My year without shopping has begun.
When I brought the idea of not buying anything for a year to my family my twelve-year-old daughter literally said “this is the worst thing that has happened to me in my whole life . . .” She really likes shopping. Like a lot. Much to my chagrin. But after a family meeting about my desire that the whole family participate in my year-long shopping fast we reached an agreement. They would fast shopping for six months and then we would re-evaluate. My daughters (my younger daughter is eight) were not happy but they understood the reasons behind the fast and supported them. Although I can’t honestly say I would have let them out of participating in any form I like to think I went in to that family meeting with an open mind and we all shared our points of view. So there is at least some level of (ironic turn of phrase) buy-in.
After almost two months how’s it going?
For my girls, it’s more the concept. Honestly I don’t think there is anything in particular they have wanted that we haven’t been able to get, but knowing they can’t buy things seems to have been very present in their minds for the first month. As we passed the four week mark I stopped hearing about it daily so let’s imagine we’ve turned a corner.
For me it is also still mostly just a concept. I haven’t really wanted something that I haven’t been able to get. Although I do feel like I am perhaps noticing things more that I would want . . . like how my 15 year-old couch looks sooo ragged with its cat-scratched edges
But really, I don’t think I would have bought a new one – but maybe it’s knowing that I can’t that has me staring at it with something akin to resentment more often that I might otherwise have done. I have also found that I am more careful with things. For example – sunglasses. In the past these have been as good as disposable for me. I lose them on the regular. Not on purpose, but I can’t say that I have ever been what you’d call hyper-vigilant about them. I buy super cheap ones because I know I lose them all the time and I lose them all the time because I know they are super cheap! But now I know I only have 2 pairs to get me through!!! I have chronic migraines so the sun is something of a mortal enemy when I have one so sunglasses are not exactly a luxury item. As a result these two pairs seem incredibly precious!
So all in all thus far the shopping fast has made me more conscious of what I have and what I might otherwise waste, it has made my kids more whiny than usual, but hopefully that tide has turned and valuable lessons are just around the corner.