The Buy-Nothing Personal Holiday

Friday I took a personal holiday. In past occurences, I’ve gone out shopping or even spent most of my day at the mall. Unfortunately, this has often resulted in impulse buys and often the corresponding buyer’s remorse. So this time, and in the spirit of Buy Nothing New, I avoided the shops entirely.

… Um, well, my first stop after leaving home in the morning was to stop at the Co-op and pick up a couple of things I needed for dinner, but come on, potatoes and salad dressing are low-risk items for buyer’s remorse. (At least until I learn to make a salad dressing from scratch that my husband approves of.)

First creek discovered on my exploratory stroll

After taking care of that necessity, I walked over to a park not far from the Co-op. The air was clear and brisk and it was a great day to be alive. Before long I was swinging at the park and particularly enjoying that brief moment hitting the peak each time that’s almost like weightlessness before coming back down. I was there totally enjoying myself for about 40 minutes before I was fidgeting with my phone and promptly slipped off the swing and fell on my butt. That must be what I get for not living in the moment.

Lawn near the LBJ museum fountain
Lunch on the lawn with vibrant green patches of clover

After a bit of wandering through areas both new to me and areas which I vauguely remembered from years past, I sat on the grassy knoll by the LBJ museum and leisurely ate my packed lunch of banana bread, nuts, and a salad. Usually I’m in the middle of a conversation or sitting in front of a glowing screen while eating, so this was quite a reminder of the joy of actually savoring my food and not rushing through it. (Maybe my resolution for the next year should be to not eat in front of a glowing screen.)

I had an agenda for the afternoon, though, which in retrospect did detract from my day. There were two new-to-me libraries I wanted to visit. For some reason, most of the branch libraries in Austin don’t open until 1 PM on Fridays so there wasn’t a huge rush to get there.

Since the libraries open so late, I had a chance to explore the neighborhood around Twin Oaks libary and happened upon a creek. With no major traffic nearby, the clearest sound was the water calmly swishing along. Part of the creek bed was dry, and I walked along for as far as I could, which unfortunately wasn’t that far. They were building a retaining wall along part of it or had possibly widened the creek to handle future floods. So it wasn’t all natural after all, but beautiful nonetheless.

At the libraries, I picked up all the volumes of Oishinbo and happily enjoyed the bus ride home reading the delicious manga about Japanese food.

Discovering in a single day two creeks I had never visited before was pretty amazing. Next time I’ll have to declare a no-book, no-agenda day as well and see how many more wonders I can discover. Better than visiting a mall anyday!


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