I slipped already in my no-recreational-shopping challenge … without even thinking, I browsed the Levenger catalog last night and the LL Bean catalog this morning. It wasn’t until I was half-way through (from the back of the catalog, my favorite way to browse), that I realized, “Hey, this is shopping!” and I put the catalog in the bin. My mission for today is to cancel those catalogs: http://www.catalogchoice.org. Extra credit: cancel magazine subscriptions (which might as well be shopping, there are so many ads.)
I’ve been reading the minimalistwoman.com’s e-book, “The Minimalist Woman’s Guide to Having it All“ and have begun today with the first step toward becoming a mindful consumer by stopping recreational shopping. I’ve been working on mindful consumerism for a while including buying more organic, locally produced and American-made products and taking month-long hiatuses from shopping in big-box stores. In the end though, there is still an incoming stream of stuff, my house is more cluttered than I like and my savings account isn’t growing as fast as I would like. (I am debt-free except my mortgage and I don’t incur new debt. I just spend more than I want to and I acquire things that I don’t love — often impulsively — because there are just more places popping up where you can buy organic, locally produced, American-made stuff!)
On the surface, eliminating “recreational shopping” should be a piece of cake for me. I’ve even created rules for myself to make it easy ala Zen Habits such as an exemption for shopping for my family, (it’s not recreational if I go in, get what I came for and leave). BUT, (you knew there was a but), I don’t know what to do for fun. I grew up shopping as a hobby. I’m addicted to how shopping shows me the possibilities. I’ve mastered shopping as a “creative excursion.” I’m good at it. I can buy more in a single trip than anyone I know and I can always get the best DEALS!
Challenge: What do I enjoy doing?
I woke up this morning wondering if God really wanted all of those cathedrals, temples and shrines that have been dedicated to him. Is He attached to this kind of stuff? Is consumerism built-in to Western culture because of our belief that the Kingdom of Heaven is filled with riches? (Prompting us to work at building our own little slice of Heaven here on Earth?) Perhaps instead of us really believing we were made in His image, we think He is like us? (Always wanting more; never satisfied with what we have; materialistic?)