Mention to most people that you bought a wedding dress second-hand, and they think Corpse Bride Halloween costumes. Not me. At 20, I went shopping with my mother in several second-hand shops and found a wedding dress I liked. It fit without alterations. It helps not to be superstitious about such things. A friend one-upped me in practicality, buying a cocktail party dress in her favourite primary colours in a shimmery material. She had her bridesmaids choose single pastel colour dresses they could enjoy again. My friend relived her precious wedding day memories whenever she wore her dress for other occasions.
Doing what you love does map out your path to fulfillment
In my forties, I renewed my devotion to living for less and cutting out extraneous expenses when I switched from office work to full-time writing and editing. Cutting those extras meant more freedom to explore my true passions. When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. Having the time to relax also invited my muse to find me in the quieter moments.
Granted, when you think about living on less to create more time for following your dreams, bargain wedding attire is a one-time saving –– usually. Make changes by looking at little things or daily treats that add up. Brides may want to spend $1,531—the average cost of a wedding dress. On that same Google search list, there were options for bridal wear under $500. A TLC channel program called Say Yes to the Dress flaunts dresses easily equivalent to a house down payment. There are always choices.
Buying stuff doesn’t pave the road to happiness
About those daily treats. A Starbucks Caffè Mocha Grande costs $4.15. The average Canadian hourly earnings (take-home pay) is $19.62-$28.94. If you indulge in a Starbucks treat every working day, that is three-and-a-half to five hours per month of life energy you have depleted for the treat. You may decide it is worth every penny. Full transparency: I don’t drink coffee. I am a writer, so pens and journals are my weakness. We all choose what we spend our life energy on… or do we? Amazon algorithms, Siri, and Alexa are listening and tempting us. I admit I have longingly looked at some of Amazon’s spot-on suggestions, then given my head a shake.
Look at your surroundings. Has your stuff nurtured you, or does dusting, caring, and maintaining those objects soon void their initial satisfaction and drain you? Many studies inform how people become addicted to and distracted by the fleeting dopamine hits of buying something. Not only that, but visual clutter is also an energy vampire interfering with our rest, creative centres, and ability to be in the moment.
About that stuff in your space. Ask yourself if clutter owns you. Peter Walsh, in his book It’s All Too Much, says, “There’s a stuff epidemic,” and Buddha wisely said, “Desire [of the material world] is the root of all suffering.”
It may surprise many people to calculate suffering and contentment in relation to stuff. Now ponder how well Amazon has done during the pandemic. According to Wikipedia, their profits soared 200 percent and the online sales giant hopes pandemic habits will stick. In fact, Amazon’s profits recently tripled.
The more we spend, the more life energy we must expend. While I can suggest making your coffee at home for a fraction of the price, I am looking for a coach to keep me away from Staples. Track your spending for one month and see where you can cut back. We can all buy time to relax by leaving our wallets at home.
Links: Peter Walsh, It’s All Too Much
The TLC channel program Say Yes to the Dress
Learn more about Rusti:
Rusti L Lehay, a global editor and book and writing coach, created over 60 articles guiding writers to authordom. Witnessing writers find and speak in their own voice to serve the real boss, the audience, not the editor, is one of Rusti’s greatest joys. She offers bi-monthly online writing STAY-Treats and monthly lounges and teaches weekly creative writing classes. Her primary mission is to inspire, provide value and make writing fun and easy.
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