The Taynors

The Taynors

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

This was our most recent book club selection and it really stirred up a whole lot of thoughts and emotions.  A very general recap of the book is that Jen decides that her life is filled with excess... excess food, clothes, stress, calendars, etc.  She decides that she is going to try this crazy experiment for 7 months where each month she makes a huge change  and gives something up or limits herself to 7 items....  The 7 themes are:

Food.(only eat 7 foods all month)
Clothes.(only wear 7 items of clothes all month)
Possessions.(give away 7 items every day all month)
Media. (get rid of 7 items of technology for the whole month)
Waste. (she did a lot this month- recycling, starting a fresh garden, shopping only local, eating all left overs...)
Spending.(can spend money in only 7 places all month)
Stress.(honored the Sabbath day and stop 7 times a day to pray and reflect)

Now I couldn't do this experiment to the extreme that she did!!!  I was really impressed at her dedication to the whole process.  But I did get at least 1 or 2 mini goals and changes from each chapter.  Here is my list of new goals and changes I want to make!  I figure if I write them out, I am more likely to hold myself accountable.

1. We are going to tighten our grocery budget and try to eat more of what we have in the house.  We have a pantry full of food and a fridge/freezer full of options, but we always feel like "there is nothing to eat".  Both Mike and I are trying to be more aware of when we actually need groceries.  I am trying to meal plan around what we have in the pantry, eat more left overs, and be flexible with meals instead of eating the same thing as we always do.  I have realized that we don't have to run to the store as soon as one of our staples runs out, and when I do go grocery shopping I stick to a tight budget and only buy whats on the list.

2.  The clothes chapter led me to realize that even though when I"m getting dressed to go out I feel like "I have nothing to wear",  I really do have a closet and dresser full of clothes.  From now on, I'm going to try to live by the "Do I need this or do I want this" motto.  I do not need to buy clothes just because its cute, or just because its on sale.  To help with our budget and saving money, I need to be smarter with all of my little purchases (for both me and Ryan).

3. I want to purge our entire house!  I want to clean out closets, cabinets, toys, drawers etc.  Between the book, and nesting, and the thought of moving soon.... I can't wait to clean out house.  I am not sure I can be as generous as Jen was by donating everything, even big pieces of furniture, but I do plan on separating my whole house into 4 piles: keep, sell, donate, and trash.

4.  I will not be giving up technology, or media, or TV... but it did force me to be aware of how much I use it.  The two things I really want to change are 1) Not checking facebook/instagram/email/pinterest when I am super busy.  All of those things are great time killers and I need to resist the urge when I'm having a stressful day trying to get a lot accomplished.  2) I will stop playing around on my phone when I am around friends and family.  It is sooooo easy to constantly have to check something on the phone, but it really is rude to spend time playing on your  phone when around company (and we are all guilty of doing it).  SO I will try to be more present when around other people and save my phone time for when I'm home by myself.

5.  I really want to start a garden!  It is one of our projects for the new house.  Having your own garden will help accomplish two goals... eating natural local food and saving money.  I have never ever had any luck with gardening and I am clueless on how to start, but I look forward to learning.

6.   The Taynors need to spend less money.  Period.  We are already on a tight budget, and watch all of our spending closely, but I still feel like we are over extended every month.  No more excuses, we need to cut back.  Like I said with #2, I need to be more aware of my purchases and really decide if its something we "need" or something we "want".  I don't NEED to get that pedicure,  I can do it myself.  I don't NEED to get another pair of pajamas for Ryan when he already has a drawer full.  I don't NEED to order out, we have a fridge full of food.  I don't NEED to stop for that Pumpkin latte from Dunkin.  I'm refocused, we are going to spend less money.

7.  Last was her stress chapter, and this one was important to me.  Just like most families we are caught up in the craziness of life.  Every day is packed from morning to night.  I am balancing 3 jobs and being mommy, Mike is balancing his two jobs and the stress of work, we book all of our free times with family and friends and errands and scheduled stuff.  The days and weeks are just flying by without taking much of a break!  So we need to really do this.  I loved her idea of honoring the Sabbath day (whether you are doing it for religious reasons or just as a way to refocus on spending quiet time with your family).  I also loved her idea of stopping multiple times a day to pray.  Again whether its for religious reasons or just as a way to take a pause and refocus on whats important, I think its a great idea.  Sooooo I'm going to do both things.  I am going to try to make sure we have one day every weekend that we have a quiet, relaxing family day.  And I am going to try to stop several times a day, take a deep breath, be thankful for what I have been blessed with and to clear my head from the chaos of day to day life.

The topic came up about the theory that what you put out into the universe comes back to you, and I totally believe in it!  Sometimes its easier said then done, but I am going to be more aware of this each day.  I am going to work on being positive and patient and grateful each day.  I am also going to pray more often, put out in the universe the things we need help and support with.

Obviously the book was a good read for me, and it really made me think.  I hope when I read back on this post, I will feel like I have made these changes and ultimately have helped bring my family to a better place.  Lets give it a try!

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