Thrift and Loss

I have resigned from my business and am currently unemployed. Yes, I say that with a smile on my face. My smile will be bigger once my loan account (the money I previously put into the business) gets paid out. I have put together a budget so that I can survive for six months on my loan account money. That takes me to January when I hope that I will have a new career and a plan for generating income from my passion. Much of my energy in the past six months has gone into recovery and now that my health has improved substantially, it’s time to focus on the passion.

Obviously I need to be careful with spending now as I don’t have secured income. I still have an attitude of abundance, however because I believe that obsessing about money tends to cause more harm than good. I’m a fairly thrifty person but I do like nice things also. Luckily my husband is also a saver so we are a good combination in terms of our financial future. And in other aspects of course.

In my ten years of running I accumulated a great deal of free stuff from the goodie bags that are veritable treasure troves. My husband is still bringing them home from his races, full of various product samples. Of course the first thing we do when opening a goodie bag is to eat the biscuit or energy bar that comes in the pack. Invariably there is deodorant so I haven’t bought deodorant for years. We also get all sorts of shampoos, creams and soaps. With runners being a sweaty and stinky bunch, the goodie bags tend to attract product suppliers in hygiene industries. I think the most amusing thing I received once was a sort of cardboard funnel that is supposed to be used by female runners to relieve themselves en route. No, I didn’t try it and it ended up in the bin.

goodie bags

I used to save the little samples for weekend trips or holidays. But lately, I’ve been using up all the products and I’m so enjoying it. It’s a good opportunity to exercise thrift and you get to try new products. I’m clearing space in our bathroom drawers by using them up which is also cathartic. Sadly I don’t have much use for the products for athletes such as muscle rub for aching and stiff muscles. I’m not exercising at all and I miss it a lot. I miss the friendships built on training runs and I miss the feeling of being fit but most of all I think I miss the sense of achievement. Some people hate sweat but for runners it’s just one of the benefits – to release toxins from the body. After a long race such as a marathon, you can feel the salt on your face when you’re finished. And you feel that nice tired accomplished feeling that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Because I’m not a half measures sort of person but rather more of an all-or-nothing type, I don’t think I’ll run again. The pressure that ultra-marathon training puts on the body is intense. I don’t see my health recovering to the point where my body can sustain it again. I had planned to do as many of my favourite 56km race as I could do until I was too old but sadly, my auto-immune illness has interfered with my plans. I’ve only done six of them and I was heading towards my first sub-goal of ten where you receive your permanent number for the race. I was looking forward to working on my pace and achieving better times. Finishing and knowing that the majority of the population will never complete such a difficult race can be immensely rewarding.


I do plan to do yoga and apply myself to really mastering the postures because it is very difficult and takes a lot of practice. That’s my type of goal. No messing around with easy stuff that you can master in a month. I like the idea of pushing my body to new limits and becoming really toned at the same time.

But I do miss running and not only the goodie bags. I will still enjoy the contents and take the opportunity to support my husband as he achieves further goals he has set for himself. Both parents training for big races can be logistically difficult to manage so perhaps life is easier this way. And maybe I should just indulge in the goodie bags and be grateful that I can exercise at all.

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I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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