Here’s how it is for me – I like to get new things but I don’t particularly like to shop.
I don’t enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of the bargain. That’s not my thing.
I just like the feeling of getting something new. It’s the feeling I’m attracted to, not necessarily the item.
So, you know, dear reader, that I spent months discarding, decluttering and reorganizing my life. I’ve got my clothes closet dealt with. I’ve got my house decorating settled. Towels, linens, kitchen tools, memorabilia, storage, well, just everything is fine. It was hard work. It was emotional work.
And now there’s really nothing I need to buy.
Oh, there is still a desire to shop because I like that feeling of having something new.
To be honest, that feeling is an addiction.
Occasionally I’ll get an urge to buy something new. It grows until I’m jonesing for that feeling. My mind starts running through my whole house trying to find something that I can justify replacing. I’ll resort to really stupid reasons to buy something new. “The coffee maker is dirty, I need a new one.”
Or I’ll get that itch that I’m bored with my clothes and I need something new. “Yes, I have a pair of black shoes, but I need a pair with a millimeter more heel. Don’t you understand?”
Then I get real practical. I’ll say, “I need a new organizing bin or rack or something that will “help” me. I really need another organizing tool, don’t I?” Nope.
“How about office supplies, I need new post-it notes and paper clips, right?” Nope. “But my paper clips are just silver, I think I need blue ones and post-it notes to match. Matching office supplies will help me be more organized, right?” Nope. Just stop!
“Isn’t there anything I can buy? I need a fix!”
But minimalism has messed me up. I can’t get a fix!
Because now when I think of buying something new I get a flashback of all those bags of items that I discarded. Bag after bag, box after box of junk that I didn’t need. I remember having all my clothes spread out all over my room and carefully deciding which ones bring me joy and which ones don’t. I love all my clothes and the beautiful relief of having a spacious closet. I can actually go in it now without feeling anxious. I don’t want to ruin that so I find that when I thinking of buying something I remember that relief and joy and I think, “Whatever I buy will probably throw off my balance” so I don’t buy anything.
It doesn’t affect just my clothes, but my whole house. I think about the overwhelming burden of clutter and the weight that is now gone of not having to find a place to put it all and clean it all. Oh, I don’t want that again.
So, I find myself not buying anything.
But the craving for that feeling of getting something new is still there.
It’s frustrating. I have an itch I can’t scratch.
If someone else asked me what to do, I’d say, “Go do something you enjoy like hiking or your hobby or spending time with loved ones.”
But you know, honestly, those things don’t take that feeling away. It just gives me a reason to shop: I need new hiking boots, a new tool for my hobby, a new dish to put the potato salad in that I’m taking to the pot luck dinner.
It’s a modern day addiction fed by advertising that is everywhere and the stores that are so convenient that it’s crazy. These stores give you an experience, make you feel good just by walking in them and walking out with that delicious feeling of having something new. “Where shopping is a pleasure.” “It’s my pleasure to serve you.” The stores exist just to make me happy! Right?
I’m sorry but walking in the park is not quite the same. It’s good, but not the same.
So, I hate to leave you hanging, dear reader. I have no solution.
Maybe it really is like what I’ve heard drug addicts say, “You never really lose the taste and desire for heroin, you just learn to fight it.”
Got any advice?