Saturday, August 20, 2011


All these things…all these bloody things, they clog up our space, over crowd the cupboards, cost a fortune in time and money….and yet they some how seem necessary! Well, necessary for the way we live our modern lives anyway….uno, its not like we CANT live without the vacuum cleaner, electric beaters, baking dish etc. I’m sure I’d still wake up tomorrow and find myself breathing if I didn’t own these things …and still they feel necessary to the way I want (?) to live my life…or maybe that should be the way I’ve been shown by peers and society how to live my life….anywhos ! Here I am with all these things that quite frankly are pissing me off at the moment and still I am unable to relinquish them.

re·lin·quish verb \ri-ˈliŋ-kwish, -ˈlin-\
Definition of RELINQUISH
transitive verb
1: to withdraw or retreat from : leave behind
2: give up <relinquish a title>
3a : to stop holding physically : release <slowly relinquished his grip on the bar>
b : to give over possession or control of : yield <few leaders willingly relinquish power>

Although I feel bound by these objects I must admit my gratitude at having the means to purchase them in the first place.

I am grateful to have the means to chose to purchase!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fail, big fat, empty on the inside, FAIL!

Something happened this week. Can’t explain fully what came over me…or where my resolve went…but I went shopping! Arrrrr yes you heard me.


I know, I know….!

Its taken me a few weeks to be able to come to terms with my actions and get a better understanding of the state of mind that found me wandering into the shinny entrance of Myres in down town Perth.

I hadn’t made the journey to the city centre to shop…nor did I have any intention to do so! I was staying in the city for work…with time on my hands and desperate for a distraction from all I had to do. I innocently went for a walk!

I returned with several pieces of new clothing, wrapped nicely in fresh tissue paper and promises of the new, a new me, a new life, a new sex appeal ….a transformation that is just that, a promise…one that will undoubtedly prove to be an empty one….

…..and there it is, the point of this whole exercise! 

Finding something to be grateful for is hard while wearing such a heavy cloak laden with the disappointment of my own human weakness  but now with some time between me and this epic FAIL ....

I am grateful for the ability to see my own failings and willingness to attempt to address them!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Smile of a Dog!

Today I am grateful for the simple comfort of home, the smile of dog, blue skies, the sun light through the orange tail of the black cockatoos, blue wrens trust and the braveness of the willywag tail…and the joy all of this brings (when and only when I allow myself to be still enough to enjoy it!).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bound by the things that surround me!

I feel tied down by the things around me, by my material possessions…I honeslty feel like dragging them all out into the front yard and setting a match to them while I enjoy the heat and the glow of a fire. Then I would be free, free from insurance payments, free from having to find somewhere to house them, free from the responsibility to maintain, clean and care for them…free!

As I prepare to leave this place that has been my home for the past 4 years I feel heavy with the responsibility of what to do with these THINGS. Yes, I hear you, sell them, give them away, get rid of them…but then what? In a few months, a year, will I need/want them again? Will I need a shelf for my books and a vacuum cleaner for a rented floor? What then I ask you, what then?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oniomania explored!

Compulsive shoppers use shopping as a way of escaping negative feelings, such as depression, anxiety, boredom, self-critical thoughts, and anger. Unfortunately, the escape is short-lived. The purchases are often simply hoarded unused, and compulsive shoppers will then begin to plan the next spending spree. Most shop alone, although some shop with others who enjoy it. Generally, it will lead to embarrassment to shop with people who don’t share this type of enthusiasm for shopping.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Oniomania (from Greek onios = "for sale," mania = insanity) is the technical term for the compulsive desire to shop, more commonly referred to as compulsive shopping, compulsive buying, shopping addiction or shopaholism.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The simple needs of a dog!

Today I am in awe and gratitude of my four legged companion of 10 years, Ruby dog!
She has a wonderful, life affirming way of bringing me back home to the things that matter!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A pass to a world of distraction and make believe!

