Here we are well into to Day 1 of our 6 month “Suburban Smackdown” odyssey.  The overall feeling, at least for me is relief.  I’m glad it is here.  I’m glad we’ve “put it out there” and that we cannot turn back.  There’s a peace of mind that goes along with knowing that our paid off credit card is going to stay that way, that our kids are going to grow from every single lesson learned, that there will be no debating over our next acquisition with no opportunity for buyer’s remorse, and, most importantly, that we have everything we need and that we can, indeed, live more by buying less. I know we are going to hit some bumps along the way.  We are bound to.  But we are ready. Bring on the next 6 months.

I do have to get one confession out of the way.  The Fourth of July is a very big deal in our family.  We’ve created some truly fabulous memories around the holiday. Last night, on the eve of this momentous (Smackdown) day, the Taylor family went on a trek, way over the border into South Carolina….and bought…fireworks. I’m afraid that the picture in my mind of my boy’s despair as they watched a beach full of kids run around with sparklers was just too much for me to bare.  I ask for understanding, my reader friends.


The first day of our Suburban Smackdown apparently carries a smorgasbord of emotions, as they are changing by the minute, cycling back and forth between feeling excited, nervous and unexpectedly free.  I’m excited because the day is FINALLY here and because I truly believe I will have more time in the day (sorry Target) as well as more money which can go towards the fun things that really count (like adventurous summer excursions).  I want to fast-forward six months and see if my kids have embraced this new way of life. I want to know if they truly appreciate more of what matters and if they feel confident enough to dismiss thoughts of trying to “fit in” by having the latest and greatest must-have things that their friends might have. Then my thoughts shift and I feel nervous; wondering what is going to really stump us.  Because I know something will.   And dear readers, we may be leaning on you for suggestions when we encounter the tough stuff.  The thought of nervousness passes as quickly as it came and the odd feeling of freedom takes over, so contrary to what I expected.  Maybe it’s the time and money savings that will be the added bonus of this challenge or maybe it just serves as an excuse to not keep up with the Joneses.  Whatever the reason for the feeling, it is bringing me a sense of peace.  I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it.

And I, too, have a confession.  I bought my rising kindergartner, Mallory, a new backpack and eco-friendly (no waste) lunch kit for next school year.  My other two kids received these items as well, when entering Kindergarten…almost as a rite of passage.  Yes, I could have used an old backpack, or accepted a hand-me-down.  I could have let her reuse her current lunchbox.  But in this instance, the need to be a “fair” parent trumped the “not stocking up” rule.  

Hoping this peaceful feeling continues…






6 thoughts on “Smackdown Day 1: Peace of Mind”

  1. Day 1: Our refrigerator broke. I wish I was joking but it broke. Since it is only one month old, luckily it is under warranty. The new fridge won’t be in for a few weeks, so I am trying to have the insurance loan us a mini fridge. If not, we might need to purchase a mini fridge. Having 3 teenage boys, I can not go a few weeks without a refrigerator. Here’s to hoping day 2 goes better than day 1!!

  2. I am also feeling a great sense of peace on this day 1. However, I admit it is met with a little apprehension too. We are expecting our 4th little one in November and passing up on buying all those cute, adorable newborn items makes me just a teensy bit sad, but the peace of knowing we won’t be bringing more clutter into the house and that we will be learning to be content with what we have overrides that, at least for now.

    1. Hello Liz. Congratulations on #4! I imagine you have ample hand-me-downs that you will take advantage of and that your lessons from the challenge will extend well into the future, but do know that our challenge ends Oct 31. 😉 I’d totally support the purchase of something irresistibly soft and sweet for a new one being brought into this world.

  3. As day 3 is starting and I’m headed into town to go grocery shopping, I am starting to panic when I remember we are entering flip flop season, where does pedicures fall on the guidelines? And Starbucks? Are those exceptions? 🙂

    1. Hi Maggie. That is so funny because I was just thinking the same thing about pedicures. When I lived in FL, I had them regularly. It’s not acquiring something, other than a bit of color :), but I would say it is a bit of an extravagance. So, maybe you could count that as one of your toiletry “must haves” but it would cancel something else out. As for Starbucks, I guess you have to decide if that fits into a reasonable food/restaurant budget for you, but do take a refillable so you don’t have to use their paper cups. ~Amy

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