Reflections on our journey so far

I thought I would share from my view some lessons learned in 2013. I am not one to make new years resolutions, when I do though I try and be honest with myself and keep them realistic + achievable.

Our journey so far has been exciting, as a parent I have enjoyed watching Little Pop face her challenges. Our BNN commitments came about at a time when I was unemployed and Little Pops 21st birthday was approaching. I have always tried hard to encourage Little Pop in her hobbies. We are surrounded by a family of artistic folk. When I was young I wasn’t good at knitting, but my nan (bless her) was so patient with me. She followed the pattern to a T – right down to the last instruction, I would start with 10 stitches and end with 21with a few holes here and there.

During my 50th year (and Littles 21st) I received an early present. With no money for a present, Little Pop handed me a lifeline.
“Mum for my 21st is it ok if you don’t buy me anything, actually I would like me gift to be not buying anything new for a year, in fact I would like my present to be not buying anything new for a year…”
I contemplated this idea in my head over the month leading up t her birthday, I didn’t think it would be too hard seeing as we had no money anyway and what we did have was going towards our mortgage and utility bills, but is it that simple?

We have now been doing BNN for almost eight months. Thankfully during that time I did get employed in full time work. Its not the kind of job I had in mind, but it pays the bills.

Little Pop and I are not saints, there have been occasions when we have slipped and bought new things but they are few and far between. We have definitely bought less in the last 12 months than we would normally, which means less stuff coming into the house and vice-versa. As a whole we have become much more aware of our consumption habits and normally walk away for a bit and have a think before buying – do we really need this? BNN has forced us to be more creative and think outside the box, find new ways of doing things (we loved hard rubbish week because we could go around collecting things we thought would make good raised garden beds, these ranged from pallets to old book shelves)

Gifts have been one of our biggest challenges. Many people although they are supportive of our challenge, are not so supportive when receiving second hand gifts. We try our hardest to please others and have found that giving something edible is often well received. Little Pop LOVES making chutney and jams for others and so far that has been one of our best BNN gifts we’ve come up with.

I have loved the BNN challenge, Little Pop has surprised me over and over again with her creativity. We have had many insightful conversations about how consumerism is played into you from such an early age through the media and making the conscious decision to go the other way by not buying into it has given us more time to enjoy experiences together which make us happy for much longer than any material item could.

we have done a lot of decluttering so far and I bite my lip at times when I see things she begged for being given away, but I also don’t see her asking for anything else. I also understand that if we hold on to everything we have we’d become hoarders, sometimes it’s better to just let go. I am very proud of Little Pop and what we have achieved as a team over the past eight months

We have a few projects on the go at the moment, we are cleaning out the third bedroom (formally the ‘stuff’ room… I’m not joking you couldn’t even get in there. We can see the floor now though!), I hope to turn it into a craft room where we can relax and enjoy our hobbies. We purchased a bulk lot of crates at the recycling centre and Are turning them into an outdoor lounge which we will share with you when it’s finished.

Do you have any good recycling projects going at the moment? We love hearing up-cycling stories for the garden, ours is small and we like to maximise it’s space.

Hugs and honey,

Big Pop 🙂

xx

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Update on the book situation!

Just a quick post from me today.

This afternoon I went and dropped a selected few books off at the Little Library Melbourne Central to see how successful my book sharing mission will be. So I dropped off 14 books – when I came back to get on the train home, half of them had gone! I don’t know why, but this made me really happy to think I was sharing my love of reading with my fellow book lovers out there. I know I will never meet the people who have taken the books but I do hope they bring as much joy to their new owners as they did to me 🙂

Before

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After

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I’m sure I will be doing a few book dropoffs during BNN, especially because of the smile it bought to my face 🙂

Little Pop