Year Without Shopping July

July 25, 2018

I have passed the halfway point in my yearlong shopping fast. My family has completed theirs (they signed on to join me for the 1st six months).

So as we reached the end of their fast (for which they had a countdown) I asked my girls, who are 8 and 12 respectively, what they thought and/or learned.  So here is what I got:

“It sucked.”

“No really, it sucked.”

“We’re SOOO glad it’s over.”

It got a little better after that.

“We really do have enough.”

“When we buy stuff it’s not stuff we need, but stuff we want.”

Yes, yes!  A moment of parenting joy!  And then even more.

“When we want to buy something we can wait to get it – we don’t need to get stuff right away!”

And then they used the gift certificates they still had from Christmas (since the fast started right after) to buy stuff at Target like a week later so not exactly a life transformation. . . but it was stuff they had been considering for six months so I felt a little better!

I have written previously about not yet feeling tempted by much . . . that has changed, my friends.  I think maybe it is the summer  season – there are just some THINGS I want and I am starting to feel more deprived because of my self-imposed fast.  Deprived of course being something I am feeling and not at all a reality.

Now that the retail world is preparing for fall (why is that as summer has seemingly just started!?!) they are ready to throw summer’s accouterments at me for half the price.  How can I avoid it when it’s right between the fresh fruit and the baked goods at the grocery store as well as at the home improvement stores I occasionally frequent?  My temptation here is patio and deck furniture.  I just love it.  The chairs, the tables, the couch-looking things.  It all looks so inviting, so comfortable.  I can imagine it all over my yard, my deck, my imaginary patio.  I love to have people over my house (entertain is way too high-brow a word for what I do) and I sometimes think the several sets of furniture, which are by now years old, that grace our large deck are not sufficient and wouldn’t our guests be more comfortable or more wowed by some of these cool sets I keep seeing???  Enter my shopping fast to keep me from spending money on something I don’t need! But it is tempting, my friends!

Recently I have started going back to the gym and let me tell you I have faced temptation there of all places! Yes! The cute workout outfits.  Isn’t it easier to get back into shape if you look good doing it?  And seriously at my gym the people are dressed well!  They have such cute tops, cute pants, even cute hats! I am deeply envious and repent of it with every heft of the weights and step on the treadmill.  But alas I am doomed to sweat in my large t-shirts and fading yoga pants. Poor me.

Final temptation- just yesterday I was walking between meetings and it was kind of a hot day in Boston.  It might seem like a small thing but I forgot my hair elastic.  Now my hair is not an insignificant thing. It is thick and long – aka hot when it is down and I am traipsing around the city in the sun, heat and humidity!  So, I was a mile from my car, in which I keep 3000 elastics, and I thought I’ll just stop by CVS at South Station and grab some more.  Then I remembered – I can’t buy anything!  So I was a little bit hotter and sweatier than I might otherwise have been but I resisted (and figured out how to use my hair as it’s own tie) – so, new life skills!


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