That may sound so silly to someone who has never had the dependence or habit I had with shopping. It used to ‘perk me up’ if I was down, to get a new outfit, a new something for the kitchen or living room – and almost always it was me who came home from a shopping trip with friends, with the most bags. The most stuff – and likely the most bills. How foolish it seems to me now.
It’s not that the wanting has stopped. I saw a lot of things tonight that I would have liked to have. But I didn’t feel bad not getting them. It did not hurt to make a choice. I did not want, long for, feel I must have anything so badly that I was willing to risk whatever the cost was, and want to just hand over the plastic and worry about the rest of the story later.
The change I most feel coming home from this trip is freedom. A freedom of making a perfect moment, having a perfect meal, or making the perfect choice… depending on something that decays to complete my life at that moment in time. I finally figured out that any pleasure things can give me is at the best temporary and fleeting. Before I’d always be looking back, wondering if I could have gotten a better bargain, if I should have chosen the other color, if I should have gotten 6 of whatever. No more. I’m free.
I had a good time with friends. We shopped. We ate. We found some small treasures and gifts. I left with my purchases paid for. No more debt. Most importantly, though, truly, the best part of the shopping experience today, was being with my friends. Talking together and sharing over a meal, marveling over some products and laughing over other strangely shaped or colored items. Sharing family news, looking at things for the grandkids, discussing spiritual questions, and teasing one another was the occasion. Shopping was just the location.
I wish I’d given up the credit card years ago. I’ve always known people are more important than things. Now I feel it more than ever.