One of the hardest 'things' to give up purchasing had without a doubt has been DVD's in their glossy covers that promise all sorts of distractions and alternative realities! 

I have just signed up to receive my own special little pass to a buffet of alternative realities!

I am grateful for the imagination of others brought to life in the movies, that inspire, challenge and make my heart sign!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Loss, restraint, necessity and desire!

Loss and Necessity?
5 days in Bali, 3 purchases!

Purchase # 1 - 2 little padlocks purchased at the International airport, after much discussion with traveling companions and internal debate; to avoid all potential Schapelle Corby type instances. 

Purchase # 2 – A little red utilitarian purse purchased after two days of using my Bra to store money and cards (why don’t women’s pants have bloody pockets?) as a result of  being relived of my bag, purse, phone etc by a very well executed drive by mugging on my first night in Bali (Yes, be careful what you wish for indeed! I proclaimed I wanted to relieve myself of my excess possessions but obviously forgot to mention that I’d like to choose the items I get rid of!) 

Purchase # 3 -  Four locally made friendship bracelets purchased because I couldn’t fight off my desire to support these two very poor local ladies. The idea of just giving them money was discussed but 'where is the empowerment in that?' These women were so amazing, I spent two hours talking with them and they wanted desperately to ‘give’ me more bracelets because I hadn’t bartered with them. Amazing! Genuine, engaged, amazing...they made my heart sing!!!!!!

Restraint and desire!

Colourful cotton sarongs
Sexy strappy leather sandals (that can be made in big hoofer size)
Silk sarongs so divine it would make a grown gal weak at the knees!
Batik fabric 
Gemstone rings and jewelry, oh my!
Silver, silver and more silver
Bags galore

I am grateful for all the opportunity and abundance in my life...and for the privilege and ability to share it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Preparing for Bali

 So, I’ve never been to Bali…Yes, yes I know WTF? You’ve never been to Bali?

Well in the 90’s when every man with a dog was off to Bali to partake in the developing Aussie ritual of cheap shopping, copious amounts of alcohol and sex with random strangers who just happened to also be Australian….it just never appealed to me! So here I am at the ripe old age of 37, living just a stones throw from Bali’s door, finally making the trek.

On the advice of well-seasoned Bali travellers, I find myself riffling through my cloths looking for long, lose, pants and shirts. Bali in January…..full of mozzies, ripe with Dengy fever waiting for fresh foreign blood.

This little exercise finds me noticing a thing or two about my clothing style or rather lack of it and linen/cheesecloth glad rags just aint me.

As the departure date looms I still don’t have the needed items and as mozzies and I have a special kind of relationship, they love me and I love to hate them, I know these recommended items are essential.

I ponder the idea of making the hours journey to Geraldton to riffle through the second hand stores with the inevitable disheartening outcome…. aint nothing to fit you here sista!

I allow myself to play with the idea of buying something new…. and in fact I find myself thinking about it all day, trying to justify it under the ‘health and hygiene’ rule. I actually find myself getting a little panicky about the whole situation. What am I too do!

Then I find myself turning to my own words about my reasons for doing this whole Compact Gratitude gig, looking to reinforce my commitment and strengthen my resolve….and then, there it is, in my own words, the answer…BORROW!

…and so I do and its easy, so easy..why haven’t I done this before?

Bali here I come!

I’m grateful for this simple but somewhat new way of looking at things

I’m grateful for gorgeous friends with generous spirits (love you Jane)

I’m grateful for the opportunity and means to travel

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Evil, wicked, tempting bastards!

….today in the mail I received an artists porn mag: The Bunning’s Catalogue !

Evil, wicked, tempting bastards!

Today I am grateful that I live an hours drive away from the closest Bunnings hardware store!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I purchased a QLD Flood!

The sense of deprivation that swept over me as the haze  from the fluro lights gave everything that lovely fresh white glow and attempted to pull me into that all too familiar shopping trance was brief but very real. I felt like a child whose mother had said NO to the latest ‘must have’ Barbie doll accessory.   

