Ugh….I did something I really didn’t want to do today. Not that I was forced into it, but just that well, I got wrapped up in the excitement of it all. I went shopping.
I know, shopping isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s not inherently evil by any stretch of the imagination. However, when I started this experiment I wanted to find new experiences that would push me as a person, as a woman, as a Christian, as a wife and mom. I wanted experiences that would leave me with stories, adrenaline rushes, the satisfaction of going beyond what is comfortable. Again, I knew not everyday could be skydiving (and don’t get excited because I don’t if ANY do would ever include skydiving), but I wanted everyday to be meaningful.
And today I went shopping.
There is something wildly thrilling and addictive about buying new things. The excitement of having something new in one’s closet or home or workshop. It’s not just a woman thing. I know plenty of guys that get a thrill of heading into a hardware store and purchasing the latest tool or heading into an electronics store and picking up the latest gadget. It just so happens that for me, I get that rush from new clothes….or purses….or shoes…..or jewelry…..or, well, you get the point. I’ve been trying so hard this year to not buy too many new things for my closet because I wanted the excitement of my new things to be found in activity or reflection or creating or the many other things I’ve included in this blog.
But there it was…..on sale. I have next to no shorts and the shirt was just so soft and that dress was so cute. You get the picture.
Buying new things does make one feel great temporarily. However, that is often tempered by the pangs of guilt when you think of where that money could have been spent … donations to others, a trip for the family, a date night with your loved one….and on and on. And that new feeling is ruined.
Or even if there is no guilt over money spent, the excitement of material things are short-lived. Once they have been worn or used a few times, the novelty wears off and we again begin thinking of how we “have nothing to wear” or our technology “is old and outdated”. Whether we’re talking about a shirt or a phone, it’s really all the same. Don’t get me wrong. Buying something new for ourselves isn’t a bad thing. Treating ourselves once in a while is nothing to feel guilty about. However, if the excitement of life is found in a mall rather than other places, it’s time for some self-reflection. If when one looks back over their week and their happiest moment is when a purchase was made, time to close the wallet and open the mind and heart. Because, really, living is something that can’t be bought. It has to be experienced.