I received a voucher for an online shop as a lovely thank you present from a friend. I thought, great, now I can get some of those things I've been wanting for a while. However, it turned out to not be quite as easy as that. I sat and stared at the screen for a while, flicking between the various departments of the site, looking at things I'd put on my wishlist, and wondering whether to get them. I realised that I'd quite got out of the habit of shopping. Everything I looked at just seemed to be something that would re-introduce clutter, whether it was a new DVD, book or pair of shoes.
Well, surely that's a good thing, you might say. You've managed to wean yourself off simply buying things for the sake of it. Indeed, that is a good thing; however, here's my first fail - I couldn't bring myself to NOT spend the voucher. The thought of leaving it, perhaps buying Christmas presents with it, seemed wrong - mainly because the giver of the voucher had said she wanted me to 'treat myself' but also because I don't often get given vouchers, and it was meant to be a nice thing for me to do - I almost felt obliged to spend it.
So, I spent it, on something I'd been deliberately not replacing for a while (in the spirit of make do and mend) and this is my second fail - two pairs of slippers. This was where I'd thought I'd been clever - a pair of cosy, fluffy slippers, and a pair of fabric flip-flops, mainly for showering in the morning. They'll last for ages, and I won't need new slippers for years. What a good investment, I thought; I have spent my money wisely on something (although quite mundane) that I will appreciate and is also a sensible, practical purchase.
I was fairly convinced of this until I mentioned what I'd spent the voucher on to my sister, and encountered some not very subtle mickey-taking. I struggled to explain how brilliantly clever I had been, and completely failed to convince anyone why two pairs of slippers was better than one. I realised that probably, two pairs of slippers is not really in the spirit of minimalism. Ah well, none of us is perfect. I'm just glad I didn't mention deciding to recycle my third dressing gown, also thinking I'd done something clever (yes, I still have two).
Minimalism is hard.