Sunday, December 28, 2008

After-Christmas bargains

Like most people, my family cut back for Christmas. I decided to go see if I could find some of the things Santa forgot to bring me after Christmas. I still had gift cards for my birthday and had some rewards certificates burning a hole in my pocket.

I got some nice things. At Ann Taylor I bought the sweater pictured here for $39.99 and a pair of jeans for half price, and had a coupon for 20% off and a $50 gift card. That meant I was only out about $29 out of pocket. I got a very soft v-neck, a black cashmere winter hat, and a cobalt blue long-sleeved T at the Gap. I had $30 in rewards certificates so that was only abotu another $20 from me. My big splurge was a brown cashmere shawl-neck sweater at Macy's, which was still $40 even after my $10 off coupon and the cost of a returned item.

That's going to be it for me shopping for awhile. I am still feeling nervous about my long-term job prospects and have had to buy some items for the house and also went on a little book-and-calendar splurge.

I'm not exactly making New Year's resolutions this year in the traditional sense, but my husband wants us each to spend 30 minutes a day on housecleaning, which seems like a fair bargain to make. One of the books I bought was The Joy of Appreciative Living, which promises to help readers start seeing their lives more positively and, consequently, start to find more joy in their lives. I want to do the exercises in this book, which take 5-15 minutes per day and should be both easy and rewarding. You can sign up for free to have the exercises emailed to you each day if you're interested. There are three exercises: Two daily, and one weekly. The daily exercises ask you to list three things you're grateful for and take a moment to really feel appreciation for them, as well as to list one thing you can do that day to increase your joy. The weekly exercise is a "visioning" exercise that asks you to imagine and describe your joy-filled life. I like the idea of working on joy and appreciation instead of the usual resolution-y things like weight loss, getting organized, etc. I think that feeling happier would also help move me in the direction of these goals anyway.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to an exciting new year. I am really very grateful for all of the people who read my posts and those who comment on them, because this blog has helped get me into a regular writing habit that I think helped me finish my dissertation. Maybe it will lead me to some other good things too.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07