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How a 30 Day Shopping Fast Led Me to My Real Passions

Capsule wardrobe. Minimalism. Curated home. These aren’t “new” concepts, but thanks to Instagram and fashion bloggers they are currently trending. After the birth of my son, I knew I needed to downsize my closet and my life. I had an outfit (and throw pillow) for every occasion, but with burp clothes, teething toys, tiny socks and bouncing saucers taking over, we just didn’t have room for my ever-growing collection of things. Like any good millennial, I took to Instagram to see how others were doing more with less. I found inspiration to stop the buying craziness and focus on my passions. Inspiration is great…but putting it into action?

It seemed like a simple idea. Stop buying things I don’t absolutely need and start giving away stuff I don’t use regularly. But, as a new stay-at-home-mom, I found that shopping or changing my clothes/décor/kitchen utensils gave me a purpose. It made me feel more like me—the old me. How could I go to Target and not grab that slouchy tee or a cute pair of sandals? Didn’t I deserve it for all the sleepless nights and spit-up covered days? I’m ashamed to even type this, but I regularly spend $200 per shopping trip. As I looked at our Target card statement, I couldn’t help but think, “Is this who I am? Is this all I am?” I was bothered. Bothered by my frivolous spending and bothered that to fill a void or connect with my pre-mama self I was buying more stuff we didn’t have space for and I didn’t need. I knew in my heart that these material gains weren’t getting me any closer to the inspired, passionate, Godly woman I wanted to be, but I wasn’t sure what to do.

I decided that for July, I would give up shopping for clothing and makeup/skincare. I’m the only one who shops for my son and husband, so I still had to buy items for them, but I eliminated shopping for myself. I even went to Target twice during this time and managed to only buy necessities. I wasn’t without flaws, or purchases (darn you Amazon Prime), but I gave myself some grace and mostly, stuck to the plan.

Like I said, I wasn’t perfect, and as I reflected, I noticed that I increased my purchasing in two pronounced areas: food and reading material. I subscribed to 2 magazines and bought 3 books during this time. I also made more trips to our local meat and farmers market. What I came to see was by buying interesting produce and ingredients and making a fantastic meal or learning more about parenting skills through reading I felt inspired. It left me feeling energized and motivated, something shopping for clothes never did. The initial euphoria of buying something new is great, but usually, I was left bored and uninspired soon after it arrived in my closet—that original feeling of glee long gone.

I’m still trying to figure out my passion, and I find myself envious of mamas on the gram with a creative side-hustle. I see you photographers, stylists, beauty product sellers, eyelash gurus, etc. and I hope I’ll find my niche and join you soon. Until then, I know that when I focus on the simple pleasures and steer clear of unnecessary purchases I feel more fulfilled. God is working in me, and I’m trying to put down my phone and credit card long enough to see His plan and find my true passion.

 

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