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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Compact Lessons

It's been 46 days since I took the Compact pledge. It has been a interesting experiment in self-discovery...I have learned so much about myself and my spending habits. A few things...
  • It feels so good to NOT buy something after having the urge to do so. Realizing that I actually demonstrated self-control is exciting.
  • Shopping at Goodwill is fun. It's much more exhilerating to find the exact item I need at a thrift store...than to just run into Target and walk right to it. Less convenient, yes..but more fun.
  • I can overspend just as easily at thrift stores as I can in Target.
  • I am extremely senstitive to how I am feeling when looking at advertisements. I can take the time now to dissect those emotions and realize that they are constructed.
  • There have been several times when I've thought, "I would have totally bought that if I wasn't Compacting!". I started to add up all those things I kept saying that about...and it was several hundred dollars. It's a great feeling to save that money instead of spend it on things that I wouldn't want a few hours later anyway.
  • Doing the Compact seems to make some people upset & confused. Like the fact that I am actually THINKING about my purchases throws their whole existance out of whack. Apparently, compacting is very threatening.
  • I haven't found it to be particularly difficult to buy used, barter/trade, or make do. It's been great!
I have especially enjoyed finding Christmas gifts this year. I thought that it might be difficult, because I am usually a Christmas Eve "hurry up and buy anything!" kind of shopper. Total procrastination. I am happy to say that I am almost done shopping for everyone on my list! Here's to 319 more happy days of Compacting!


Blogger rebecca said...

i am so proud of you sara, i will never understand why people get upset about personal choices like this. this is such a beautiful and healthy way to live.

11/24/2006 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Lindsey @ enjoythejourney said...

When I did 30 days of less 2 months ago, I got more flack than I anticipated. Like you said, for some reason people are threatned by it. I guess they are feeling a little guilt, and it comes across differently and they shut down.

One very nice Christian lady accused me of playing a "game" instead of truly sacrificing. My response to her, even if it was a game (it wasn't)...wasn't the effort worth it for lessons learned?

I'm enjoying reading about your compacting.

11/24/2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...


I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your blog!

11/25/2006 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

We're a Compact family, too. Our choice has been pretty well received, except by some people at my work.

We've been at it for four months now, and honestly, it's not been that hard at all.

11/26/2006 5:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have just come across your blog tonight and am inspired! thank you for the changes you are making in your life. my husband and i are in our 5th year of marriage and wanting to make similiar changes. you and i seem to have a lot in common: i grew up in tucson, have a daughter (3yrs), enjoy photography and we are in the market for a westfalia (once we sell our volvo that keeps breaking down). it is inspiring to know you are MAKING changes and enjoying it.

11/26/2006 10:43 PM  
Blogger Here we go... said...

I am proud of your ability to choose and go forward in whatever you do. I think back to the Lincoln days and I know what a sacrifice it is for you to make some of these changes and I am so very inspired! (I am specifically remembering mulling spices and apple juice, chili and chocolate pudding made with 1/2 and 1/2!!!)I love you!

11/27/2006 4:50 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

It's interesting to consider why people might get upset about such a choice... perhaps it's less this particular choice than it is your "stepping out."

I just finished reading Beloved for the first time, and one of the most chilling aspects of the book was how the community couldn't stand one woman "claiming" her life. They punished her for it.

11/28/2006 4:55 AM  
Blogger Heth said...

I'm proud of you Sara. You ask the hard questions and look at things from a different perspective. Good for you.

11/28/2006 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

re: doing the Compact is threatening to some people.

I'll admit, you doing the Compact makes me feel a little "less." Less what, I don't know, but I've been very conscious of how I feel judged by a decision you have made - the judgement is coming all from me, that's for sure. But I have the self-awareness to realize that it is NOT coming from you, and I think a lot of people lack that kind of awareness.

The same thing with people who are threatened by some people choosing to breastfeed.

11/28/2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

Would love to hear more of your strategy for Christmas shopping while doing the Compact. This time of year leaves me feeling more enslaved to consumerism than any other time -- probably because my sense of "generosity" is on the line. If I don't buy, buy, buy am I being stingy?

11/28/2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Compacting - it is liberating. I have been Compacting for 9 months. What has really amazed me is not only the responses from others, but also the changes the compacting has created in myself. A year ago I could not imagine doing half of the things I am doing now.

Compacting has opened my eyes to my personal impact on the earth.

I agree with you - I am usually an adrenaline induced holiday shoppppper (who is currently being attacked by a 2 y/o). It feels good not do partake. :)

Happy Compacting!

11/28/2006 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see its very cold there...stay warm. ;)

11/30/2006 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

You'll have to read my blog today. I hope you don't mind that I linked to you regarding starting to simplify.

12/01/2006 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your site Sara. You are living in ways I've always wanted to. Your other 2 sites are also enjoyable. Your eye for photography is great. I'm going to a link on my blog to your site if that's ok. Blessings

12/02/2006 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is amazing. I just found it through Eat Peace PLease (leslie's blog) It's amazing here. Thanks for the good reads on a saturday afternoon. i'll for sure be back.

12/02/2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger momteacherfriend said...

Came by way of Wendy-
I love your blog and will most definately be returning. I have a lot of back posts to read. I have never heard the term "compacting" before but I believe this is what God has been doing in my life the last 9 months. I look forward to hearing more.
Fellow homebirther, breastfeeder, homeschooler, child of the Most High...we have a bit in common. (SMILE)

12/03/2006 6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it up! Knowing that you are doing this, sure helps me when I am "confined" to a strict budget. I am not compacting, but am being extremely consciencious of my purchasing.

From one shopping-loving girl to the next! You can do it!!!! :)


(No late nights at Target!) ;)

12/04/2006 8:05 AM  
Anonymous TheGlannClan said...

I wish I could get to that point. I have always loved living an "earth friendly" life...its difficult since the hubby and I are total opposites. Nevertheless, found an awesome sight for trading books for free to help keep you "in the know" through the compacting. You post what you dont' want anymore and you can have sent what you are interested in!

12/13/2006 2:26 PM  

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