I don't know what has come over me, but I feel strangely satisfied. It's funny how satisfaction feels odd. Growing up, there was never enough money, and I always wanted to be rich. I realize now that middle-class comfort feels good. I don't need or want whatever I imagine wealth brings.
Maybe life is a journey about getting down to essentials, and I'm getting closer to the core. My husband and I agree that even if we had a million dollars, we probably wouldn't do a whole lot different. We like our life and are not in a constant state of wanting. We've worked hard and lived within our means, but no matter how you look at it, we are grateful.
Because I live in the corporate world, I'll lay out some of the highlights in terms of a STOP-START-KEEP list:
Stopped buying clothes made in China just to have more clothes. As a result, I've stopped shopping as a sport and only go in search of a specific item that I need.
Stopped buying jewelry. I have a pair of really good turquoise earrings, and they are like my diamonds. I was able to resist the amazing earrings in Santa Fe because I already have the perfect pair. More is not better (this also applies to food).
Stopped worrying about decorating the house. If it mattered that much to me, I would have done it by now. We have a few pictures and knick-knacks here and there, but it turns out I like walls and surfaces better without anything on them.
Started keeping my windows and blinds clean. I'd rather look through clean windows than buy stuff to fill up space.
Started getting rid of stuff that has accumulated for no good reason.
Started laying out a little extra cash for professional cleaners to come quarterly and scrub in the places we miss. A clean well-maintained home is more important to me than designer perfection.
Started using organic products on my face, skin and hair, operating on the principle of fewer toxins in ought to be good.
Keep stuff forever, if possible. Our patio furniture is 30 years old. It's not the current style, but it's in excellent condition and should go another 30 years. We recently bought new cushions, and it's like having new furniture.
Keep driving my Ford Fusion Hybrid. It's a great car. We averaged just over 40 miles per hour on our trip to New Mexico. It feels like a luxury car to me, especially since I just made the last payment!
Keep eating at home most of the time. Restaurant food is over-rated and usually bad for you. We have serious indulgences -- like homemade pizza every Friday night -- but at least we know what's in it.
Keep exercising. I enjoy it, and I'd rather hang a few pieces of well-made clothing on a fit body than buy a closet full of clothes designed to hide it.
I could keep going, but I'd much rather hear from you. I'll bet you are way ahead of me. What's on your list?