“Take a shopping break.”

As I write this post, I am about to take a shopping break.

Honestly, I’m not sure what is going to happen, but here are the terms.

I am not going to buy anything for a month.

OK, here’s what that means.

Food is cool.  Entertainment is cool.  Trips, cool.

But that’s it.  If it doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, ain’t gonna buy it.

So why am I doing this, you ask?

Well, I have this general feeling that we try to give ourselves more of a sense of self by extending ourselves.  This can be by connecting with others through relationships, though defining ourselves through a devotion to a cause or work, or through buying things.

That’s why when we are depressed we like to shop ourselves out of it.  For some people they like to eat their way out of bad moods, since they actually get to ingest that thing which helps them get beyond themselves, think about that for a second.

So I am going to do the opposite.  I am not going to buy anything for a month.  No shopping.  No antiquing.  No Amazon.

Honestly, I am kind of dreading this experiment.

I’ll try to remember and tell you how it goes, but I think the main take away for yourself is that we view our stuff as an extension of ourselves (which is why it is so hard to throw out!) but really, the goal is to be self-sufficient, and ultimately, our stuff gets in the way of that goal.

So take a shopping break and see what it does for you!

OK, Josh here.  It’s now been one month since I wrote the content above.  So how did I do, you ask?

I lasted two weeks.

Here are a few lessons:

  • It is a relief not to be able to shop and just “pick up a few items.”  A burden is lifted.
  • You save money.
  • You sound very pretentious when you tell your friends you aren’t buying things.
  • It’s really hard.

I really didn’t realize how much shopping for me was one of my main forms of entertainment.  I love antiquing, and the colors and feeling of clothes, and really just browsing at the potential of all the stuff I could acquire – even if I don’t buy anything.  I think it is my version of going out on “the hunt.” So after a few weeks, I broke down.  And shopped.  However, it was a great exercise, and I do think I’ll try it again in the near future.  This time, I just won’t tell my friends.  🙂


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