Last year I shared how important it is to take some time to breathe and reflect on a daily basis, when in conflict, and having to make important decisions. It gives us time to uncover our thoughts and have a more informed perspective about the situation. Lately I have been taking some pauses and I will be sharing in a three-part series about my experiences.
Who doesn’t like bright and shiny new things? It is so much fun to find something that you like and take it home with you. Nowadays, you can see it online and gift yourself with it. Waiting for the item to arrive builds onto the anticipation and when it finally shows up at your doorstep, it puts a smile on your face.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I love to shop. I enjoy finding something that fits my life and makes it better. Looking around until an item catches your eye is thrilling, and the sense of pride that comes from a good deal is addictive.
In my earlier adult years, shopping was something to do to combat loneliness. I didn’t have a lot of friends and I could enjoy shopping without anyone. It gave me something to look forward to when the planner was empty.
After I got married, I didn’t need shopping to keep me company but I still spent a lot of time on my own due to conflicting schedules. However, now the bank account was shared. We also shared the space in our home and I was starting to appreciate clear areas more than items. My shopping was reduced to entertainment purposes.
Because of the limitations of a budget and space, I have become more selective of what I want to bring into my house. In all truth, my eye is always up for the hunt for myself, my family, or my home, so something is always showing up at our doorstep. Recently, with the sugar fast, I realized that I needed to give up everything I was using as fillers for boredom, pain or frustration. Shopping went from a need for company to a need for entertainment and I kept feeding the monster. For the last few weeks, I gave up shopping in two of my favorites sites and got a few insights that will stay with me.
- Not buying something immediately. Gives you time to cool off your jets. It looks great on her but does it really flatter my figure ? Is this really the style I am going after ? Some items I was glossing over have not made it past my wish list and most probably will get deleted from there. I realized that I like things but not always enough to get it.
- Liking it does not mean that you need to own it. We have to agree that we have so many options that we can get overwhelmed at the time of making a purchase. Options should be used to make better decisions, and not to make impulsive decisions. If something is of interest, think of how it will help your life. If you don’t have the space or resources or need for it, you probably shouldn’t take it with you. Remember it as something that was interesting and store it in the library of your memories. You own the memory and most times that is more than enough.
- Remember the true meaning of things. The item you are eying was created with a purpose. What purpose are you giving it ? It is fine to get something only because you like it, but consider how many of your purchases are for that reason. A pair of shoes are to protect your feet. Are you buying them to help you get over a break up? Identifying the purpose the item has for you can help you understand if you should really get it.
- Shop with a purpose. Sounds obvious, yet shopping is now marketed as entertainment and even tourism. When you are shopping, have a north to guide your purchases, and don’t let the stores tell you what to buy. Give yourself permission to pick up something you want when you want it (and can afford it) always remembering the confines of the budget, the seasons, the space, or any other limitations you might have.
These lessons have made me feel more free to pick up something because I have processed the reasons why it can make my life better or fit into my life. More importantly, they have helped me be more free to say no, since I have learned to make a decision with a cooler mind. I appreciate things more and I am more in control of my decisions, allowing me be more relaxed. Win, win, win.