One month of no spending – day seventeen: camel pots and cacti.

Camel pot
A camel pot with a cactus hump

We started  the morning being super efficient collecting fat red tomatoes, zucchini, fat summer melons and the most beautifully perfumed basil from our garden plot. In the afternoon, we made a rookie error and went to Bunnings to get some seedlings to plant for autumn. I should NEVER go to Bunnings.  (For anyone not from Australia, Bunnings is a hardware store which entices you in and convinces you to buy things you never even knew existed…)

BUT in the end, where I would normally have bought punnets and punnets of seedlings only to forget about them and leave them in the sun where they would wilt to near death, I looked, considered what was available and realised I have no idea what will survive the frosty autumn here and what will wither. So I decided not to buy any until I had researched it! We left with planned purchases being a stake for a flopping tree and a cactus for a beautiful pot mum gave to me (and I LOVE it).

The funny thing I realised today was the value of the things that you actually love. The gift pot is the case in point – I really, really love it. It’s a glazed grey camel shaped pot, tacky to many but truly perfect for me, it makes me smile because my mum knows I love camels and went to the trouble to get it for me. So I had initially planned to stock it with cheap and fairly non-offensive ‘potted colour.’ But then I looked at what was on offer and I couldn’t convince myself I liked any of it. I wandered around and went back again feeling that genuine ‘need’ to buy something now that I had gone out of my way to get to the store. But I just really couldn’t feel it for the poor potted colour.

I changed it up and looked at natives. I even put a kangaroo paw in the basket but deep down, I knew it wasn’t right. I know myself and I normally would have bought it anyway, admitted it was wrong for the pot later, jammed it in a forgotten corner of the garden then bought something else for the pot. But today I didn’t, I put the kangaroo paw back on the shelf. Do you know how hard it is to take something out of your basket and put it back? My goodness, it’s actually really tough. I felt let down like I’d missed out on something but I also knew I didn’t really want it for the pot. I told my husband what I really wanted was something that would look like the camel’s hump. Then I saw it out of the corner of my eye, a perfectly camel-hump shaped cactus. I checked the tag and it would suit the balcony I wanted to put it on. Not only that, I really adored it and knew I would make the effort to look after it properly.

So I think this reinforced the idea that even if you are trying to live a minimalist lifestyle, you can buy and have stuff, just think about it first. Make sure it will add value to your life. In this case, the cactus hump and the camel pot will make me smile whenever I see them because of their silliness. A funny looking plant in a ridiculous (but awesome) camel pot which will make me happy and remind me of mum = $17 well invested I think.

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