Year Without Shopping March Update

An update on my year without shopping  . . .

The power cord conundrum

So just some context for this story:  My family has agreed to do the shopping fast with me for the first six months.

I was standing in the kitchen talking to my family when a shiny new i-phone power cord caught my eye.

Where had that come from?

Turns out since my daughter’s charger had stopped working several weeks earlier she and my husband had decided they would grab a new one when they were out that day.

This led to a rather . . . intense discussion on the parameters of our commitment to not shopping, not buying, to no new things!

My family had thought since the power chord no longer worked it fell under the exception we had carved out for things that broke that could not be fixed.  And I supposed technically this was true.  However; I felt the purchase violated the spirit of what we were doing. After all we had two other power cords.  We could share.  It would be harder, we’d have to figure out who got to charge their phones and other devices when, but it would certainly have been doable.  My point was – why is our first instinct always to buy and not try and make do.  So eventually this did become a learning/teaching/thinking moment for us as a family.  We came to consider how we are able to buy our way out of most problems and that we’d like to be a family who tries to think of other ways to find solutions first.  That our money can be put to better uses and that we are able to make small sacrifices of inconvenience to be better stewards of our resources.

The wanting what you can’t have realization

One thing this fast seems to be doing for my whole family is making us aware of how much we seem to want what we can’t have.  For me, as I shared last month, it seems to have me more focused on the things around me which are fading, worn or out-dated.  This month I noticed my purses all seem to fall into these categories and my couch is still hideous (and my cats won’t leave it alone so it is getting worse!).   Like my couch, purses are something I don’t usually think about buying – probably haven’t bought a new one in years (hence the wear and tear I suppose) but the knowing I can’t has me focused on what I don’t like about the ones I have.

My younger daughter told me recently how she can’t wait until “this whole thing” is over.  When I asked why she mentioned wanting to buy a certain kind of toy. When I pointed out she already had like 15 of these, her response?

“No I have 20.”

“Why do you need more?”

“I don’t.  I just want to be able to buy them.”

It’s like me and my couch or my purses.  I don’t need new ones and I likely won’t buy either a couch or a purse come 1.1.19 but I don’t know how I feel about not being able to buy them (self-imposed as it is.)  So I ponder – what does this say about us as consumers and our need to have the things we want always at our fingertips?

Also just by way of sharing a deep concern I am having – I seem to have lost all but one pair of sunglasses heading into (I hope!) our sunniest season.  Pray for me people!

More next month when I hope my older daughter will stop lamenting the fast on a daily basis – dare to dream!!!

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