HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I STOPPED SHOPPING

in ulog •  6 months ago

Wikipedia describes it as an activity. What they do not describe is what it has now become. It has become a North American Epidemic. Shopping is everywhere. You do not even have to leave your home. We have the shopping channel, the shopping Network. You can shop online and order everything and anything you ever wanted and then some and well then more.

If you watch Television it is full of commercials telling us what we need to have, should have and cannot do without. Purchase a magazine to perhaps enjoy a few articles and more than half is full of adds. Oh more stuff to purchase. Flyers that come to the home and newspapers. Even phone calls and text messages from your Cell Phone Provider. All trying to deliver the message that they thought we did not hear. "YOU NEED TO PURCHASE THIS". What ends up happening is we purchase way more than we will ever need. One day you actually "WAKE UP" and realize you have way too much stuff. So...how did it get this way?

We start with nothing and we can't take it when we go. What happened in between? I never started out as a shopper. Hated it as a kid when my mother dragged me around for new shoes or some such item. All I wanted to do was play in the yard or ride a bike or rollerskate. As I reached junior high level I realized it was starting to become important to have certain items that were ..well hip or in style. After all it was the British Invasion and we all needed those white GOGO BOOTS, and those Window Pane stockings. We wanted to fit in right? Then came the Hippy Movement. But gee we tiedied our own t-shirts and embroidered flowers on your bell-bottoms. Even wore flowers in our hair. We had a certain attire, but we were anti-establishment and so we hung around Yorkville, but no we did not shop. We were worried who took the last toke on the splif and how we could help throw our voices to the good old U.S.A. to help bring troops back home. We looked more like Country Joe and the Fish. No one had much money and what we did have was spent on Rock Concerts and such.

Then just as suddenly as everything else High School ended and there we were thrust into the Real Adult World. Get a job we were told. So where did I end up, but in the Corporate World. In downtown Toronto. With men and women in suits and attache cases, stock brokers, lawyers, investment bankers. These became my norm and I learned quickly how to play the game. What to wear, where to shop to look the part. After all you want that promotion. Someone told you it looks good. I moved up quickly in that Corporate World. A spunky latch key street kid then became a young women with Moxie. I let go of my hippy ways to wear a business suit, complete with pumps, and yes a case. I looked smart and sassy and shopped at the smart and sassy shops. Next thing I knew I was a Supervisor in the Investment Department and well did that not mean more clothes ? Yes it meant that and more. That brand new Thunderbird. Who can deny the car with the suit. After all.

Well as much as that evoked something and it could have continued, life changed again. I became pregnant and over time I became a mom of three. My world now became about toys, and books, and bikes and as they grew, activities and more things. Suddenly my cute little bungalow with the huge garden that I so loved became too small. Not sure it really was. Then of course the move to the Suburbs and a huge house that now felt empty as the children ran up and down the stairs and across the floor. A street and a neighborhood as lovely as it was that was full of other houses the same. So what do all folks who live there do? Well shop of course. Fill the house with things you do not want and can't afford and then well, even though no one admits they copy neighbors (deep down they all do). Better lawns, better cars, better lawn furniture and on and on and on. Then the children grow up and you re-enter the business world. This time though you need schooling. You are out of touch. Oh more shopping. Clothes for school and books and a second car. How will you get there? Then you feel so proud, you got your degree. Now you need a job. Oh more shopping. Now I am wondering if I really like this shopping or it is becoming a habit? So I get the job and that young woman with Moxie now becomes a middle age woman that works in a Health Food Store and moves through the retail world like a storm. Now I am a Manager and well I have to look the part. Oh more shopping. Never really a fashionista, I still felt there was something I needed to look the Managerial part. My day is full of customers, sales reps, trade shows, business meetings and you just have to try this product, read that book, wear those shoes etc. etc. Well I now need a better car. I run a store.

