As I mentioned last week, I’m now five months into this yearlong ban on both shopping and takeout coffee. Thank you for being forgiving of the one coffee ban slip that occurred in October. You were all right about the fact that it happened absentmindedly, and I’ve tried to remain conscious of that mistake each time I’ve walked into a coffee shop since. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the shopping ban slip that took place a couple weeks ago. Nope, this one was deliberate…
First, some reminders: One month into the shopping ban, the only time I’d really felt the urge to shop and spend money was when I discovered new books I wanted to read. In the past, whenever I wanted a new book, I ordered it from Amazon or bought/downloaded it onto my e-reader. There were no questions asked. If I wanted a book, I bought it right away. So, in the first 31 days, my reaction to discovering new books I wanted was thinking “well, this sucks,” and then hosting a pity party for 1.
Travelling is not glamorous. There are red eye flights where you’re stuck sitting next to babies who kick you every 20 minutes. Layovers. Short layovers where you’re running from one plane to the next. Long layovers where you eat or drink too much. So many layovers. There are cab drivers who scream at you and then share TMI about their personal lives. Clear mornings that turn into rainy afternoons, which you’re not prepared for in canvas shoes. Cold, wet feet. Red noses and cheeks. All the shivers. Wet clothes that start to smell and have to be packed that way. Then there are cabs that charge 2.8x the normal fare during peak hours. Cold, wet feet again, because you didn’t learn your lesson the first time. Flight cancellations. Flight delays. Credit system failures at airports, which make you regret spending your last $5 bill on a mocha versus food. Further flight delays. And there are even days where you don’t eat your first meal until 9 o’clock at night.
I’m now five months into the yearlong shopping ban I started on my birthday (July 7th). Did anyone think I wouldn’t last this long!? You can raise your hand, I won’t be offended. But the good news is I’m 5 months down (or 41.66% complete for you percentage lovers) and am proud to say I haven’t given up – at least, not entirely. I want to update you on both the shopping ban and the takeout coffee ban, but each suffered a minor setback after my last update and they now deserve separate posts of their own. The shopping ban setback was a little more intense, so let’s start with takeout coffee…
So far, the first 30 days of the takeout coffee ban have still proven to be the most difficult. During that time, whenever I felt the desire to go out and get a latte, the ban forced me to say no and, at the same time, recognize what my triggers were. By the 3-month mark, I felt as though I’d figured out what all my coffee habits were and thought I had successfully changed them. When my brain told me to get a latte before heading out to run errands, I told myself no and downed a glass of water before leaving instead. When I saw people pouring out of Starbucks with their red cups in hand, I reminded myself I had delicious beans from one of my favourite coffee shops in Toronto back at home. And when friends asked me out for coffee, I either said no or suggested we do something active instead. It only took 3 months, but I was certain I had kicked my takeout coffee addiction.