Good Influences

So, I had some time to kill this morning, after dropping my husband off on one end of town and before arriving at a meeting on another end of town. I remembered there’s a Michael’s craft store situated midway between these two destinations. Browsing one of my favorite stores seemed like a harmless enough way to waste 20 minutes, plus I had a 25% off coupon, so why not?

It didn’t take long before I had at least $30 worth of stuff in my cart – all justified, of course, because they were things I’d make into Christmas presents. How much more unselfish could I be?!

I paused for a moment, when I recalled my vow not to buy any more supplies until I’d used what I have on hand. “But I don’t have any yarn like this,” I thought to myself. What I have is all odds and ends, much of it old and some of it stiff, either from age or because it’s cheaply made. “And I need these frames to complete the fabulous gift idea I had the other day.” Although, in reality, I already have plenty of gifts in the works for my loved ones.


When I pushed my cart to the checkout line, I noticed there was only one cashier, with at least 6 people in front of me. Apparently I’d spent more time than I realized having my existential crisis in aisle 8b. I’d be late for my meeting if I didn’t leave now. So, I walked away from my cart and back to my car.

After my meeting, I decided to stop by the library. Our youngest has been asking for an audio book he can listen to as he falls asleep and I’ve been putting him off for far too long. It wouldn’t take a moment and it would be more than worth it to see his reaction when he got home from school and discovered what I brought him.

I found two audio books – one for him and one for his older brother. Then I noticed the children’s DVD section. I always forget that our library offers DVDs. The selection isn’t huge, but knowing they’re free always makes them more attractive than if I had to pay to rent them. I limited myself to three movies. I wanted to give my boys plenty of options, but was afraid the librarian would think I was greedy or think I’d be plopping my kids down in front of the DVD player all weekend.

I drove home feeling so bleepin’ proud of myself. I walked away from a cart full of craft supplies. I found an alternative to renting a DVD from Redbox or letting our boys watch one they own and have seen a bazillion times. I was ready to scour the sidewalks for spare change, because these are the days when pennies are everywhere!

A lot of my reading this week has been on websites that focus on recycling, doing more with less, etc. I like the subconscious and obvious effect it’s having on me, motivating me to make better choices (or at least think twice about the choices I’m making). These are hard habits to break for someone who has always used shopping as a mood-lifter or entertainment, rather than something done out of necessity. So I’ll keep hanging out with these good influences and hope they keep rubbing off on me.

If you have any more to suggest, I hope you’ll share. I would love to know what/who motivates you!

P.S.  November 15 is America Recycles Day. You can visit their website for ideas specifically related to this annual event or join Recyclebank for tools, tips, and motivation all year long.