Guess what happens next? Children grow up, leave home, travel the world, seeks their own adventures and go to University and find love and make babies and a life of their own. Suddenly there is a certain loneliness. The house becomes too quiet. No one wants money or a drive or even just a chat or pancakes. Now the house echoes. You have so much free time. Your friends have free time. Want to go downtown and shop. Let's go to the mall. Or the house needs a renovation. One day you look in the mirror and you realize you are not getting younger. Lines show up on your face, things sag, you gain weight and things do not fit just the same. So you go shopping. More creams and lotions and more clothes and the latest pots and pans.

But something is churning and yearning and you know there is something undone. Something deep and powerful, so intense, yet you can not put your finger on it. You try to express it and most people look at you with a blank face. It starts slowly and grows with intensity. You need to get out. Get away from the stuff. This can't be all their is? Was not life so pleasant just the two of us in a tiny little shack that was our first home. That cute little white bungalow nestled between the apple blossoms. So where do we go from here? Start with that infamous garage sale. Then another and another. Then the huge move. Sell the house. Sell or give away or discard the items. Now we have less right? It feels like it till we get here. Our downsized home. But why or why do we still have so much stuff.

Time for a very new way of thinking. New Paradigm Shift. New word. Minimalism. Less is more. What has to change? EVERYTHING!!!! So how to do it. Yes it is time to discard more items, not needed. But the real keyword here is shopping.

I ACTUALLY STOPPED SHOPPING, SO----WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STOP SHOPPING?

EVERYTHING HAPPENS WHEN YOU STOP SHOPPING, EVERYTHING AND THEN SOME MORE.

Now I never do anything in a small way. I go big or go home. Jump in with both feet, eyes wide open. So I made myself a really huge commitment. No more shopping for anything unless it is absolutely needed until I am 70. Since that is just about 7 years away, it is one hell of a huge commitment. Once I made that commitment to myself, I thought great, but what is involved.

No more trips to the shops and malls for no reason, no more retail therapy, and I do not have to keep up with the Neighbors. Stop magazine subscriptions, remove emails that come from stores and GET OUTSIDE.

So what else has happened?

Awareness, gratitude, a better feeling of peace and calm. More time became available for other interests. More days for exploring, reading, listening to music, cooking and just enjoying each other. Many years ago I used to write. Stories and Poems. Maybe my heart will open up enough to write. Life is worth so much more than anything you can purchase from a store. I realized that without knowing it I was stuck in a consumerism cycle, that I really didn't even like. I actually have more money now for seeking that adventure, paying the entry fee to a run I am interested in, enjoying the special restaurant we had our eye on that we are dying to try. I realized how much shopping was actually being used to cover up all types of issues I did not want to deal with. Suddenly I had to take a good hard look at myself. It was not pretty. I had slowly over the years, moved from a kid who disliked shopping to a full fledged shopaholic. GOD, I HATE THAT WORD. But yes, that is what I had become, and I lived in denial of it for years.

I have given away hundreds of items now. Things I dont really need. It feels so good. Liberating. Things that others can actually use. That is the greatest reward. Now that I am not shopping I realize I have so much already. So many nice things. I still have so many clothes. I have to think strategically now how to put them together. I still have too many, but it's coming. Everyweek I have a new grabbag for someone. Everytime I clean my closet I am cleansing my soul just a little more. Now I cleanse my soul (closet) once a month. I make it a habit now to tidy up all cupboards and clutter too.

So what have I really learned. That less is more. That I actually did not really like it all that much. No one really cares what you are wearing, except for maybe your mother. You do it for yourself. I realized I love nice clothes. Good quality things. That I am not a Fashionista. I like more classic things. That I was using the shopping for excuses for so many things. That at the end of the day, that baggage was still there, like a sore thumb. That life is wonderful without it. I actually hate malls. Working on your shit is really really hard. That it feels good to have less things. That it is in the undoing that you find out who you really are.

