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Nothing New 2020: 1 month update

I've made it through the first month of my thrifty New Year's resolution.

I have completed the first month of my Nothing New challenge for 2020. My goal this year is to highlight the abundance that exists all around, and to prove to myself and others that it is possible to dress well, be entertained, decorate a house, practice sports, and give gifts without using virgin resources. This post is an update on how that challenge is going.

So far, it's gone well. At the start of January, I had to deal with intense disappointment at not being able to buy a pair of Blundstone boots, which I've wanted for several years and have been saving to purchase, but realized they wouldn't fit into my Nothing New criteria. I've been looking online for a used pair, but have been unable to find them yet in my size.

There was one day that I had an intense urge to shop for some basic, capsule wardrobe-type pieces, after watching several YouTube videos by slow fashion blogger Alyssa Beltempo. So I walked to the nearby thrift store, spent a few minutes perusing the racks, and left with nothing. My shopping itch had been scratched. I purposely stayed away from the two nicer stores selling new, trendy clothes because I would've walked out with something for sure.

The only two new things I've bought this month were for my kids (who are not officially part of this challenge). One was a pair of skates for my oldest child, on a day when he was scheduled to go skating and we realized only hours before that last year's skates didn't fit. I rushed to the thrift store, checked Facebook marketplace and the local swap site, and texted some friends with older kids, but there were no used pairs in his size. I had to buy new, but (a) they were on sale, and (b) they'll get worn by the younger children eventually.

The other new purchase was a pair of replacement liners for my other son's winter boots. The previous pair had shrunk in an unfortunate accident: my creative mother thought drying them in a cookstove oven would be effective, but they shrank to an impossibly tight fit. Fortunately, Sorel sells replacement liners on its website, and these will extend the boots' lifespan for several more years at least. (Now, I could have bought used boots to replace these ones, but I thought it was more environmentally-friendly to replace the liners, which are made from 100 percent recycled material, in order to continue using the more-resource-intensive outer boot.)

The key, I've realized, is to control my thoughts and impulses. If I can avoid creating temptation by looking at ads and Instagram posts and YouTube videos and design magazines, there is no aspirational vision in my mind to chase. I stay out of stores, pay no attention to their great sales! amazing deals! and just move on, using what I've got. No doubt it'll get harder as the year goes on and I start getting out of the house more with better weather. But so far, I'm feeling good. I can do this.

I've made it through the first month of my thrifty New Year's resolution.