You have to understand: if shopping were an Olympic sport, I would definitely be a gold medalist. Shopping is in my genes! I was brought up shopping, learning the finer techniques from my mother and my grandmother. I was born to shop.
Or so I thought. I was shocked out of this mindset by two things. First, I had to move. When I had all my stuff out of the hiding places, and had to find ways to pack it, then I realized just how much I had accumulated. It was scary.
Then I came across a blog called The Simpler Life. I was intrigued, and so I started looking at other blogs. My thinking was radically changed. I made a commitment to change my lifestyle.
My first decision was to use up everything that I have. It makes no sense to keep buying deep cleansing face masks when I already have three at home. Have I done this? Yes! Why? Because I find the latest and greatest skin mask and I have to have it. But I now see the result of all these purchases: I am bogged down with way too much crap.
For years, I didn’t see a problem with this. That’s how I was raised. It never mattered how much I had at home. The only thing that mattered was the urge to purchase that new item. And since we used shopping as a recreational activity, there were lots of splurges.
Looking back, I regret that we spent so much time in the malls. We could have saved money. We could have spent time volunteering. These are the things that the consumerist lifestyle steals from you.
Since I am so new to simple living and minimalism, I am still feeling the shock of not shopping for leisure. Before, I knew what I was doing every Saturday. Now I have to sit and figure out how to spend my day. It’s great because I have more time to cook, write, read, exercise… But it’s also a challenge. Old habits die hard. Just because I discovered simple living doesn’t mean that I no longer feel the urge to splurge. There’s this constant struggle between simplicity and splurging. I have to confront it several times a week.
And it really is a struggle. I still want to shop to relieve stress. I still want to buy makeup and perfume to lift my mood. The shopping habit has not died yet. But when the urge comes on, I fight it. And sometimes, I win.