I love things and I especially love clothes. When I say "clothes", this encompasses everything from shirts to shoes to underwear to pajamas to bathing suits to workout gear to jackets to handbags to jewelry and more. Basically anything you wear or carry on your person.
I love shopping. I love flipping through magazines and reading the shopping guides, I love reading blogs and clicking the hyperlinks, I love perusing pinterest and clicking on photos, I love strolling a mall and popping in stores, and I love finding a good boutique.
Until I didn’t. Well, it’s not so much that I didn’t like clothes or shopping, but I had had enough. I mean, I have enough – more than enough – and it never seemed to be enough.
So, I set out on a one month challenge. A personal challenge that I only told my mom and sister about (who both somewhat rolled their eyes at me and my OCD way of approaching things). I decided not to buy myself anything new for the month of January. By anything, I mean any thing that I did not NEED (which turned out to be nothing).
I am what my mom calls, "spoiled, but not rotten." As a privileged child who grew into a hardworking, successful adult, “need” vs. “want” has at times, and over time, become distorted.
I “need/want” those new Stuart Weitzman gladiator sandals, I “need/want” that new gold body chain, I “need/want” that nude Tory Burch handbag for spring. It goes on and on – you’d be surprised.
I started pinning everything I “needed/wanted” to a private pinterest board – so that, should I wish or still “need/want” the item in February, I would have easy access to it.
But that pinterest board has become way more than just a place to categorize potential upcoming purchases, it has become the realization of all of the instant gratification purchases that I probably would have made in one month's time. Not at all saying that I would have bought every single one of the items I pinned (for instance, I only want 1 body chain and there are 3 on there and I only want 1 pair of Birkenstock-inspired sandals and there are 3 on there), but today is the 23rd day of my personal challenge and I have 27 items on the board. Yes, 27 pins.
Each day I am strangely proud of myself that I have not purchased anything - and that is a weird feeling.
I want to be clear, I do not have an addiction, and I have never carried a balance on my credit card, nor do I spend all of my money shopping. I just sat down and realized I was buying into or participating in the same consumerist society cycle that I often criticize.
I almost caved today. First, to buy shoes on Zara (who runs out of stock on items so quickly), and then, on Shopbop for a half-off pair of platform sandals, but I then decided to write this post and share my journey publicly instead.
I’ve realized that this isn’t so much about money, as it is about time. Mostly, the time that I had to write this and share this, because I wasn’t perusing my favorite shopping sites. The reflection of this process/challenge thus far has been well worth it and I can already see it creating a positive change in my shopping habits. In fact, the lessons that I’ve gained are truly priceless.
I do have to admit, my mom and my sister were on to something. My OCD, type A personality has loved the control that came with this personal development challenge. So much so, that I am considering undertaking others in upcoming months. Perhaps each month I will vow to work on something that aligns with my goals and aspirations for 2014. I’m thinking of dedicating 5-10 minutes a day to meditation (above and beyond savasana at the end of my yoga classes, which I currently consider my 'meditation time') for the month of February. With 11 more months to go in 2014 this could get very productive.
What could or would you dedicate a month to in order to better yourself?
Just a few days left,