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Friday, June 15, 2012

frugal friday:wants and needs

I am working on a cognitive retraining project.

Tuesday, lying in the dentist's chair during a cleaning, I drifted off into mentally packing my luggage for the upcoming Trip To France. I'm hoping to take just one small carry-on, since I hate dealing with luggage on trains and such. Minou and the boys are leaving one week ahead and are planning to check a bag, so they are in charge of transporting gifts. If I can pack lightly, everything should fit into one shoulder bag and I'll be able to help my mom with her luggage during the few days we travel together to Brittany.

The last two times I went to France, my wardrobe shifted from my usual home "uniform" of jeans or workout clothing. First, it's hot where my mother-in-law and sister-in-law live. Second, people are much more fashion conscious and tend to dress up more than in my small city. I kind of enjoy this, especially when on vacation. I found myself wearing skirts and dresses a lot more than I do at home (also thanks to my sister-in-law M1, who has exquisite taste and enjoyed sorting her closet and generously passing on discarded items, though what is roomy on her is form-fitting on me) . However, I find pants more comfortable for airplane trips. I don't want to take jeans--too hot and bulky. I have two pairs of black pants for work, but both are long, plus if I'm not at work, I don't want to see them (you know how it is with uniforms).

For a minute, I thought "I need to get a new pair of black capri pants". The thought instantly evoked anxiety and a chain of associated nervous thoughts. Likely they would cost under $20, but...the dog just went to the vet for an eye infection, leading to an unexpected bill. Our clothing budget is $25 a month for the four of us (technically), so if I buy pants, it empties coffers needed for my rapidly growing sons (p'tit minou un grew almost two inches in the last few months). Plus I hate, hate, hate with a passion going to the mall or big box stores, but don't have much time to do the thrift store rounds in the next week and a half. And I am really trying to only use the car when I have to, so when and where could I bike to the store...

Mental noise. I stopped myself. What is the point of all this stress? It's silly.

I do not need a new pair of black capri pants (or any other item of clothing). I have enough clothing to cover myself, even if it is not just exactly what I am wishing for. I know that more fashionable minimalists might find this unacceptable, and as things wear out I will replace them with functionable, fitting, interchangable items, but might it not be a good reality check to practice making do with what I have? Yes, I think so too.

Source: google images retrieved from
necessary? no.

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