Since September 1, I’ve purchased/added to my wardrobe:
James Perse shirt dress
James Perse cashmere short sleeve shirt
James Perse Yosemite items
James Perse long sleeve tee
James Perse twill pants
James Perse fleece skirt – via eBay
James Perse maxi dress – birthday present from Leo
James Perse fleece bomber jacket – birthday present from my father and step-mom
Everlane Cashmere moss v-neck sweater
Everlane chunky knit turtleneck
Everlane ryan long sleeve tee
Everlane Chunky knit “boyfriend” cardigan
Everlane heather gray u-neck tee
Everlane cashmere tunic sweater
Everlane cashmere black v-neck sweater – gave to my sister
Vince tank top
Vince turtleneck sweater – gift from Leo
Vince perforated Blair sneakers
Madewell Sweater – returned, which is how I bought the scarf
Inhabit Wool cardigan
Nike jacket – birthday present from my father & step-mom
Rag & Bone Aston booties – haven’t arrived yet, my newest purchase
During this period, I got rid of about twice as many items, but this still feels like A LOT of things to add, especially since I’m trying to cull my wardrobe even more. And at least I’ve kept within my budget. But…
I have a big-old shopping hangover. I’m worn out, frustrated, and a little disappointed in myself.
Why, though? Why have I added the things I have, and then, why do I feel so “bad” about it afterwards? Why when I think about my closet, my wardrobe, do I still feel frustrated? What’s the big deal as long as I’m cycling things out as I add things in? Why am I beating myself up about it?
- I bought things because I could, not because I needed them, or sometimes really wanted them – there’s credit in my account (Shopbop & Everlane) and I REALLY don’t like to have credit in my account “hanging” over me. I feel bad about it, because I recognize that I’m striving for the momentary, fleeting, pleasure I get from buying something NOW, vs saving for something else later. And once I’m “tired” of something, or it’s worn out, I need to replace it ASAP, I can’t wear it just a little bit longer, or make do, which also frustrates me, because I know I can do better. I know I can get more use out of things if I try.
- I bought some things because they were “good” deals – I’m still not immune to this, as much as I try not to do it. Although I did pass up buying anything with the $20 off $50 gift card Sephora sent me recently, I did buy things during the James Perse sale because they were good deals, and let’s face it, because they’re James Perse. Which leads me to…
- I bought some things because they’re James Perse. or Everlane. I think it’s time for me to admit that I may have a slight problem. I’m OBSESSED with James Perse. It’s justified, to an extent, based on my experience with the brand over the years, and I think I’ve done better with the sales recently, but I could do better still.
- I’ve bought things to get a JOLT of temporary pleasure; both at the act of purchasing, and if it’s online, when I receive the item. It’s a rush, I can’t deny it. It doesn’t last very long at all, but man…it feels good for a second. As good as eating jelly beans, or the cuatro leches cake I love at La Duni. But you know what happens when you eat too much sugar? You go into a sugar coma, and inevitably get sluggish, sick, and feel really bad about yourself. Same with buying, I’ve found.
A tangent, but relevant: My mother doesn’t eat sugar. Since before I was born, she swore off deserts, candy, etc., and NEVER touched them. During the summers we would go to Kentucky to visit my grandparents and make homemade ice cream, and she would eat a bite or two, maybe, which always stunned my sister and I, but otherwise, she just NEVER ate anything sweet. It wasn’t until I got much older that I asked her why, and she told me that once she ate something sweet (unnaturally sweet, not fruit), she couldn’t stop herself from eating more, until it was gone. So she just decided she wasn’t going to indulge in sweets anymore. End of story. And still today, it’s shocking when she does eat a bite of desert.
Of course that should have resonated with me earlier on, but as those of us of a certain age recognize, we don’t really start to change, or are truly ready to accept quite a lot of things until we’re over 40. Now, absolutely, I recognize what I have to do, not only with regard to sugar, but also with buying new clothes – just STOP.
I’m tired of setting myself up for failure. I’m tired of the self-sabotage I indulge in constantly by buying jelly beans, or cookies, or clothes. I don’t want to do it anymore.
So, now is the time for me to swear off sugar. No more deserts, candy, ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato…I just want to FEEL good all the time; feeling good & eating sugar are mutually exclusive. Which leads me back around to my buying “problem.”
Is it time for a “ban”? I think so. Not a shopping ban though, a buying ban. I have proven to myself since my husband and I implemented a more strict household budget that I CAN shop without buying. But I can do better. I NEED to do better. I want to do better.
I have never fully accepted that I DO have enough
The absolute truth is, that I have enough. I’ve said that before, and it’s been true before, but I have never fully accepted that I DO have enough. And honestly, it scares me to think that I have enough. What then?
it scares me to think that I have enough. What then?
I’ve never really FELT the reality that here is what I have, and it is enough. I am enough. I am truly grateful for all that I have. Now is the time for me to “sit” with that. To fully accept it. And I think a buying ban will help (MAKE) me do that. Accept my reality, and remember that clothing is not armor, nor will it EVER make me feel good enough.
I’ve never really FELT the reality that here is what I have, and it is enough. I am enough.
I am absolutely happy and satisfied with the clothes I have right now. I have what I need, I have what I want, and I can’t imagine “needing” to buy anything in the near future. My “need” to buy things is purely emotional. Again, it’s the idea that if I buy this, or that, THEN I will be good enough. THEN, I will look like I have it all together, when really, I don’t. THEN, I will be good enough. But NOW I am good enough.
And even though I KNOW this, down deep inside, I still struggle with it. I still indulge in my emotional need to buy or have things that will create an outward appearance (in my opinion, anyway) of being the perfect, happy, human being.
So I think that now, if I do not allow myself to indulge in buying more, in buying what I don’t need, because I already have (am) enough, then hopefully I’ll start to believe it. Practice makes perfect. And as I’ve said before, I know that gratitude is a practice; I know that you have to feel grateful everyday, practice gratitude by saying “I am thankful” everyday until it becomes routine, until it becomes reality.
So my practice now, will be not to buy.
Instead of buying new clothes, I will wear what I have.
Instead of buying something NOW, I will wait.
Instead of living in scarcity and deprivation, I will live in abundance.
My new mantra (or old, really) is I have enough – I am enough.
**As for the technicalities of my “buying ban”: there are none. I’m not making any rules or setting a time limit. I’m simply telling myself that I am enough, and that I don’t need ___________ (fill in the blank with whatever it is that I want to buy at the moment) right now. My practice will be to live in the abundance that I already have.
I WILL still accept items to review from companies I believe in. I may make mistakes, or slip up a little, but my goal is NOT to buy any new clothes for a while. I need to lose at least 20 more pounds, so ultimately, I am telling myself I don’t need anything new until I reach that goal. I think it’s do-able, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it if falter a little bit. I have the power to do the right thing, and to learn from it. Once I’ve learned what I need to, and feel good about moving forward, I’ll start buying again.
Have you ever implemented a buying ban? How did it work out? What did you learn from it? Are you feeling as hungover as me after all the recent sales?