I agree. It is going to be harder than I thought. I had a three item list of things I was going to buy before the new year, and of course I didn't make it to the store. So on Sunday, I had some time to myself and I started thinking about what it was going to be like to try to find size 7 slim jeans at a thrift store that a child with extremely sensitive skin will feel comfortable in and I started to panic. Then I started to really think about what my new reality of shopping will be like.
This is how it has been for me. Make a list, get in, get out. If it takes longer than 3o minutes to find what I need, my head starts to hurt. The fewer choices the better, so I usually stick to smaller stores for clothing. If I can find a good deal easily, that's great, but I will pay more for convenience.
I started to mourn the convenience of Target, Gap Kids and Internet purchases and the feeling started to feel strangely familiar. It's almost the same feeling I had gearing up to cut out sugar and start eating only whole foods. It means that things just aren't going to be easy any more. I can't just grab something to eat from McDonald's (Target), I have to take time to make it (find it). I actually have to harness my desires. I couldn't eat Kalani's cookies and cinnamon rolls anymore which actually left a void because we ate treats together for fun and entertainment....umm, do I shop for fun?
Ah, self-honesty. I always tout the fact that I hate to shop, which is true...kind-of. I hate shopping for things that I need and get frustrated when I can't find them. I do, however, like to buy on a whim. I, like you, at times wander around stores to see if there is anything else I "need". I don't usually buy a lot, but new towels or place mats have been known to give me a little thrill. I like to buy the kids little treats when we go places. And then I realized that, embarrassingly enough, a good portion of our family outings revolve around trips to Ikea, outlet malls, or other such destinations. I'm also shocked, shocked I tell you, at how often I think about buying things, even if I don't actually buy them. I thumb through the cute toy catalogs, fill up a shopping cart on websites (and most of the time don't check out), wonder what would make my house look a bit nicer or more organized, and think about what type of clothes I would like to wear if I actually decide to buy them. So, yes, I shop for "fun".
So here's what I hope will happen this year. I hope that I will feel as good buying second hand and redefining "need"as I do when I eat healthy food. Like you, I have a feeling that not being around all the "junk" will be extremely liberating and that I will find new, more important things to focus my thoughts and time on. I think my home will even shed some pounds and feel a whole lot better. And even though it will be a lot of "work", I think that I will feel a more real sense of satisfaction buying used and being a better steward over our money and our earth.
We don't actually advocate going without socks! We are two sisters with a common goal: 2011 is our year to step away from cultural messages that try to force us to define ourselves as consumers. To that end, we are committed to spend this year buying only what we need, and to buying used items whenever possible.
We decided to use this forum to document our experiences, share successes and challenges, and support each other in our efforts.