I make it a habit to absolutely not purchase anything I do not need. I have eliminated so much clutter from my home, my life and my soul. Is there more...yes. There is no end to this wonderful new found Mimimulistic Lifestyle. It feels so good.

Can I last till I am 70. I think so, now that I am on a role.

Namaste to you all

Images: Google Source

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Keep up your one sided anti-@haejin posts and the downvotes will correlate.

Though, you fail to present, on balance, your nasty posts like the whale shitting memes or racist donkeys. Your hubby's (@hendrix22) rapid fire FU haejin hate posts were psychotic and seem to be have dissipated. A positive improvement. Though, his anti-haejin memes of a gay guy riding a donkey hiding his erect penis under a hat...that was gross. The subterfuge degrees you two will go to have been impressive (e.g. the buttocks post). And yet you try and post yourself as a genteel homesteader..however; I see you as anything but; based on your nasty memes! Most of all, your propensity to incite others to do your bidding on hate downvotes and posts and comments; has been consistent! You've said that I flag like a bitch and yet the TRUE BITCH is YOU!

On Que!: @lyndsaybowes will again post the memes of shitting whale or gay guy riding with an erect penis hidden under a hat riding the donkey....in 3,2, 1....!

Did you really think that constantly calling me a donkey and posting the insulting memes along with your one sided videos will induce any change? Really? Wrong! Do you think @fulltimegeek's video of spitting on my name and his downvotes or any other downvotes will bring about any positive change? Wrong again! I will only push back!

I shall NEVER bend my knee to any of you self righteous haters or trolls!

Newton's 3rd Law: Whatever you push will by guarantee, push back. I've been pushing pack to you and @hendrix22 (your hubby). Would you like to try a different tact? I assure you, I am the most tenacious human alive today.

Check out the peace made with @thabiggdogg!

Your move.

The consumer mentality is being worked on by using the subconscious. That's where the battle is being lost.
Advertisements are being directed towards unsuspecting individuals. If you search on the internet for a suit, the next day when you go back to the computer you get 10 advertisements for suites. Then you get targeted letters in the mail the next week because your up address has revealed who you are to the googles of the world who sell our information to advertisers. Google has so much information because of these gmail accounts, and free applications like Google maps that we like to use. The real problem here is the control that we have given away through the "free services" that we use everyday. Apple, Google, Microsoft (office in the cloud) are all using and selling our information.
Have you ever looked at your computer after receiving a 20% off coupon and wondered how they knew you needed some new tires for your car. Call it "AI", "internet of things", or just flat out invasion of privacy.

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YES!!!! I travel a lot and often look at flights and I run and look at shoes. I am constantly bombarded with flight information and shoe information. I would need an army of feet to get all the shoes. So yes, we are victims of our own doing. Thanks for stopping by. Nice to meet you on this platform.

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Very nice to meet you as well, I will follow your blog.

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You summed todays consumer society up very well, not exactly in a nut shell maybe a dustbin. Awesome piece of writing Marion. Never been mu h of a consumer me, never jad the spare cash when I was young, and when i got older I already realised it was jist a scam to keep the capitalist system going. Wish we could convince more people to follow this route the planet would be a lot healthier and people would ultimately be happier. Just wish I could stop picking things up at the bins that I might use but never do. Lol. Namaste and Blessings x

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Thank you..oh so sadly you are a dumpster diver. Well one man's trash is another's treasure. yikes

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Well not exactly a dumpster diver. Our rubbish is collected daily from bins around the village, there is also a recycling point which has. What we call a skip or dumpster for general rubbish. It only if we see something of interest that we pick it up.. But we are no in the process of returning it all lol, things we picked up years ago amd never used. x

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You say it outrightly, the way it really is. We shop way too much for what we really don't need. And I tell you that after reading this article, I made up my mind to stop this trending but wasteful habit. Thank you for opening my eyes in this direction.

