Katy McKenna Raymond  
Personal blog of christian writer Katy McKenna Raymond in Kansas City, Missouri

Personal blog of christian
writer & fallible mom
Katy McKenna Raymond
in Kansas City, Missouri

Katy is represented by
Greg Johnson at
WordServe Literary

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One Thing Really Does Lead To Another

So I got all the way through No-Spend January with only one short stop-off at HyVee, where they were practically giving away several loss leaders one day and I ended up spending $90. Other than that, nobody got any of my money during the entire month.

It’s the only New Year’s Resolution I made, and even it wasn’t intended to last a year. It was truly meant to be a New Month’s Resolution, which I find I’m much more likely to keep if only because I see the light at the end of the tunnel—-and some money at the end of my month.

Now I’ve decided to extend my no-spending trend into February, because honestly, why NOT? Is there anything I desperately need out there in the land of big screens and iPhones and appliances and purses and cars? Sometimes, I do have a genuine need, but this is not one of those times. So what’s with the chronic shopping in the absence of need?

If I’m bored or in it for the thrill of the hunt, well, I need to get over myself. I’ve decided that I do not want to get to the end of my life and be reduced to bragging to the Lord how I got my last pair of jeans on the 80% off clearance rack at Kohl’s and then had a 30% off coupon to make them even cheaper. It would be especially egregious, I imagine, if I also felt compelled to say to Him, “You could have waited to call me home until I got the chance to use my ‘$10 for Every $50 You Spend!’ coupons, since you and I both know it’s like getting paid to shop!”

The Lord has better plans for me, and I intend to pursue them. The first step is to ditch a bunch of stuff that currently occupies my thoughts, emotions, strength, and time. Unimportant stuff. Frivolous nonsense. Drama, dare I say it? There, I said it.

I’ve already decided that this year, I’m not watching American Idol. I have LOVED this show, and especially all the lessons I’ve learned from deluded contestants and applied to my own creative endeavors. But after watching every season thus far, I think I’ve gotten enough take-away to, well, take it away. I recently realized that I could not remember who last season’s winner was, and if that’s true, how invested was I in this show, anyway? Evidently, not invested enough to warrant spending umpteen hours per week watching it for yet another season.

I’ve also decided to give online news sites and talk radio a break. I only listen to the radio when I’m in the car, which isn’t that much, but you know what? I need to either find a music station that really makes me happy, or listen to French instruction CDs, or listen to books on tape. Or—-and here’s a concept I manage to avoid whenever possible—-drive in SILENCE.

Kind of scary for me, the whole “being alone with my own thoughts” thing. But, who knows? It could happen.

Finally (and remember, these are just February’s challenges I’m talking about…..), I am celebrating FINALLY getting my thyroid and hormone situation turned around by committing to a grain-free diet. I’ve been sugar-free since Feb, 2000 (Happy 11-Year Atkinsversary to Me!), and losing the sugar was the single best health decision I’ve ever managed to stick to.

But my thyroid problems over the past 1.5 years caused me an untenable weight gain, that did not stabilize until the day I switched from synthetic thyroid meds (which I’d taken for 17 years) to natural desiccated thyroid. For two months, my weight has stayed the same, and now it’s time to LOSE IT, baby!

I love Mark Sisson, who wrote The Primal Blueprint and who blogss at http://www.marksdailyapple.com. His philosophies are blessedly close to those of Dr. Atkins, with added emphasis on a fun-exercise way-of-life that I really need to add to my plan.

So this is what staying out of the stores in January leads to! Several more resolutions, all of which I feel are doable because of the success of one little January pledge.

If you’re looking down the barrel at some big changes in your life that you KNOW need to happen, think about making one small change first. It just might give you the boost you need to go forward with the more difficult challenge. At least, that’s what is true for me.

The huge plus to all of this is that I am finding time to write that I did not believe I had. I blamed The Moms and my year-long (truly debilitating) illness for robbing me, but there’s a good chance that the so-called stress relievers of shopping and Idol watching and news junkieism were the ultimate thieves.

Time to unload the excuses and make something of the rest of this, my one and only life.

Posted by Katy on 02/01/11 at 09:49 AM
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