I am happy to report a successful New Year Resolution. As we come to the end of 2020, I look back on a resolution made for New Year 2019 and the outcome.
I Made A Successful New Year Resolution
Drifting Into A Resolution
I am not a great one for New Year resolutions. Yes, in the past I have started diets or resolved to study some new skill. As with most resolutions after an initial six weeks of effort the determination starts to fade and almost without realising it I slip back into old habits.
But not this last year. Unfortunately assisted by the COVID-19 pandemic and various lockdowns I managed to make a change and stick to it. I sort of drifted into it though, it was an idea that took shape in November 2019 and I just went with it. I can’t say I sat and said, ‘this is my New Year resolution’. Perhaps that is why it worked?
What Was The Resolution?
In 2020, not to buy any clothing or shoes unless absolutely necessary and no new plants for the garden.
I have lots of clothes. These includes business outfits that I haven’t worn since I closed my business over three years ago. Italian markets are a big temptation with a great range of light summer clothing or winter woollies at cheap prices. Plus scarves – I have a large scarf collection. Then of course my shopping trips in the UK with my Mum. Inevitably we end up trying on and buying clothes.
I realised I had enough clothes to last me a life time! I even have some light, floaty summer tops I bought in the market that I have yet to wear. I don’t need to buy clothes.
It is true that my shoe collection has diminished, largely owing to problems caused by Fibromyalgia and arthritis. Problems with my feet mean that these days my shoes have gone from pretty to practical. You would not believe the problems I have trying to find shoes I can actually walk in. The last footwear I bought was in 2019 when I found a fabulous pair of flattish winter ankle boots that had two zips and a flexible ankle area – just bliss!
Funnily enough, summer sandals are where I nearly weakened with my resolution. I have had to wear a form of flip flop sandal for several years (again owing to problems with my feet). I live in them from May to end of September. Give or take the odd rainy day! I thought I needed to buy some more but then opened a bag and found two pairs that I had stashed for future use. Phew! So I don’t need to buy shoes.
Clothing Purchases Of Necessity
I never thought I would be saying this but, thanks to COVID, masks had to be purchased! Although we initially bought some disposable surgical masks we quickly switched to re-usable ones which are much more environmentally friendly.
Again owing to my illness some changes were necessary in my underwear – to be precise I needed some new bras. I developed a type of allergy to the lace on some of them (think itching). I also have a lot of problems with my ribs and sometimes a bra would feel as if I was wearing a tight painful band. I switched to a crop top style which have been a revelation.
As winter approached socks also turned out to be an issue. Again, thanks to my illness, I need to make sure my feet are kept warm at all times. So I invested in four pairs of thermal socks.
This year I have not bought a single plant for my garden. I would normally buy geraniums in the spring for example and various bedding plants. Not this year. This year I have focused on my existing succulents and propagating them. I have written several blogs about my succulents including repurposing a bedside cabinet as a succulent display.
I currently have several hundred succulents in pots waiting to be put out in the spring. I have managed to use existing plant pots as well as yoghurt pots for starting new plants. The only expenditure has been on some gritty succulent compost to mix in with soil from our compost bins.
I have also taken cuttings of other plants and we will see how successful that is in the spring. My irises were divided and spread around. If the porcupines don’t eat them all we should see the benefits of that in a year or so.
Although I have managed not to purchase clothing, shoes or plants of course I have bought other things during the year. A couple of reference books for example. My laptop developed a huge problem and I had to buy a new one. I treated myself to a Wacom tablet so that I could further develop the digital side of my artwork given I can’t go and take lots of photos. But other than that, I have kept expenditure to a minimum. At my age I don’t need more stuff!
A successful New Year resolution that has saved me a lot of money. And given me a new appreciation for what I already have. A measure of success, I guess, is whether I will continue with this into 2021. And I see no reason why not!
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!