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you are so welcome. It is sad really how much we have, when so many have so little. Yes it is quite easy when you start and then like everything else becomes a new habit. A good habit. Just sit back and read a book or write poetry. :)))

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Thank you so much for that post. I needed some adjustments too. Too many cluttering around.

I got to a similar place but on a different road. I was a hoarder born of anxiety and poverty. Everything was, "I might need this and not be able to buy it if I do" in addition to the psychological hangups. I've never been able to really engage in retail therapy pretty much, because I never had money. I did splurge at the bookstore when I had what to me was money, to the tune of $50/month (I know this because Barnes & Noble used to send me renewal postcards telling me how much I had saved over the previous year from their program to show it's value because it wasn't free. So I did math and figured I had spent about $600/year there). And that was a "holy shit I spend way too much at the bookstore" moment.
Since I've been purging stuff, yes, I feel a lot freer and lighter. I haven't gotten rich or anything, but somehow when I need something, something happens to get those basic needs met. Still surviving - with less shit to overwhelm me. Still more to go!
I just want to get to a place where I have what I need, a secure place to live, and the secure ability to have my needs met.

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oh hey there. I have a friggin long way to go. Really the post was about what happened when I stopped. I really never did touch on the deep, dark why's. Admitting to the shopaholic was tuff enough and deep enough for a lot of steemians. Then there are others that look under the carpet, such as yourself. Thank you for stopping by. It is a long tough road indeed. I am still working on my mother's house and the horrible hoarding that took place there. Getting there. :))) much love

I love this. I've been on a minimalism kick for the past several years. Every time I turn around there is more stuff. It didn't help that we had to condense three houses down to one (long story). And then my grandfather finally passed and we had to clean out all the stuff he and my grandmother accumulated (major hoarders).

I've stopped buying pipes because I'd rather stock up on tobacco to smoke in them. (Taxes are only going to get higher.) And as for my other hobbies, like tinkering with computers and technology - I get more than I need at the dump to keep me busy.

No one wants money or a drive or even just a chat or pancakes.

I would love some pancakes and a chat. Just saying. A pity you don't live closer!

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Well I guess I might be old enough to be your mother. so in that case come on up..except for the Bank of Mom is closed. you can have a chat and a pancake. :)))

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Heh! I hadn't thought of asking for a loan...

If I promise not to ask about money, could I have... two pancakes?

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lol. truth be told I make best buttermilk blueberry pancakes this side of the Mississippi. With Nova Scotia blueberries too. aha

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I did not see that part at first...about the computers. A dumpster diver eh. I remember your computer story.

Im so glad you wrote this! Now more than ever, people need to realize that this whole consumerism society is a trap. Its not just women either. Men are addicted to shopping just as bad. Its being ingrained into our children.
Maybe its the old hippie in you thats come back to deliver a message. Its one that is sorely needed. Thank You Marion!

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Oh you are most welcome. Yes maybe, the hold hippie in me. I like that. Yes men are just as bad. It actually can get worse. Big toys for big boys. Thanks for stopping by and so glad you liked it.

I'm glad I figured this out very early. People think I'm crazy but I don't buy anything unless I really do need it or it's actually serving a purpose over a long term (like maybe a computer). My problem is getting people to stop consuming for me. I have a little boy and I don't buy him much toys, but it doesn't mean that my house isn't filling up with plastic on almost a daily basis. Everyone around me is a consumer. It's easy for me to stop consuming, but it's nearly impossible to stop others from consuming for me.

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Yes. That is a valuable point. I agree. I used to so dislike kids birthday parties and all the stuff. Or when someone overindulged one of mine. No you are not crazy. Awesome to meet you on this platform.

What a vulnerable and authentic post, just brimming with wisdom and truth!! I have tears in my eyes, that was AWESOME Marion! I'll be sharing this all over the place because I know this will inspire many, many people!

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Thank you. Ya it just came and I actually could not stop. That is what we are supposed to do...just write from the heart.