“Hey, Fasting Consumer! It’s been ages since we’ve heard from you. You must be over there buying all kinds of interesting things … ”
“No, no! I’ve just been, you know … distracted. Moving across the country, settling into a new house in a new city, getting kids registered for school, creating new routines: it’s left little time for writing. What time I have had I’ve been focusing on LSAT studying (see Big Announcement! (And I totally cheated)), but now that that’s over, I’m back! And rest assured. The fast has been going great. Despite the lack of posts, we’ve being sticking hard to our Challenge.”
Um, not true. I thought it was true, and then I re-read my posts to date and re-read The Challenge. Yeah. Oops. Sure, my lack of writing can be attributed to the challenges of moving and to my studying, but perhaps I also just ran out of steam. Turns out a year is a long time, and, despite my previous claims that “this isn’t hard at all!“, turns out this challenge is, well … challenging.
Before I get to the ways in which I have not been rockin’ The Challenge, I should follow-up on a previous post. In Had I Known, I broke down our moving process into four steps: moving out of our previous home, travelling, moving into temporary housing, and moving into our permanent home. I accounted for all the items we purchased in steps 1 through 3 and described how we got around not buying anything else. I think we did pretty well!
Now for step 4.
It helps that we moved from a home with a porch, a sunroom, an unfinished basement, and a detached garage to a home with, um … a small closet under our upstairs neighbours’ stairs? We were prepared for this. Sort of.
The movers were laughing at me when I cried, “What?! More?!” as the endless stream of boxes came parading into every corner of our San Francisco apartment. Never before have I been so stressed-out about Too Much Stuff. (And that’s saying a lot.)
But, we did it.
We purged before we left. We purged when we arrived, and we’re still purging today. Now I can proudly say that the contents of our previous basement, sunroom, porch, and garage have been reduced to what can fit under one twin and one double-bed (leaving space for the dog), and in the affectionately named Harry Potter Closet. Success! And I don’t miss a darned thing.
But, did we do it without buying anything? Well, almost. Despite my best efforts to save every nail, hook, and screw, many of our pictures and hooks were hung with those removable sticky-tab thingys, and so, the sticky tabs needed replacing. Oops. Also, we had to hang our bicycles from the ceiling (and put the stroller under them). We purchased some hooks and hardware for that feat. But, that’s about it!
There are certainly things we would like to buy for our new home (like a shower-caddy and a wall lamp for the living room which has no lights), but we’re managing just fine. My aunt and uncle have some table lamps they’re getting rid of and we’re trading them for our deep-freeze that is sitting empty in a crowded hallway. The bathtub ledge only has space for shampoo, conditioner, and a bar of soap. Sort of. They keep falling into the bath, but you know what? Who cares. And who needs more stuff on the bathtub than two hair-products and soap?
So, I’d say step 4 and the move on a whole have been a Fasting Consumer triumph. But, before my horn gets all cued-up for tooting, the last three months have seen not only a silent Fasting Consumer, but a somewhat wayward one as well.
I somehow forgot that I had said I was going to make all my own soaps, shampoos, and cleaners. Yeah. I gave-up on that a while ago. It’s not that it would be that difficult, and there is certainly no shortage of online resources to help me through that process. It just wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and with all the other things going on, I decided I didn’t have the time or the energy to fuss. A good excuse? No, not really, but there you have it.
And then there’s all that wine. I moved to Napa Valley Land where wine flows more freely (and cheaply) than water! Okay, I exaggerate. A little. But, yes. We are buying wine. And beer. And enjoying it immensely (in moderation, of course.) What can I say?
But wait, there’s more. Moving to a new city means new bakeries and new cafes. Need I say more? I’ve relapsed. Big time. (See Confessions and Coffee.)
I would love to say that re-reading my original commitments and getting back to writing has suddenly inspired me to once again renounce lattes, goodies, and alcohol, and to bring out the lye, but alas, no. I’m feeling challenged enough just by continuing to avoid all the new and whacky thrift stores in Haight-Ashbury, the cute little antique shops, and the artisan craft-fairs around every corner. Gotta love San Francisco.
So, there you go, dear readers. The Fasting Consumer has returned, perhaps not as enthusiastically as she left you some three months ago, but still trudging-on and feeling mighty humbled and ridiculous for how challenging this actually is.