Sufficiency: A New Perpective

I've always had a tumultuous relationship with money. I have had an attitude that I would always have money, and always assumed I would be able to afford pretty much whatever I wanted to do or have at any time, without always knowing how I would pay for it. Not the best approach.

In the past, this relationship with money resulted in a lot of excess and wasted money, and also some big amounts of debt. There, I said it, the D word. My relationship with money is evolving, and as a recovering spendthrift, I do occasionally relapse.

In the last year especially, I have taken time in the moment while shopping (online and at the mall) to ask myself if I really need what I'm considering buying and also what the desire to have the item is rooted in. Am I having an emotional day? Did I just take in an epic social media binge and see all the shiny beautiful things the shiny happy people were wearing that made their lives so shiny? Did I fail at something and I'm about to partake in some retail therapy to make myself feel better now only to have buyers remorse later?

I once heard someone say that "women dress to impress other women". And I gotta admit that I have 100% (on many many many occasions), either been buying something or getting dressed in the morning with thoughts of how good it will feel when/if one of my friends - or even a stranger - compliments my outfit or a specific item I am wearing. WTF right? This deep seeded little voice is the nagging voice of lack saying "who you are is not enough, but perhaps these sweet new shoes will help". Hello old friend, you sonofabitch. 

The conversation about lack vs. abundance is not a new concept for me, and I am always learning. It's not so much the tangible things involved with this that interest me, but the perspective (the roots) that shape the resulting behaviours. Spend. Blip of enjoyment. Regret. Round and round we go.

While reading The Soul of Money last month (shout out to Novel Grapes book club!), I was elated to learn more about the epidemic perspective of scarcity and find ways to shift myself to a mindset of sufficiency.  Here's just one of the many insights that struck a chord:

"for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is 'I didn't get enough sleep.' The next one is 'I don't have enough time.' Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of."

BOOM.

My word of the year for 2017 was abundance, and we did experience a great deal of that! I am grateful for what it brought into our lives, but more so for what it taught be about the difference between abundance and excess. Excess for me is rooted in the belief that more is always better. Abundance is rooted in the belief that there is enough for everyone.

So my word for 2018 is sufficiency. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount of everything. I am committing to less, letting go of the belief that more is always better and trusting that what is needed will come. Some of the actions associated with this comittment:

No new clothing purchased in 2018

  • if I sell old clothes I can use the $ toward new clothes

Live debt-free

  • if I am making a purchase, I only spend what I actually have
  • if it is Sunday or a week day, I eat home cooked meals
  • if I feel like a warm drink, I make myself a coffee at home

Plan ahead for family time

  • if it is Saturday, we are doing something outside as a family

Each of these actions help sustain my lens of sufficiency and create contingency plans for decision making. The new perspective: I have enough resources to be, do, and have all that I desire this year. If you see me in in the next year, ask me how it's all going, because you know, accountability is key.

Onward,

xo Syd




Sydney Guevremont
Sydney Guevremont

Author