Year Without Shopping October

October 17, 2018

Month #10 of my shopping fast!

Fall is my favorite season.  The smells, the colors of the trees. The way it’s cool in the morning and evening but warm during the day. I love the foods that emerge this time of year too – soups and stews, hot chocolate and although I am no fan of pumpkin flavored things I so appreciate their smell wafting through any coffee shop I frequent.  But possibly my favorite thing about fall is the start of school.  I am a hard-core nerd so just the thought of school makes me happy. As a Mom, I love preparing my girls to start their school year (them not so much).  I love how the banks of the Charles become lined with students once again and when I am not stuck behind one I love seeing the school buses all around town.

This is all part of the cycle of my life, a rhythm that has been built into it over the years.  Some things I participate in, somethings I simply observe.  This is how I have begun to feel about consumerism.  It is all around me, sometimes I participate and sometimes I simply observe.  What this shopping fast has helped me consider is how much consuming has been built in to my life. It is a cycle all its own.  Having removed buying from my life I see how very many places it used to inhabit.  My vacations are one example, as I have discussed in previous posts. And also the holidays.  Is this just me?  I have noticed that every holiday seemed to be laced with buying of some kind or another and we haven’t even hit Christmas yet.  Valentine’s day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, birthdays and soon Halloween – apparently Americans are expected to spend $9 billion on Halloween this year – and then onto the biggest ones of all, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Some of these holidays involve gifts, some decorations, some parties, some all three.  I don’t mean to suggest gifts or celebrations are in themselves bad.  They can be fabulous and fun times to enjoy community and to appreciate people in our lives!  What this year has caused me to see is just how much consumerism is built in to all of it and to consider how I might celebrate in ways that don’t always involve quite so much consuming in 2019 when I am once again allowing the rhythm of buying into my life.  I am asking the question – how much do I want to let it back in?

Some things I am still longing for:

My Fitbit:  Now that I am without a Fitbit I am struggling with that existential question – if I am walking but have no Fitbit to track my steps am I really walking at all?  And if I am is there really any cardiovascular benefit?  I do wonder. In some ways, I feel a sense of sense of freedom without it on my arm constantly, but its absence is still new so I can’t say exactly how I feel. I wore it for so long!

A new phone case:  mine is legit almost falling apart.  I might have to invoke the broken things exception on this one soon if the close piece gives way. I may regret not breaking the rule for it because my credit cards and license keep slipping out – insert grimace emoji here.  But in some ways, the worn edges and broken corners feel like something important I have earned.

More next month!


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