Acts N° 25 & 26 (2017): Stuff & Grateful

Hello everyone. I hope things are going well for you in your corner of the world. We are a little bit sad/angry/confused/worried because of the final commencement of Britain leaving the EU (I hate the term “Brexit”, although it is a convenient short form). I have never believed it was the right thing for Britain, and I certainly don’t believe it will be beneficial for us as British citizens living in France, or for EU citizens living & working in Britain However, the process has been started and there’s not a lot I can do about it (although I have been signing various petitions.) This is not a political blog though, so if you disagree with me, that’s fine: disagree. But we don’t need to argue about it.

Let’s look at yesterday’s challenge: ACT N°25 :: STUFF

Hands up if you buy and hold on to things that you don’t use, when they could be just what someone else needs. Give your wardrobe, garage, or loft an overhaul.

Put a Post-it note in your wallet/purse that says ‘Do I really need this?’ If you don’t, put it down and put the money you were going to spend to better use (maybe in a future challenge).

If you’re buying something new, make the purchase more meaningful. What it’s going to replace? What are you going to do with the old item instead? Who could it be of use to?

Assess your stuff. What do you really need? What can you give away? Are there hoarding habits that need to be changed? You can use Freecycle/Gumtree/foodbanks/charity/buy-swap-share to move your things to people who might make better use of them.

And the meditation can be read over here

This challenge seemed to speak to many people, judging by the FB comments, and to me as well. I do have a tendency to buy Stuff I don’t need – especially clothes, and I had been considering buying a top that I’d seen and liked. But I don’t need another top. I have many, many tops. So I pushed that consideration out of my brain. I am generally quite good at resisting temptation to buy clothes, usually with the mantra “Top…hole in head” to remind myself I need a new top like I need a hole in the head, but then, sometimes, I crack, and buy it anyway. Well, today was the day I wasn’t going to buy the top!

We have way too many books (is that possible?!) so I wrapped three up in plastic, in case it rained, added a note, and took them to Roanne to leave on benches around the port, where lots of narrowboats/barges tie up. There are several Anglophone boats there, so I thought they would be found & enjoyed. I also popped in some English “Ninja notes”. I took some French “Ninja notes” as well, to leave around the Port. Here they are, ready to go:

I had a couple of pairs of trousers, all packaged up in a bag, ready to go to the white “Relais” charity bin too, but I’d never quite got round to it. So I rooted through the wardrobe, and found a pair of brand new, bought-on-impulse, didn’t fit me trousers that I’d been planning on selling (but not done anything about) plus a pullover and a long sleeved T-shirt, which I bagged up too, to take for the Relais bin.

Jasper (ICOT) checks the quality of the bag.

Sadly, I rather let the side down by then going to Noz, because my student had cancelled, but I’d forgotten, so I had 2 hours to kill, and I spent money. But in my defence it was mostly on cat food, beer and cereal which we needed (well, OK, we didn’t need the beer!) But also on some other groceries, some pretty notecards, which are going to be useful for today’s challenge, a few craft items and a folder for work. So while I didn’t buy things which were strictly necessary, they were things which will be useful!

However, I will try to consider my spending more carefully – I am not a real impulse buyer, but I do buy more things than I need, so while I don’t think I could manage a year (or even a month’s) spending ban, I will try to buy things more mindfully in future. Maybe adopt a “one in, one out” policy – if I buy an item for my wardrobe, I must donate one to a charity shop. That way I will be more sensible AND I won’t fill the wardrobe to bursting point!


Taking people for granted. It’s an easy trap to fall into, even if we think we’re genuinely decent people. Gratitude takes effort. It takes remembering. It takes serious, considered, wonder-centered thankfulness.

Write down a number of people from your past who’ve supported and helped you. Commit to contacting each, to tell them ‘thank you’. P.S. Not all in one day!

Write a letter thanking someone. This might not be the easiest thing for a lot of us. If you’re not prone to cracking out the fountain pen and writing paper, you can write a well-composed Facebook message – and sometimes, a few well-chosen words can mean more than a page of prose.

How about thanking someone who doesn’t usually get thanked in person: your bus driver, the local postman, the colleague who always puts on a fresh pot of coffee or empties the dishwasher. Appreciating these people will add a whole ton of value to their day, and being thankful is a great way to begin your week.

And the meditation is here

I had started this well before Lent, with some beautiful postcards that I had been given, sending out two or three a week, but because of time, and getting involved in other 40 Acts, I have let this slip. With the notecards that I bought yesterday, plus other cards, I will take up my pen and write again at the weekend. I have had lovely emails back from people that I’ve written to, so I know that they are appreciated – it’s just getting round to it. Which is always my problem!

I will also take some biscuits to the Post Office (probably when I take the letters in to send!) to share with all the postal workers.


3 thoughts on “Acts N° 25 & 26 (2017): Stuff & Grateful

  1. Oooh, does it count if you have two bags to go somewhere that have been blocking side of bedroom for weeks now? Seems like a bit of a cheat to save up such acts, even through sheer inefficiency, and then use them in Lent!!

  2. I decided at the end of last year that this is going to be my “year of non-acquisition.” I have everything in terms of “hard goods” – clothes, tools, tack, etc. – so I am only buying clothes and other consumables this year. So far, so good. Now I need to move on to the next step, and work harder at getting RID of stuff!

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