Sunday, May 18, 2014

Test-Driving Reductions & Additions (Dream Save Do #5)

I spent my Dream Plan Do time this week figuring out ways to implement -- even just a little bit -- the reductions/eliminations from and additions to my life that I listed in steps 3 & 4. Even better, in some ways I actually began cutting out some things and adding/increasing others!

One item on my "would not miss if it magically went away tomorrow" list (aka things I would like to reduce or eliminate) is "large house/unused space". First of all, it's very doubtful that you would consider my house "large". At about 1246' sq, it is considered modest by today's standards; therefore, my list would be more accurate if that item was amended to "too-large house/unused space", as I don't need or want both a spare bedroom and an office. Nor do I  need or want a basement, other then to retreat to when bad weather strikes. Monday morning, I worked out a plan whereby I will, over the next week or two, move everything from the basement to the spare bedroom and then, over the next few weeks, cull those items down to what will fit in the (much smaller) office. If all goes as planned, when I move {fingers crossed that my buyers get an offer on their home}, I'll be able to move into a much-smaller place -- maybe even one with just one bedroom.

Also on my list of things to reduce/eliminate is "so many monthly bills". Of all the bills I pay every month, the one I find most aggravating is the satellite TV bill. I have great service, pay far less than most people I know (I'm aware of this because griping about satellite or cable-TV pricing seems to come up quite around here), and like the plan I have except for one small thing. I am paying almost $60 a month in order to watch one category of programming -- sports. I do watch other programs. For example, I love Big Bang TheoryJustified, and Elementary, but I can watch my favorite programs -- and any others, for that matter -- online within 24 or so hours of their original airing. I can also watch various series that I missed originally and now want to watch, as well as movies, via Netflix. If television shows and movies were all I wanted to watch, I could ditch my satellite service right now.

Unfortunately, though, without some sort of satellite or cable television service, I can't watch sports without purchasing an expensive package; even then, with one of the sports I love, local games -- the very ones I want to watch -- are blacked-out! I've read about families that have ditched their television and watch sports at friends' homes or bars. Neither solution works for me; the former feels too much like mooching, and while I don't mind visiting a sports bar occasionally, I don't want to do that all day Saturday and Sunday and again Monday night during football season. This week, though, I tested canceling my satellite television service by watching almost no television (and what I did watch I could have watched online) and by listening to 3 radio broadcasts of Cardinals' baseball games. Quite honestly, I enjoyed not watching the games; as I listened, I painted a piece of furniture, made quite a bit of progress on a scarf I'm knitting, etc. Football games, though, are a different matter, so I'm still on the fence about this change.

This week I also turned my attention to adding a few of the things I would like to have more of in my life. For the 2nd week in a row, I focused on "better fitness and  health", deliberately making choices that would help me meet most, if not all, of my 6 health/fitness goals every day. I met at least 4 goals each day; several days I met 5, and 1 day I met all 6. I'm definitely a work in progress!

I also made an effort to "increase non-family social activities". While I'm not a hermit, I am to a large degree a homebody, but I've missed having a healthy social life since my husband passed away and I moved 2 hours away from our friends. I have gone out for dinner with ladies from work several times over the past few years, but that's not enough. This week I went out to lunch with one colleague (a younger woman who I greatly respect), and I made plans for lunch tomorrow with another coworker (a woman whose children are grown). I also "attended" a meeting of a group of ladies that meets weekly to knit chemo caps. The results were somewhat mixed.

Lunch with my younger colleague was a delight. We chatted about the many things we have in common -- lots of laughter! On the other hand, only one other lady attended the knitting group; she said she wasn't surprised at the lack of attendance as very severe weather was predicted.  Bad storms did blow in as we were knitting, so I used that as an excuse to leave a bit early. Truth be told, the evening was not, as they say, an unqualified success. The other lady was nice, but what little conversation we had was stilted and a bit odd. Of course, I'm going to return at least a few more times; if things don't improve, I'll continue knitting the caps on my own and look for another activity/group to check out.

This step of adding to and subtracting from my life will, I'm sure, be a lengthy one, full of trial and error, and I'm perfectly comfortable with that. I'm enjoying this step and seeing where it takes me!

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