7.28.2010

The Summer of Self Improvement -- A Little Detox...

really lovely painted rocks + driftwood via anica (because if I'm not buying anything, I'll most definitely be paining rocks...)

So in an attempt to take my “summer of self-improvement” beyond creative pursuits, I’ve decided to do a little detox of sorts for the month of August. Specifically, I’m going to cut out all sugar, alcohol and non-essential shopping for the next 30 days…

(I’m going with the proclamation up front here, long-winded explanation to follow…just to mix things up a bit. I’m living on the edge friends.)

The mid-year mini spending hiatus has actually been brewing for a while... Back in the spring, I read Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man and was not only in complete awe of how spartan Beavan was willing to go but also incredibly inspired by how much his drastically non-consumer life increased his day-to-day happiness. New shoes notwithstanding, this is something that surfaces for me every time I embark on a spending hiatus of any length – that feeling of contentment that comes when I’m living in a more mindful way, buying only what’s truly necessary for survival. It’s even a little bit of a rush.

But then there’s also some practical motivation behind a late summer shopping freeze -- the unfathomable amount of kid detritus lurking of late in girlies rooms or "the bottomless pits of stuff." Seriously friends, where do all these things come from? It’s like a Mt. Vesuvius of toys and tchotchkes and little plastic bits….totally overwhelming, but also motivating.

So in an attempt to (re)tap into my inner “voluntary simplicity” and help tackle the mounds of…well, crap taking over my house, I’m in hiatus-land for the next 30 days.

And because it’s more fun if you make these things as hard as humanly possible, I’m also doing the no sugar and no alcohol thing for the same period. Yes, it’s possible that I might be a little crazy, but I promise there’s a method to my madness. See if I’m going to do a spending hiatus then I can’t buy any new jeans, and all the ones I currently own are, let’s just say, snug due to a steady summer diet of gelato and margaritas. Makes perfect sense, right?

So here we go -- no sugar, no alcohol, no unnecessary purchases...for the month of August.

I’m not even going to ask if anyone is in with me, I like you guys too much.

45 comments:

Pretty Mommy said...

I'm so feeling the same thing!! The kid crap is out of control (am preparing to banish a lot to the basement tomorrow)..trying to cut out sugar, but am enjoying alcohol before if/when baby no 2 happens??
xoxo

brooke said...

I just did a month of no alcohol in June. It was tough at first, but was pretty easy to get through! Good luck!

Flora said...

I admire you for doing this, Joslyn. I don't drink alcohol, am vegan and eats healthy food but do have some sugar cravings and fulfill them more often than I would like to :)
I read a great French book called 'the art of simplicity' and although my absolute ideal would go beyond what the author says, I would be happy to be where she is now. Good luck! I am with you. I will try something like that in the future, but one thing at a time: for now we are moving!

stephanie said...

What a great plan! I'm kind of on an unexpected spending hiatus and I've cut out booze for a few weeks to help improve my mood and mind. Good luck and I look forward to some updates!

Stephanie said...

I'll join you for the month long spending hiatus. As for the sugar and the alcohol... well, let's just say it's my birthday month and I'll be having some wine (and margaritas) and cake to celebrate. =)

Anne Living Life said...

I just finished a two-week no sugar cleanse. I also avoided alcohol. The first three days were hard but after that it wasn't bad. Plus I felt so great it made me want to continue. Clearer skin and more energy were just a few of perks. Good luck!

Joslyn said...

stephanie -- yay! so much more fun to do this with cohorts!

anne -- good to know...i'm definitely aiming for more energy here (and better skin wouldn't be bad either!)

Elysa said...

is it bad that i want to do this but it also makes me want to rush out and buy tons of clothes before the month is over?!

i saw something really fun on the pioneer woman blog...she was cleaning out her closet and gave away 10 items, one a day, to people who commented on her blog. might be a fun way to purge some of your stuff or the kiddos stuff!

Joslyn said...

elysa -- i LOVE that idea. l.o.v.e.

hmm...stay tuned for a giveaway.

Ana Degenaar said...

I actually started detox on Monday, that day and yesterday I was grumpy as heck, today I'm feeling much, much better, it is amazing what less sugar, coffee and wine can do to one's life. I'm with you!
xo

Laura_theSCOOP said...

Way to go Joslyn! Just as long as you don't have to give up coffee, too...you're only human, right?!

You'll do great!

cupcake monkey said...

I think I can handle the spending freeze, but definitely not the sugar and booze!! I like wine and peach cobbler a little too much! :)

Barchbo said...

I am pregnant, have gestational diabetes, and haven't bought cute non-pregnant clothes in about 7 months - so, I am there!

Of course, your choice is much more wholesome and selfless than mine! Good luck - look forward to reading about it. I recommend Blue Bell sugar-free popsicles if you need a sugar fix. They are delicious!

jora said...

you go, girl. someday i promise to join you. :-)

casey said...

i am joining you on this spending hiatus. i'm in the process of packing my house to move across the country next month and it's absurd the amount of stuff i'm unearthing. i think i'll need the wine to get me through the packing though.

Carolyn said...

I will join you too. My life has been hectic lately, I feel I need a cleanse. I will do what you are doing but add Diet Coke/Soda to the list, I barely drink so alcohol won't be difficult for me.

-Carolyn

justjenn said...

Here is a blog from an old co-worker of mine to help give you inspiration. www.rowdykittens.com.
I'm amazed at what people can live without and the whole movement for simplicity. She's amazing!

MemeGRL said...

Totally impressed you are tackling this in August! Any two, i could see, but all three--tres hard core! Good luck to you...I'll see you on the next spending hiatus!

