter!

    Your question: “What essentials have you purchased recently?” really kind of stopped me dead in my tracks. I’ve made several purchases recently. They all seemed really important at the time. But as I ponder your question, I quickly realize…none were essentials. I think I need to take a page out of your book and cut back a bit. Thanks so much for this post Tracey!
    XO Piper

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Piper – Haha, glad you liked my letter to my old laptop … the world of Mac has provided me with much joy! 🙂

      I think until I decided to commit to ‘buy nothing new’ month, I didn’t give all that much thought to whether I was buying something because I needed it, or whether I was buying something because I wanted it … or at the very least, liked the look of it.
      Sometimes it’s good to do a bit of shopping habit self-reflection I think … so long as we don’t beat ourselves up too much over it! 🙂

  7. Mel

    lol that you wrote a letter – and such a clever letter!!

    Thought provoking post, though. I bought a couple of books today that I could just as easily have borrowed from the library (heck, I was even on my way to the library!) I also popped a bar of chocolate into the basket when picking up milk and apples – at least they were essentials….

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Mel – Thanks for your kind words about my letter … it was super fun to compose.

      It’s really hard to NOT buy things … especially books – they’ve always been a particular weakness of mine. Sometimes though I think chocolate could easily be considered an essential! 😀

  8. Linda from Heartfire At Home

    Yes, it definitely is a mind shift I think, which isn’t a bad thing!! Today I went out to a lovely new market just down the road from where I live. It was fabulous, and I got to meet 4 bloggers/crafters whom I admire in real life!! Wonderful. I also bought another 5 presents (I’m pretty pleased with myself as I’m nearly done Christmas wise), but also succumbed and bought myself some map gift tags, and a Matryoshka Doll (I’ve been lusting after one of those for ages). So, I flunked my spending goals today… but I’m sooooo happy with everything I bought, so I don’t feel too bad.

    I’m doing up a little post about it all, and linking back to this post as part of it!!

    Linda. xox

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Linda – How lovely that you have a wonderful market so close by! I really should explore if I have any in my area too … they’re so handy to pick up lovely things for gift as well as support local crafters! 🙂
      I can’t believe you’re almost done with your Christmas shopping!! That’s amazing!!! 😀
      I think so long as you’re happy with what you buy, it’s no big deal … I think the problem comes when we buy things just for the sake of buying.

      It’s so great when you get to meet bloggers in ‘real-life’ … thanks so much for the link back to my blog … I really enjoyed reading your blog post from the day!! 🙂

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