(Bottom revised and a clarifying comment from me.)
Based on these numbers, I estimate that I handled over 500 beautiful books yesterday.
I stripped my shelves in high optimism– Yes! We’re *past* the book-pulling stage. Really we are. — and ordered everything according to a new system. (I have been craving this for months.)
Currently I have more unread books in my house than I think I can read in a year. The amount of money I spent on books in the last 13 months is so high I’m not telling you how much.
They were all good books, most of them used (and, so, serendipitously collected), and I bought them as fast as I found them. Which is faster than I can read them, and the whole reason I bought them was to read them.
So now I have determined (God help me) to take a year off of buying. This in order to focus on what God has already provided for me in this fruitful year. My New Year Resolution/Experiment grew out of this.
I want to see if I can go a whole year without buying anything for me. (Yes, I still plan to eat.) Instead, my fun/ freedom/refreshment stuff must all come out of what I already own.
This includes those purchases that I can blame on other catigories (e.g., children’s books, business) that I know are because I am thinking of them at the moment– not because they are true needs of now.
~ ~ ~
Books is just the easiest example of this goal. I also mean it to apply to projects.
I am too easily attracted to new things, and while eating up the learning curve feeds one of my appetites, that passion also pulls my heart and mind away from digging deeper into what I’ve already decided has value.
Under this plan I won’t be taking any new classes this year, and won’t be visiting any craft or book stores (unless it does somehow prove to be a true need? Then we’ll have to work out a different system of checks and balances).
~ ~ ~
There are two big elements of this 2008 project:
- Learning creativity and contentment
- Re-training myself to simply not look
These two elements working together have reflexively made me more home-focused (I’ve noticed a mind-shift in just the last 24-hours– check with me again in a week), because I am making myself aware of and planning with what’s here and how to use it.
And if I don’t feed my imagination with all the things I can want (#2), it makes #1 easier.
It also frees up my imagination to focus on much more worthy topics. Like how I’m going to show my children that home is a fun place to be. That leaving doesn’t have to automatically = more-fun.