Challenge of The Month: Notflix & Chill

Ready to hear about a true miracle? Are you sitting down? *Drumroll......*

I didn't buy any clothes or go thrift shopping in January.

*Applause*

Pourquoi? It was a bit of NY resolution thing to save money, but in general I like to push myself to have less things and mix it up.

So, how'd it go? Well, it was really, really hard! A week of holding back felt like a month, which made the necessity for this challenge seem even more prescient. I realized that not actually buying stuff was easy - it was the ritual of going into the store, assessing what might be nice to have, trying it on, dreaming. That was the hard part to let go of. 

I almost failed, once. I went into a Value Village because I lost my mittens (and figured those were an acceptable exception), but I saw this wild wool cardigan, hanging there, calling my name. I picked it up, carried it around the store while I browsed, and then suddenly I had an armful of things, and of course, hadn't even looked for mittens. I came to, left everything in the shoe section (sorry VV person) and ran outta there like a squirrel scurrying up a tree.

At the end of the month, I felt really satisfied that I actually made it. It was a lovely exercise in minimalism and an interesting way to observe my impulses and habits.

Obviously, on February 1st I ran to the thrift store, got a new blazer (for serious business), and a cool basket (I love baskets!), and a tiny measuring cup (it was so cute!), but since then, I haven't been thinking about thrifting at all. Not bad. Lasting effects? We'll see. 

So, here's the twist. On that same day, Monday, February 1st, I wasted two hours of a beautiful, unseasonably warm afternoon watching the Office, and when I rose from my Netflix paralysis, I felt really disappointed in myself. A walk on the beach would have been so much nicer & relaxing, or even a nap. I recently heard someone refer to TV as a 'pacifier', and I felt like a giant dumb baby.

Boom! And just like that, Challenge of The Month was born.

In with the thrifting, out with the TVing. Each month, I'll be posting about a new personal challenge I'll be putting myself through. You can join in if you want, or just laugh at how weird it is that I love doing things like this. Also, I like food challenges too, but I'm going to keep this non-food related because I think we've all got enough food policing shoved in our faces, and focus on lifestyle habits, and maybe some weird, quirky stuff. We'll see where this goes! Keepin' it Spoiled Rotten.

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February's Challenge:

No Netflix & Chillin' Monday-Thursday.

Bonus Points: Try to watch more documentaries. 

Okay, this is going to be hard. TV can be awesome and addictive, and watching it every night is just a thing we do over here. But, I hate falling asleep in front of the TV, and I think I'd enjoy my lazy Sunday afternoon movie if it felt like a treat, not just another Wednesday night.

And, I guess just a little bit of a side note: I think that sometimes little phrases like "Netflix & Chill" can be so harmful, because the more it's popularized and Instagrammed, the harder it is to limit yourself with it. Kind of like how when I watch Gilmore Girls or 30 Rock I want to eat more cheeseburgers, because they pretty much only eat bad food on those shows. Seeing other people do it gives us permission to do it, too.

 So, don't let a hashtags stop you from taking care of yourself in a proper way. Because cutting down on TV really is about mindful self-care: Reading, Puzzling, Scrabble, Podcasts, Yoga: all things I rarely do in the evening, but are more relaxing & enriching than TV, and plus I'll sleep better by reducing my evening screen time.

Seems worth it to me. Plus, we still get to watch whatever on the weekends. Let's do this! Good luck, and if you have suggestions for future challenges, drop a comment, eh?

#Notflixandchill, spread it around! It's a thing, it's cool.