Things I Love Thursday! (free edition)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

After several months of putting it off, I finally caved in and bought a couple of new sports bras last night.  I'd been avoiding the fact that I need to get better fitting ones for far too long, but after yet another uncomfortable run I decided that I was not doing my body any favors by hanging on to my old undergarments.  As I've unfortunately mentioned in a previous post, my weight loss this past year has shrank um, multiple areas of of my body, and my current sports bras are now so baggy that even low impact exercise feels like I have two chipmunks wrestling in a burlap sack (in case you're ever wondering what I look like in the nude ...).  So in order to prevent injury or permanent damage, I sucked it up and went shopping.

Why did I wait so long to buy something that I legitimately needed? Because in the last year or so I've come to absolutely HATE spending money.  The girl who used to abuse her credit cards in college like it was her day job now breaks out into hives when she has to fork over any of her hard-earned money.  I have no idea what prompted this change, but going shopping and buying "things" has completely lost its luster. Maybe it's maturity (but we all know that can't be it ...)? Maybe I'm finally appreciating the lessons I learned during my naive, irresponsible youth? Maybe it's because Clayton and I have finally reached some of our financial goals and I'm terrified of jeopardizing all that we've strived to accomplish?  Well, whatever the case may be, it's totally harshing my mellow.

While shopping for sports bras at Kohl's, I couldn't help but to wander around the accessories department and eye-hump some of the new fall purses.  I plucked a gorgeous burnt orange satchel from the shelf, hefted it over my shoulder, and longingly gazed at my reflection in a mirror.  I even carried it with me throughout the rest of the store, feeling quite confident that this handbag was destined to be my new best friend.  However, after gripping onto the purse for a solid five minutes, I felt my grasp start to loosen.  I started thinking about how much the bag would cost with tax and if I even really needed a new purse when I have so many others at home feeling neglected in my closet.  Sure, I'd be pleased as punch with this new handbag for the next few weeks, but then the newness of the purchase would wear off and it would inevitably join the other purses sitting on the floor of my closet. And if I bought this purse today would it take money away from something Clayton would like to buy? A bead of sweat trickled down my back.  Nope. Not worth it.  I tossed the bag back onto a shelf and abruptly walked away.

So in honor of my newfound semi-thriftiness, today's Things I Love Thursday will dedicated to all of my favorite FREE things (don't you just love a good theme?).


Napping 

I think it's kind of stupid that I even need to explain why napping is so awesome.  It's free, it's for everyone and it requires virtually no effort on your part (unless of course you're my snoring husband because clearly, making that much noise come out of your nose has to be physically depleting). Sometimes (usually when I'm at work or listening to someone tell a boring story), I fantasize about taking the perfect nap.

For me, the perfect nap situation would be me, alone, in a dark room with a bed that is almost comically too large for me.  It would be in the afternoon with ever-so little sunlight coming through the curtains—just enough of a glow to remind me that I'm sleeping in the middle of the day while everyone else is awake and miserable. On that bed would be the world's thickest, fluffiest white down comforter (for some reason it has to be white) and no less than 10 equally fluffy white pillows.  I would lay engulfed in said blanket because the room will be chilly.  Not freezing, but chilly.  Chilly enough that my toesies would get too cold if they poked out from under the sheets.  Chilly enough that every side of the pillow is the cool side. And a fan would hum in the corner, providing just enough consistent noise to lull me into a peaceful sleep.  And no one would bother me for like 10 hours.  

Going to the Library

If you're like me, you love reading.  And if you're my twin, then you definitely love reading FREE books. And if you're my siamese twin, then you definitely love reading FREE books and then accidentally forgetting to return them and accruing a ridiculous fine, which makes including going to the library on my "free edition" of Things I Love Thursday incredibly ironic. 

But I do like going to the library.  My city's library is quite large and even offers a website where patrons can download free music (and it works out incredibly well for me because you get to keep the music you download and never have to worry about a fine).  

In the age of Kindles and Nooks and iPads, there's still something to be said for holding an actual book in your hands and turning the pages.  I'm one of those weirdos who likes the smell of books and finds the scent of musty, weathered pages intoxicating. I think it's kind of funny that I'm so resistant to owning a digital reader simply because I work in publishing and the largest item on my department's agenda is making all of our titles accessible as epubs. 

Going for a Walk

For people who don't like to move, this FREE activity may or may not be your cup of tea.  I just happen to be a very outdoorsy person who just happens to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the midwest that offers lots of parks, trails and hills for my roaming pleasure.  Even if you live in a flat area surrounded by cornfields (I'm looking at you, Northern Indiana), you can still venture outside of your house and walk around your neighborhood.  It's good exercise and nothing beats the feeling of fresh air filling your lungs.  Even if it's just on your 15 minute break at work—get up, go outside and move your legs! Getting your blood circulating and absorbing a little vitamin D from the sun can give you the little boost you need to power through the rest of your day!

Free Magnets

I know this stupid, but I do love me some FREE flare for my refrigerator. It doesn't even matter where the magnets come from—unless it says something lewd or is a picture of a Hulk Hogan kicking a puppy, I'll probably take it.  Just recently I acquired a magnet from one of our local computer repair shops, an Italian bistro, and a tanning salon.  I don't really care to promote your business; I just want something to hold my grocery list and old race bibs to my fridge. 

*****

There are hundreds of other cool things or experiences that don't cost a dime.  In these depressing economic times, I sincerely encourage you to find cheap or FREE activities to do in your own town.  Go to your local library and check out their bulletin board for community events.  Create fun games out of things lying around your house. Go outside. Nap! "Spend some time" with your significant other (You know what I mean.  *wink wink*). Volunteer. Go for a run.  Walk your dog. Make a pot of coffee and invite over a good friend.  Read a book. Heck, WRITE a book (and I'll endorse it on my blog!). 

The possibilities are endless.  Use your creativity!

You know what they say:

I might have made that last part up.


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