Brett and I have put ourselves on a spending fast for the month of January. We've done so with hopes that we'll be able to see how much less we are capable of living on and that we'll be able to make some changes for the rest of the year. It's been a little over two weeks but one of the effects of not spending money on things we don't really need has been spending a lot more time at home.
Spending a lot of time at home is nothing new to me since I'm a work-at-home mama but I usually chomp at the bit to get out of the house and do something almost every day. I am a home body by nature but I also get cabin fever pretty bad. A walking contradiction, I know.
If I don't have a project underway for another blog or my own I find myself growing restless. Give me the choice of staying at home to clean or getting out of the house and I'm already pulling out of the driveway. I'm either headed to the thrift store, the nearest drive-thru coffee window, or the park. I've always got a sidekick and she enjoys going almost anywhere with me so there's little resistance to my plans when it's just the two of us but the effects of those habits are seen in our bank account and in the pile of laundry that's been sitting on our couch waiting to be folded.
You see, I hate doing laundry. I have had a giant pile of clean laundry on one of our couches for two weeks. We've just been getting dressed in the living room. Granted I was sick the whole first week but then I avoided it the second with the excuse that I had to get the Christmas stuff down first. Doing dishes is second on my list of things I don't enjoy and then there's cleaning the tub and mopping the floors. However, with limited options this month of how to spend my morning time because of our spending fast and the single-digit weather, I've found myself being forced to make better choices.
I've been at the gym every day this week and then showered and dressed and tackling one small task at a time. There's still regular breaks to paint with Ruby, make a snack, or wipe a bottom but our house is more tidy than usual right now. We're not allowing ourselves to eat out or order in (except for that gift card to Poor Richard's pizza) so I've cooked healthful meals each night I've not been sick and Brett's been taking leftovers or store bought meals to work for lunch. What I've most enjoyed though is how removing the option to go spend money has given me the chance to remember that I can enjoy being at home all day every day. My focus has shifted and something has settled a bit inside.
Holly wrote a post awhile back that I know resonated with a lot of women about slowing down, changing perspectives, embracing her responsibilities with joy, and living a more simple life. It was encouraging to hear she was finding what she needed and letting go of the things that were getting in the way and challenged me to think about whether I was brave enough to examine my own life and take similar steps. I'm not writing off thrift stores and coffee drive-ins over here but I am taking a break from old habits in order to make room for new ones. Healthier ones.
I'm planning a post or two to share more about our decision to go on a spending fast, what it's looked like for our family, and what other changes we've seen as we move through the month of January. Brett and I are going to sit down at the end of the month and talk about how it's benefited us, see how much we've saved, and what options we want to give ourselves for doing it in the future. If you're curious and want to find out more about what a spending fast is you can read up on this blog.
Have you ever battled restlessness at home yourself? What kinds of things have helped you feel like you're content where you are?
P.S. I feel like I've left out the role social media can play in diverting restlessness at home (or being too much of a distraction altogether) and how isolation and loneliness can also play a part in wanting to get out of the house. We do also take advantage of free things in town like the park, the library, play dates at friend's houses, etc. These are all topics I'm interested in talking about in the coming weeks. Topics, yay!