“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value
and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”
– JOSHUA BECKER
So…2018 is upon us. Hectic, who could’ve imagined it? This time last year, I was skiing in Livigno, Italy on my honeymoon, eating everything a carb could ever dream of becoming in the hands of sweaty men shouting at each other in Italian family-owned kitchens. Hmmm.
This year, I am back at my desk making promises to my future self about goals I WILL accomplish. (Because they will be super simple and easily achievable. Aha, smart!)
1. Decide on a blog layout…and then stick to it!
Probably one of the disadvantages of loving change is that you want it all the time. Being decisive this year will allow me to trust my gut, the first time and be content with what I decide.
2. Champion breakfast!
If you’ve ever been over for dinner at our place, you’ll know I absolutely love being in the kitchen and making food. But somehow I skipped the breakfast class (I’ll blame it on my love for sleep…). I simply lack creativity when it comes to the most important meal of the day. Nevertheless, being married challenges you on a whole bunch of levels and lucky for me, my husband loves breakfast. So I’ll get some help and smash those avo toasties in the face. Mine, most probably.
3. Read more. A lot more!
Over our December holiday, a friend of mine recommended a book she’d read and thought I would enjoy reading it too. Baring in mind this friend of mine is a doctor and probably has no trouble racing through a 910-page book in a week, but enthusiastically, I accepted and I am proud to say I’ve reached page 282. It only took me 3weeks. High five me!
Have a squizz through my journal for some great reading material.
4. Stress less.
Oh, this one we’ve all heard a trillion times. “Stress isn’t good for you!” So goes the broken record, however, it is the truth. The solid, undoubted truth. So, working towards a well-balanced lifestyle where work is work and quality time with my husband and dog is not! This is the ultimate goal.
5. Excercise like you love it!
My husband and I went kayaking over the December holidays in the Stormsriver, (highly recommended) and there was a mommy who joined our group. She had three young children and a husband tagging along, but she looked like she could run up and down Table Mountain without a pain. I decided then and there, “Right Jessica, If she has three kids and finds the time to exercise (and looks like a swimsuit model because of it) then you have absolutely no excuse.” The closest thing to child-responsibility and commitment I have is my 5month old Golden Retriever, who is happy to run and swim with me. Eeek. Lazybones! Kayla Itsines, here I come.
My husband ALWAYS says, “Everything you decide to do or not do is a choice!” and I say it will stay a choice until I decide to do it. Wise words, he’s so smart.
Rivka, Strand Beach, 2017.
Share your goals with us, we’d love to hear them.
Black Friday. Where does this day of craze and rock bottom price tags come from?
The first claim is dated way back to the 1960’s when Philadelphia police officers dubbed the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” because of the chaos in the streets. People from all over were coming to kick off their Christmas shopping and take advantage of the good deals. Some also say that it has to do with retail stores turning a massive profit on this day, going from being in the “red” to being in the “black”. (Learn more about Black Friday here.)
Either way, South Africans have adopted this day of the year, giving the silly season a proper welcome.
If you follow me or know anything about me, you’ll have come to find that I am not the biggest fan of excess, fast fashion or clever marketing tactics. I was not hyped or phased by Black Friday at all, in fact, I avoided the Somerset Mall as best I could. Did my husband and I take part (and advantage) of the great deals available? Well yes, we did. But if I could explain the difference between the way we did it and the feeling I get when I see people pushing and screaming, huffing and puffing until Game’s doors came cracking down.
I have decided to group the different types of consumers I have watched on phone recorded videos and news feeds to make more sense of this insane day. Bare with me…my findings are as follows.
1. Along for the ride.
These are the people who have fallen for the clever marketing and sales strategy behind this day. They get hyped up and join the crowd as people start to gather before midnight to get their hands on any deal really. They are the ones who don’t plan on buying anything, they just want to check out the fuss but then walk out with deals they just could not resist. In my research I found many people confessing that if it were any other day of the year, they wouldn’t dream of buying what they bought, they wouldn’t be prepared to save for it. Essentially, Black Friday was the reason for their exploding shopping trolleys. Buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, as seen below.
2. The planners.
This is me and my husband. We knew exactly what we needed, and been needing for a long time. We needed a casserole pot as well as coffee mugs. Because I am all about quality over quantity, I urged my husband that we wait until we have enough money to buy a quality pot that could last generations as well as mugs that wouldn’t chip and crack after a few months causing us to spend money again. He decided that “Black Friday” was a good way of getting what we needed and getting some discount on it. So he surprised me with these items and it also doubled as an early birthday present. We didn’t fall for any marketing schemes that drew us closer, instead went right for what we needed and didn’t buy excess while doing so.
3. The actual customer.
This person is someone who has little money, a big family to feed and support and has to make it happen somehow. They are the ones that will elbow you out of the way for a jumbo pack of diapers because they know that the little person at home is counting on them. These people are the ones who I feel buy smart because they know what they have, don’t have and desperately need. Why then not save up a little for Black Friday, save some well earned money on essential items and have a joy-filled holiday season?
My conclusion…We need to be sure what in this world is leading our happiness. Are we feeling content after a massive shop where we get to bring trillions of things home that we don’t need but found absolute pleasure in buying them on a great deal? Or do you also feel that sense of, “Shucks, I went overboard and allowed my eyes to feast, and my “wants” to lead me to debt and excess!”
Don’t let consumerism become your trademark. Choose well and buy less, you’re life will feel lighter and you’ll have more space for the important things.
Happy planning, Jessica. x
Photo content by Local Truth Photography