Stopping only briefly to eyeball the dress that would be perfect for my up coming trip to Bali, I headed to find the pencils and frames I needed for work. I proudly made it too the check out only with the required items. 

…and then for $100 I purchased a QLD Flood, although this doesn’t seem like much considering, I figured it was at least the amount I would have spent in Tarshae (AKA: Target) prior to Compact Gratitude. On what you ask, on that cute maxi dress that no doubt now has a few drool marks on the front of it and the small army of DVD’s that would have made into my basket, with their seductive red tag screaming, ’I’m on sale! I’m a bargain!’

Thank you Target for your contribution and good will!

I’m grateful for big business with a conscience!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

150 little bits of poxy plastic!

Piles of plastic straws pretending to be aussie flags lay strewn in front of me… …'pretending' because they have not been born on aussie shores, nor do they like our climate or wish to embrace the freedom we enjoy; ever so neatly and tightly packed in plastic wrapping they have of course, come from china! In contrast to how I like to see Australia; tough, durable, real and embracing; they are plastic, cheap and lifeless. 10 'aussie' flags for 2 bucks, yeah baby cheap as they come!

It has become so automatic for me to purchase these dodgy little suckers that I did it this year, with my Compact Gratitude vow and all, without even thinking! Yes, you heard me, I purchased 150 poxy little bits of plastic to help this town celebrate Australia Day.

Even though this purchase was made in my capacity as Community Development Officer, I must admit I have disappointed myself with this very un-compact purchase! 

This Australia Day I am grateful for:
  • this towns ability to put the past aside and come together (Black and White) to celebrate 'where we are right now'!
  • our local volunteers and 'Active Citizens'
  • (in 44 degree heat) pools of water big enough to submerge my body in!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Temptation resisted & purchase made!

I’m at that wicked shopping mall again, (I gotta find somewhere else to get my fresh provisions!) and I manage to make it past that DVD store whose contents still beckon for their old friend to peruse the shelves in the hope that some of the shinny new packages full of promises of high quality distractions manage to grab my attention and find a new home with me!

Nearly at my destinations door, my eye is drawn to a little stall sporting sparkly sixty inspired shirts, with flowing fabric, tassels and funky colours that take me back to my Art School days…I am in love! “That would look awesome on you”, my companion remarks of the very summery pink number in my hands!

I am in love …and any other day, a non Compact Gratitude day,  I would take this baby home and promise to love it!

…but not today!

…I’m in the change room and I’ve got piles of bathers around me! I hate shopping for bathers, the image reflected in the mirror never matches the image projected from the clothes rack but here I am!

Yes, I have purposely arrived at this destination, Compact Gratitude pledge and all….Bathers I figure come under the ‘Hygiene rule’, so the next question is then, ‘do I need them?’ The answer to this may well be ‘No’, as I have a pair tucked away at home, their elastic is sound and their fabric still holds its weave and sports no holes but…..but the Christmas pork along with that few extra kilos of Danish still hanging with me from October have found this sound fabric falling short of covering all that it should!

I’m indecisive but find myself settling on the modest piece of fabric that promises a longer life, hoping this is the more Compact choice! This little number will find its way with me to my long planned first visit to Bali! Yes, you heard me, the Compact Gratitude chick is going to Bali next week and is not yet sure if she is prepared for all the shinny cheap new things and locals peddling their merchandise! AAAARRRRRRR!

I am grateful for bathers that fit.

I'm grateful for honest and down to earth sales chicks!

I'm grateful for will power and the lessons of my own addictions!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In the face of disaster!

As Queensland floods and submerges under the 'inland tsunami',
firefighters in Western Australia battle to save homes in 36 degree heat from a raging fire, suspected to have been lit by arsonists and Carnarvon licks its wounds and cleans up from its flood…I’m sat here, dry and safe feeling emotional and seeing clearly what I have to be grateful for and wondering.....what could those affected by all of this disaster possibly be grateful for right now?