(We have gone on a souvenir hiatus...the older boy, specifically, actually said, "There's no point in going (to the zoo, aquarium, museum, etc.) if you don't buy me something!" THAT brought me up short and we went away from gift shops cold turkey. He's getting over it.

Sarah Bradley said...

I think it's great Joslyn. Wishing you the best of luck!

Simply Mel said...

If it were another month, I would raise my hand and pledge to all three, but we are visiting family for 3 weeks of August, and a daily dose of wine is a survival tool!

Jesselyn said...

I am going to be in NYC for a week this month so unfortunately a spending hiatus would be bad (or good) for me. For Sept. Probably. Good luck!

Deborah said...

I'm with you!! what a lovely inspiring posts. I did so identify with it. Bring it ON!

Deb

Kate Smith said...

Awesome goals! I'll check in to see your progress! I'm seeing family until mid-August, so after then I'll join in - I'll be giving up the spending (already light spender), sugar, and Diet Coke. Already off the alcohol-my post baby metabolism hates it for some reason. It's that Diet Coke that's going to be the tough one!

style'n said...

good luck girl! but august-oh that's the best month to do some fall shopping :)
naina

Kaylovesvintage said...

sounds good , guess I should join you

Johanna said...

Good luck! I'm up for a challenge, although a spending hiatus is kind of the story of my life, unfortunately! ;) Sugar, on the other hand, that would be a toughie. I think I should give it a try!

Anonymous said...

Can I be honest? Your blog is all about THINGS, so your spending freezes seem to send a mixed message, as if you are conflicted about materialism and simplicity. Just how it looks from here! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm in! I've spent the past few weeks purging our home of "stuff" and I'm almost ashamed at the amount of unused overstocked inventory of everything we have tucked into closets. It feels so good to donate and recycle and ebay this mass of things.
I still have work to do-more closets, a two car garage and a huge attic to cleanse.
I do not drink much alcohol, but I think cutting it out along with sugar will round out this purge. I'll get out my Breville and make some yummy juices instead of cocktails. Cheers!

Joslyn said...

anon #1

yep! you hit it...sort of ;-)

i'd like to think that my blog is more than just about things (all caps) though. It’s also about family and the pursuit of creativity and what inspires me and others.

But it’s also about things ;-) and yes, that is a major struggle for me – my love of beautiful, well-made things (i.e. those shoes I just bought) and my desire to live simply and mindfully and keep my consumption in check.

For me, the little spending hiatuses are a sort of “consumption time-out”… a way to take stock and be more appreciative of what I have and what I will eventually buy.

Stephanie said...

joslyn,
your blog inspires me to live more consciously. just wanted you to know. =)

Joslyn said...

thanks stephanie!

Michelle said...

Girlfriend! I love when you do these things, if I were not on the Paleo diet right now, which is pretty much the same, I would say I was with you. I am sending you virtual good luck hug!

rikshaw design said...

holy hell! i am so on board with you on the detox food binge but NO ALCOHOL?? not sure i can cope with that one during the summer months..proud of you you are a very STRONG woman!

Good + Happy Day said...

I am so with you! We've been bleeding money all summer and I am ready to stop the madness. I'm pregnant, so the alcohol has been out for a while and I've been eating healthier than usual, but the spending is where I need to be more mindful. As for kid stuff, I marvel at how much stuff my girls manage to sneak past me and get into their rooms... it's like the whole world is conspiring to keep me from making their little world simple and clutter-free. Their latest love is of course those silly bands that are now everywhere and those little animal-shaped Japanese erasers... cute but annoying! Finally, like you I am so torn between loving looking at lovely things, having lovely things, appreciating lovely things and also not needing or wanting any of them! It's something I think about a lot... Good luck!

Janice MacLeod said...

There must be something in the air. I've been cleaning out closets like I'm looking for loot. It's great to have space again. Best. Feeling. Ever.

iheartkiwi said...

i hear you lady. i've had house guests off and on all summer and indulgence has been the name of the game. i'm in serious need of a detox!

Sarah Smith said...

I love detoxes like this! I'm currently on a no-gluten kick. :) Good luck!

Stephanie said...

um, after last night's lovely gorge on a pint of ben and jerry's key lime pie, i am ready to join you in the "sans sugar" part of your hiatus. i will have one small piece of cake on my birthday.

did i mention i have a stomach ache 12 hours later? and yes, i ate the entire pint. =(

Gabrielle said...

I love when you make plans like this! You are so inspiring.

Rebecca said...

go get 'em...and thanks for lacing your post with inspiration...i'm on a spending hiatus as well...my first one ever!

good luck
rebecca

Cassie said...

I'm in! We'll see how it goes.

J said...

Wish you the best with your "summer of improvement"! I'm also trying to cut sugar out of my diet. It's been rough, to say the least!

melissanearandfar said...

I tried this past weekend to join your summer detox in solidarity, but I couldn't make it through one day without sugar. I think I might have an addiction.

Hope you're having better luck than I am.

Also, I wanted to say that I think being mindful about buying things you love, as opposed to making impulsive purchases, is a way of embracing simplicity (you end up not having to replace something when it's not quite right, because you get it right the first time), even though it may look like materialism.

I applaud your thoughtful dialogue on consumption, and on beautiful things generally. It's why I keep coming back to read your posts and look at the images of things you've come across.

Stephanie said...

it's really hard to stay on the spending hiatus (hello? this is only day FIVE!) when jeffery campbell's (my favorite sandals!) go on sale on gilt. just sayin'! maybe i can somehow block gilt's emails for the month of august?????

Joslyn said...

stephanie -- ooh yes gilt...so tempting!!!