Like most, I spent the last few days of December thinking about what I could do to be a little better in 2018. I workout regularly, try to get enough sleep, and eat a mostly-healthy diet (save for the bag of chips and salsa I consume every other day). And while I know giving up chips and salsa might help me get those ninja turtle abs I’m working toward, I think a life without chips and salsa is not a life worth living.
So I wondered: What could I resolve to do better in 2018? Or, maybe I can remove something that I do mindlessly every day with little benefit. What’s a habit that I enjoy, but doesn’t enhance my life and sometimes actually stresses me the F out? Shopping. Retail therapy is a legit thing and my health insurance doesn’t cover it.
I adore shopping; the adrenaline rush, the multiple tabs, wish lists, shopping carts filled with all my material hopes and dreams are part of the allure. Could I really quit shopping for a year?! No new clothes, bags, shoes or makeup? Nilch? When I told this to my husband, he laughed and said, ‘that’s like me saying I’m going to give up oxygen for a year!’ Tough love. I told my closest friends, and one who recently shaved her head leaving her down-the-back curls on the floor said she didn’t know which was the more extreme, her new haircut or my proclamation. Needless to say, shopping is a big part of my identity and typically constitutes a large chunk of my day-to-day.
I always justified shopping as just being part of who I am, but toward the end of last year, I started thinking about how much time I spend shopping though and realized that it was a lot. Mindlessly scrolling through emails or Instagram where a lot of the people I follow link their covetable outfits could add up to an hour or more spent shopping each day. An hour I’ll never get back that I could have been reading to the kids or working out with my husband… or you know, ANYTHING else.
But, I love clothes and I love fashion. I studied fashion merchandising in college because I wanted to dedicate my life to fashion. That hasn’t changed. How will I stop shopping for a year? I think it will be very difficult for me, but to put in to perspective (for myself) I have lost both my parents and this will be nothing compared to that. I’m very fortunate to have a pretty good base for clothes, makeup, bags and shoes. I really don’t NEED anything else. Not shopping doesn’t mean I have to give up fashion it just means I will make better use of what I have. I realize there is a huge difference between not being able to shop and choosing not to shop. I’ve been unable to shop before (for financial reasons during and right after college) so surely, I can choose to do it now.
The best part is its only been a week and I’m already experiencing the benefits like…
I’m less stressed. Normally, I might spend a few hours contemplating what to wear and buy knowing I have a bachelorette party/event/bridal shower/<insert any event/excuse to shop here> to attend in a few weeks. Embracing the fact that I just have my small closet to shop is liberating. I get fewer emails because I’ve unsubscribed from company emails that might tempt me; fewer emails in my inbox has reduced stress. I don’t feel that ‘I wish I had that’ twinge when I look at my instagram feed and see a great bag or shoes that are outside of my budget. Instead I feel, ‘I’ve chosen not to buy that’ which is so much better. 🙂
I’ve got more time. I’m not completely sure how much time I spent daily or weekly perusing the latest/greatest looks, but I am sure it was considerable. I’m having a blast trying new things instead (played tennis for the first time last week and had dinner last night with friends and sampled chicken gizzards).
Saving money. Obvi.