Jun 28, 2010

One Little Purple Armband and the Gateway Drugs for a Budding Minimalist

Here in Omaha we have been in the throes of College World Series fever for the past few weeks.

It starts about five days before the games as the teams show up, the vendors set up shop, and our little downtown area goes bonkers – people running everywhere, overcrowded bars, and team flags flying from the apartment windows.

It’s a great time for college baseball fans – the best eight teams in the country head to a seemingly small town {we’re just under a million strong in reality – not so small after all!} and stare in wonder as the entire city embraces the sport, the fans, and the teams. Native Omahans pick teams to cheer for on a game-to-game basis, and the entire city caters to the fans.

Plus, there’s all the stuff you can buy. Which, for a brand new minimalist … let’s just say it can be a challenge.

Take last Friday’s game. TCU had been making a very serious under-dog run for the title, and more and more people were getting behind them. My husband and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the first game of the series, where TCU’s star pitcher threw an incredible game. We had tickets to the Friday afternoon game as well, with hopes of seeing the same young kid pitch his team to a victory**

The morning of the game I realized I had nothing purple to wear! I wear mostly black, grey, teal and lime green, and I wanted to support the underdog in a ridiculous way. Scrambling through my yarn stash I couldn’t even find a decent ball of purple wool to bring with!

Without a thought, I turned to my husband as we were out the door to head to work and said, “I think I’ll just pick up a purple armband at the game, so I can show my TCU support.”

Do you see that? Do you see the rookie mistake? My first thought was not “ah, well – I’ll cheer loud enough they’ll know who I’m supporting” or even “at least I’m not wearing UCLA colors!” but Hey, let’s buy something! How very non-minimalist of me!

I’ll go on record and say I did NOT end up getting the purple arm band. It would have been hot and sweaty on my arm, I would have just tossed it into my bag, and in six months it would have been placed in the donation bin.

The game was wonderful despite my lack of purple, and I didn’t think twice about it afterward. For a budding minimalist, its little moments like that one last Friday morning that make or break you. It’s easy to fall back into old patterns of quick and impulse purchases, but these are exactly the purchases that fill our homes with junk and deplete our wallets of the money that could be helping us fund our dreams!

I’m proud I stopped myself this time, and know it will make me more aware the next time I want to shop without thinking. What are the little impulse purchases you find yourself making that you could cut out of your days – the stuff you don’t really need that is keeping you from taking that one extra minimalist step?

** We cheered TCU on to victory on Friday, but they were unable to continue the wins on Saturday, and left before they could make it to the final games. Bummer.

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