Pledge: No Spending until January 2021?

Could you? Me, maybe.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

My kids always say, mommy when you say maybe, it means yes. Otherwise, you would say no! Well…

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and was thinking about whether it would be possible? Whether I’ll be able to make it? Not spending any money on anything other than food and essentials until January 2021? With that, I mean new clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, a new car?

I guess it depends where you are in life and what matters to you? With so many people being laid off at jobs that they thought would be around forever and suddenly finding themselves in a financial crisis. I guess it may just bring more stress when you’re already knee-deep in a crisis, but what if you’ve been moderately good at handling your finances up to now. Would you be able to go without buying anything until January 2021?

How much do you think 3.5 months of no spending could save you? Maybe $1000? Or maybe more? With the pandemic and restaurants and coffee shops being closed all this while, I saved quite a bit of money on eating out. Now that restaurants are open again I see a lot of people rushing back like they don’t know how they managed without it for so long. But you did?

I know it may be easier for some, but not others. I have 2 boys aged 9 and almost 11 and they may need some new clothes as the weather changes and summer comes to the southern hemisphere. It can be a scorcher! Then there is Christmas in between and you may need to buy some Christmas presents. 
What if this year we tried something different? You bring yourself as the gift, literally! Or figuratively (thank God)!

Photo by Phil Coffman on Unsplash

Maybe you plan an elaborate outdoor picnic and everybody brings something that they already have in their house or garden. It may be time to learn how to make peach jam. I love hiking, so I am already thinking of a drive out to a nearby hiking trail and bringing everyone along, including those who said they weren’t into hiking.

I love reading and might donate a few books. Not everyone may like Sidney Sheldon’s Rage of Angels or Ryan Holiday’s Stillness is the Key, and it could just collect dust on a shelve, who knows. It may just ignite a small spark, and more people may want to do it. The nice thing about all this is that someone is really getting to know you. What you like and dislike. How you prefer to spend your time. And you are getting to know them.

This is definitely more intimate than picking something off the shelf at Makro (our big retailer) and getting it wrapped in store. What people miss is closeness. Feelings are so important. We think we know what people are going through, but one has no idea.

I guess Christmas is just too far away to spend any brainpower on it right now. You can start by just planning a few weeks ahead. Is there something materially that you absolutely have to have?

I have a closet of high heels that I have not worn since March. I have a closet full of clothes that I never needed once during the lockdown. They are still good for another season or so.

We don’t need much. Let’s see how this pans out. I’m excited.

What Has Social Media Done For You?

Great, I’m happy for you. For me, not so much.

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Except disturb my sleep. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with social media from the beginning. I wrote about it a while ago, (almost 3 years ago) about being Peacefully Offline. I really meant it back then. I’ve been off Facebook for a few years now, I don’t miss it.

I started up Twitter again a while ago because I wanted to promote my writing, my blog and my administrative consulting business. It is all good and well, but what do you have to trade for it? Just a small piece of your soul.

Last night I was scrolling through Twitter and I must have hovered for too long because this video started playing. It was of an amputee shoved out of his wheelchair and another man slamming the wheelchair on the ground trying to break it. This was footage of the protest actions that have been going on for the last few months in the USA. The poor amputee was trying to get away on one leg and the guy came running after him. I didn’t want to see any more and quickly clicked away.

The damage was done. I couldn’t sleep. The graphic memory stayed with me, I can still see it so vividly. Of course, we can’t be naïve and make as if it doesn’t exist, but when you watch the news and social media on a daily basis, that is what you are going to get. Don’t even get started on the comments. The social media celebrities with a few hundred thousand followers cannot say anything without being attacked.

“It’s a beautiful day today.”

Comment 1: Yeah, right. Says he that’s got everything going for him. Thumbs down brother!

Comment 2: Well, I’m in Eastern Europe and the sun rarely comes out here and that’s all your fault!

And on and on.

Then there is Money Twitter. If you don’t have a Gumroad course to sell, you haven’t made it yet. People showing just how much they’ve made in sales and forex trading. To each their own.

It is perfectly fine to celebrate your wins, but it makes everyone else feel like losers. Well, they shouldn’t be so sensitive either, someone would comment. I wrote 2 ebooks and promoted them on Gumroad and Twitter. I was part of the gang now. I made exactly $50. It is still my pinned tweet and I will probably give those books away for free soon.

My biggest reward is when only one person can gets helped. The best feeling is when someone digs up a post from 2018 and writes a small note to say thank you, reading that post has just made their day.

I would rather have 100 true fans only, on any platform.

We keep talking about how little time we all have. Don’t spend all your time and mental energy on such trivial things.

Naval said the internet gives you infinite leverage. He was right. You can now connect with people all over the world that previously would not be possible unless you were physically introduced to them. People all over the world can read your writing. You can be commissioned for jobs. Others can learn from you.

All that is wonderful, as long as you don’t give away a piece of your soul in return.

Just Be Kind

Everyone is fighting a silent battle you know nothing about, just be kind.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I know it’s hard, especially if you’re a talker. Perhaps you’re an extrovert and generally outgoing and jolly. You want people around you to know it. You find yourself around the dinner table with a few others and someone talks about something that happened to them.

Their dog swallowed a bone and needed surgery and it’s costing a fortune. You say, well, you should’ve thought about that before you decided to get a dog!

Excuse me. The words are out before you can stop them. It happens. More often than not. Next time, can you just think before you speak.

With the morbidity of job losses, financial ruin, cancer, failed businesses, rather just err on the side of caution and be kind.

Chadwick Boseman was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago. He was fighting a silent battle. He is one famous example, but there are many others, less famous, who will never make the papers. You only hear about it when it’s too late. People don’t want to burden you.

They walk around with a smile on their face and a silent burden in their hearts. You will never know.

Live like it may be your last day. Be kind.

To everyone. It may be the last time you see or talk to someone today.

I know, I know, I know that this is easier said than done. You wake up late, your alarm clock didn’t go off. No time for breakfast, rushing to make it to the office, or to the Zoom meeting that started 5 mins ago.

To some people, it comes naturally, but to the majority of us, we need to actively pursue kindness throughout the day. Set yourself a reminder on your phone. Whatever it takes. Just do it.

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Life is short.

Here are some useful habits that will make someone’s day and yours.

1. Live every day like it may be your last.

2. Spend time with your loved ones.

3. Tell them you love them.

4. Where you are, be there

5. Surprise someone

6. Call your parents.

7. hugs often

8. Send flowers

9. Journal

10. Be Still

You don’t have to do many things. You don’t have to do expensive things. Just your presence alone can make someone’s day.

We want 2020 to be over. Well, it’s 4 months away now. What do you have to show for the last 8 months? The pandemic. Yes, that one we all have in common. How did you use your time?

Quick question.

Do you know of anyone close to you who were here at the beginning of 2020 who isn’t with us anymore? I do.

Life is short.

It’s time to make a difference.

It’s time to take up new habits.

It’s time to change your lifestyle.

Time is our most valuable resource. Start living a life where you won’t waste another minute. Start making changes today that your future self will thank you for.

It’s not too late.

Just start.