By temple rubber, I don’t mean prophylactics (what would that even do?). I mean, I need to rub my temples in consternation as I try to figure this out.
A relatively easy week; I stayed distracted with lots of play dates, most of them at our place, far from any temptations. I don’t even think I opened my laptop more than once, so no online shopping to speak of. I did go on a thrift store expedition in an attempt to find gear for redecorating my toddlers room on a budget (that was a wash) and to get some basics for fall, but more on that later.
The thing that has me rubbing my temple is this: I had an amazing camping weekend with my family on the coast. The weather could not have been any more spectacular.The girls were having so much fun and at their best, so stimulated by the sights and sounds. My hubs and I felt so good we kept looking at each other with a sparkle in our eyes, flirty like we were when we started dating. And in a moment of happiness, looking at my girls rolling in the salty sand, watching my hubby dip his toes in the freezing ocean, seeing my mother and father-in-law enjoying their grand-kids, I felt euphoric. And in that height of euphoria (…I could have missed it, but I’m sensitized to it these days )…I thought about buying a new wardrobe!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Yes, as I looked at my family and felt content, I wanted to celebrate by buying new clothes. Where in the HECK does that come from?
After that moment, all I could do was wrack my brain for an explanation. What is it that equates contentment and happiness, with consumerism?! What the F#@*%? Why can’t I control it? I mean, I didn’t run out and physically follow through, but just the fact that this crossed my mind, right at that awesome moment is…baffling…preposterous…embarrassing…
Ok, the exact thought wasn’t: I need a new wardrobe. The thread was, ‘this is amazing, the sun feels so good, we need to do this more often, N is so happy, so are the kids, and they are so darn cute I can’t stop taking pictures, I need to really soak this moment up, and I feel really good, I am getting really fit from doing barre class, it would feel good to have some high quality clothes that really fit my figure…’
blablabla. You kind of get the idea. It’s really hard to pin down the exact thoughts, but I did catch the moment it turned to consumerism. WHY!??!?! Will I ever be free of this?
Was I freezing and in need of more layers? No. Had I perhaps forgotten an item of clothes at home that I needed, like, say, pants? No. I purely just wanted something new.
Maybe it was the sun and the surf, it reminded me of a catalogue for LLBean or something. Maybe I thought I was a model in the catalogue with my beautiful family and likened our beauty to a picture repleat with great clothes…? Gah. Such a stretch. Maybe the sun just got to my head, period.
Simply put, the euphoria of the moment chemically equaled the brief euphoria I feel when I buy new clothes.
Yet, quantifiably they are not the same. One is wholesome, heart based, real stuff. The other is…false, a shell of a promise of attractiveness, a passing love affair that ends with the purchase.
That is probably the reason I feel so bummed. Am I really as shallow as all that?
I’m still mulling it all over. I would love to hear any insights someone else might have, please do comment below!
So…I went thrifting. This is inherently a dangerous proposition because I am a collector at heart. However, since starting this challenge I have managed to repress the urge to collect (though I am always still looking) and have used the thrift stores to acquire necessities for the family. Clothes, toys, household items. My aunt is a thrift store genius. She has the mojo, not only will she find something great, she’ll also find it at it’s deepest discounted price. In the past we have been known to thrift together for the entire day, barely eating or looking at the clock. Those days are over though, now that I have kids in tow. There just so happens to be a great thrift store called Eco Thrift close to her, so last week we paid it a little visit. I wanted bedding and an area rug for my kiddo as she transitions into sleeping in her own room at night, I want it to be her little haven. Unfortunately it was not in the cards. Rarely do I find the thing I am looking for. But, I did find a handful of amazing winter sweaters for her in her new size, I found a larger cooler/picnic bag that I’ve been looking out for for a while, we got a few kids books (the one thing I think we can never have too much of), a large picnic blanket (something we use ALL the time), and a shirt and sweater for myself. A quilt for my baby’s bed to cozy it up as the weather gets cooler. A S’well water bottle that normally retails around $25 for just $2. I walked out with what looked like a santa sack full of gear, for $35. Nothing was frivolous, all went into immediate use. I think I was successful.
The only down side of buying anything, even if needed, is it triggers the shopper in me. I have been thinking about other things I want…possibly need. But, so long as they remain thoughts, I am still on the right side of it all.
So, that’s it. Please give me your thoughts. Thanks.