Knowing how difficult it is to be grateful for anything when your world is falling down around you,  I offer this list of gratitude for you, along with my prayers and good wishes.

  • I’m grateful for every helping hand that reached out to you or someone you care about.

  • I’m grateful for the extraordinary generosity of the average Australian to dig deep and give in times of hardships.

  • I’m grateful for aussie mateship and fighting spirit.

  • I’m grateful for the safety and well being of your family and friends.

  • I’m grateful for the kindness of strangers.

  • I’m grateful for the emergency services staff and volunteers who risk their own safety to save others.

  • I’m grateful for your safety and well being.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The lethal 'unplanned' stop at the shops!

So today was my first test….a shopping trip and not just any shopping expedition but the lethal ‘unplanned’ stop at the shops! Uno, the ones where you have no specific reason to be at the shops but nether the less find yourself there!  Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

A little background info to set the scene………..

I live in a small regional community in Western Australia with a population of around 800 people. Shopping here is restricted to:
·   a limited grocery store
·   a post office
·   a farm supply shop
·   a road houses (that sells the standard Bay Marie delights, white bread sangers and a few essential goods such as bread, milk and 2 minute noodles)
....and aside from the tourist info centre and pub this is the extend of my down town reality! Woohoo!

96km away, on the coast is Geraldton, a small regional city with all the fruit, several large shopping complex’s with most of the big stores and delightful little shops housing all sort of divine shinny new things!

…..and the ‘unplanned stop at the shops’, you might well be asking how is this possible when the shops are an hours drive away. Well, I’m a volunteer Ambulance officer, yes I know, a foreign theory for those of you not living in WA but the St John’s Ambulance - Country Ambulance Service is serviced by volunteers ( , which means I’m often find myself in Geraldton delivering patients to the Regional hospital…and as these call outs generally take around 4 hours, a meal/coffee is generally on the cards….but more often than not one of us will need something at one of the many little buildings sheltering all those divine shinny new things. 

I was hoping only to grab a few fresh groceries but my colleague wants to go to Bunning’s (oh how I love thee sweet Bunning’s, lovely wide isles bursting at the brim with cool hardware equipment and materials to make things, truly an artists haven),….… I stay in the Van!

Right now I’m grateful for air-conditioned vehicles and the distraction of texting!

…and so, we get to the shopping centre and as I glide (well its not really a glide, more a stop/start robot type motion, looking like something from an 80’s blue light disco scene) past the Sanity store sporting masses of DVD’s on Sale, I head to the supermarket and hope that there are not too many sexy un-needed specials waiting to tempt me!

I'm grateful for good humored colleagues! 
(thanks for keeping me laughing Lorraine!)

I'm grateful for a smile found in a time of extreme suffering.
 (You are brave and beautiful!) 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Virgin Blogger

So here I am, on the 1st of January 2011 ….and honestly a little bit scared shitless (can I say that here) at what I have committed to publicly on this blog, not to mention the fact that this little virgin blogger is not at all convinced that she has it in her to create a space that will hold anyone else’s interest let a lone her own for a full 12 months.

The panic has been setting in over the last week leading up to New Years Eve, with screaming thoughts of all the things I’ll be giving up….all those lovely shiny new things whose beckoning call I will have to resist, so that I can walk my talk.

I’m hoping to do this with grace (a word not normally associated with me, she who has as much grace as an elephant in ballet points) and gratitude. Gratitude for all I do have, rather than anything lacking, lacking not just of the material kind, more so the internal lacking that often finds me giving into the call and seduction of all that is shinny, unnecessary and commercial.

Time to roll up the sleeve’s of that shirt you’ll be wearing till its thread bare because you can’t find anything to fit at the op shop and sweep the locks up into a ponytail with the elastic from your old PJ’s and get serious girl!