Stuff

I have a terrible relationship with stuff


Hello. My name is Alison, and my house is a mess.

(Hi, Alison.)

It’s always been a mess, my whole adult life. I live and sleep in clutter; sometimes I even sleep ON clutter, because it’s late and I’m exhausted and I never got around to folding that load of laundry I dumped on my bed earlier in the day. I have stuff, on top of which I’ve set other stuff, and they’re both there because I have no where else to put them, because of other stuff that fill the drawers and shelves already.

One of the things I’m trying to do with this midlife makeover, such as it is, is to make lasting improvements to my quality of life. So I might as well do it right … and that means cleaning up my act. Or my house. Or both, really. But mostly my house.

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Money

My first no-buy month


Step one in improving my relationship with money: I’m embarking on a no-buy month.

A no-buy challenge is more or less just a gimmicky way of trying to change one’s relationship with money (and, more broadly, consumerism). It’s sometimes called a “low-buy”. The terms seem to be used pretty interchangeably in the blogosphere; and while people who use “low-buy” sometimes have less restrictive rules, or more loopholes, I have yet to see a clear articulation of the point where “low” ends and “no” begins. They boil down to the same thing: set some strict rules on your purchases, and then adhere to them for the stated time frame (a month, a year, etc.).

“But isn’t that a budget?” you ask.

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Food

I have a terrible relationship with food


I’m fat. For a lot of people online today, that would be a freeing declaration, an embracing of body positive thinking that says “You can’t body shame me! I can be both big and beautiful! Health at Every Size is totally a thing, and you can’t convince me otherwise! Hashtag Plus-Size Princess!”

Maybe for a lot of people, but not me. I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to love themselves as they are, but I can’t do that. When I look in the mirror I only see lumpy, misshapen disappointment. I hate the way I look. Further, I place my trust in science, and science says that obesity has consequences. In fact …

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Money

I have a terrible relationship with money


So, my first prong in this midlife makeover, as it were, is financial.

I currently have just one job — the first time in five years I can say that. I make less than the U.S. median wage in 2019, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and just above the median wage for women given in that same article). It’s enough to keep my bills paid (mortgage, insurance, utilities) and my house in order … but I also know I could probably be doing better with it, especially where things like unplanned purchases and unexpected expenses come into play. My retirement planning is in a shameful state.

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Experiences

January 2020

A woman said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”

— Stephen Crane (slightly altered)


Seven (!!!) years ago, in January 2013, I began blogging as a form of exploration and therapy. I needed an outlet for pent-up feelings, and I needed a safe place to be me. And for a couple of years it helped me heal some old wounds, and explore some deep feelings, and ultimately become my “self”.

Then, I tried to spin it out into something bigger, and it all just sort of fizzled.

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