ruled by exceptions

I thought it would be interesting to start my list of what I consider to be acceptable exceptions to the Compact principles. We’ll see as the year progresses how this list changes. Maybe I won’t need all the exceptions. Maybe I will have it just right. Or more than likely I will spend the entire year telling you why I have to add just one more thing to my list.

But what’s on the list right now?

  • food (duh)
  • medicine – okay really that’s just the occasional Tylenol but you probably wouldn’t want to be around me when I want it and don’t have it.
  • new toothbrushes – that’s really rare and just me because my husband uses the free one he gets from the dentist and I use the electric kind which isn’t very compact-y anyway because it uses all that electricity to stay charged but if you had my gums you would understand the need.
  • underwear – kind of like sand shouldn’t get some places neither should someone else’s underwear. (and this includes bras because the only reason to buy new bras is because yours are worn out so wouldn’t you expect that if someone else wore the bras first they would wear them out too? Sorry to the male readers. Assuming I have any. Male readers that is.  I know I have readers because I know at least my mother will read this.)
  • batteries & light bulbs – they don’t really fit into the categories of either health or safety so my need for perfect clarity demanded that I list them too. (I could just use more candles but if you knew my son you would know that might just put light bulbs into the safety category. No, my son is not a pyromaniac. He’s 18 months old and will climb on any surface he can, especially if it promises something he shouldn’t be touching.)
  • gift certificates – I know part of the compact is to reduce the “new” purchases regardless of who’s paying but I am giving in on this one for my family (read husband). We decided that any gift cards given to us could be redeemed regardless of store or product, including new items. My only rule (can you have rules for the rules?) was that it should be prioritized for needs before wants. My husband needs Pearl Jam CDs at Best Buy but only really wants the new U2 album.

Services I can’t see giving up:

  • knife sharpening – strange to be on the top of the list but it’s not in order of need and I have an abject fear of getting cut by a dull knife.
  • drycleaning – this is really just my husband but as I dragged him on this caravan I have to give him allowances too, and I hate ironing so green cleaning is the best I can offer.

That’s it. Well, really that’s all I can think of right now so the list may grow as soon as tomorrow. But until then that’s it.

I have much to learn for and by my life in the coming year so please forgive any naivete. I take on this challenge with all due seriousness but have no clue what it will mean. But that’s enough contemplation for one day, I’m afraid of the navel lint I might find if I continue.  I got a good chuckle when I read The Compact‘s statement regarding exceptions – “you’ll know in your heart when you’re rationalizing a violation”!

What do you think are fair exceptions?

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