I shop, therefore I am.

When I was a teenager, I used to love writing about the things I’d bought that day. Books, clothes, shoes – they were all recorded, usually with their price so I could observe what a bargain I’d found.

Here, I’m going to revive that technique. Not that I wish to brag about all of the things I buy, but I will be recording all of the things that make their way into my life. This way, I will be holding myself accountable for all the things I purchase.

Part of me thinks that I should also record the amount of time that I spend scrolling and daydreaming about the way certain things would make me look or feel. Perhaps that is an exercise for another day. The amount of time I spend thinking about stuff is appalling,  and this obsession has made me rethink my lifestyle. Buying stuff is not how I want to think about my time on this Earth. I want to travel, to spend time with my dogs, to dance and write – not mull over how cute that coat would look on me if I were walking over the Clyde even as I sit, sedentary, next to sleeping dogs.

Yet, we are encouraged to shop all the time. Every bus stop bears an advertisement, every webpage is bookended by glamorous models wearing the next ‘it’ piece. Our society’s propensity for overshopping is both alarming and mundane. In keeping up this belief that everything is okay, we destroy our bank accounts and the planet. Shopping does not make us more alive; it usually does not even prepare us for life, because we often have what we need.

Therefore, for at least three months, my goal is to buy nothing unless it is a necessity. As it is 1 March, that means nothing for almost the entirety of spring. I’ve read about recovering shopaholics who have been able to do year-long shopping bans, and I admire this. However, I am hoping to emulate this…I’ll just do the first three months and carry on, taking it one day at a time.

So, in this spirit, I think back to the mentality that a friend had when he quit smoking. I’m just not going to shop today.

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