death to shopping.

four and a half years ago i returned from my two year tour as a peace corps volunteer in lesotho. my experience in southern africa was life-changing and mind-altering, but somehow living in a tiny village, in a mud hut with no electricity or running water, was not enough to extinguish my yearning for STUFF. what stuff? any stuff. don't get me wrong..i joined the peace corps, not a nunnery, so while i lived a simple life, i did not see a need to completely eradicate consumption. whenever i went to town i invariably wandered through shops to peruse all the goodies and often ended up buying things that were far from necessary. on one hand i was supporting the local economy, on the other hand i was simply engaging in the consumerism that comes so natural to americans. you can take the girl out of america, but apparently you can't take the america out of the girl. at least not this girl.
before i left lesotho, i promised myself that i would do my best to continue living a simple life. nothing extreme...i was not about to turn down living in a house with electricity and indoor plumbing, but i wanted to try life with less possessions (not zero possessions, just less, less, less). upon reentry into the united states i felt that immediate tug to consume like a starving glutton. on my first day back i went to target. it was like sending a lamb to the slaughter - i wanted EVERYTHING. then within my first 12 months, i bought a car, acquired furniture, and bought a condo. and i have been wallowing in the murky waters of consumerism ever since. i might not yet be in need of a twelve-step program, but i am surely on my way to being addicted to shopping.
since i have no desire to be featured on the discovery channel as a hoarder, this past friday i drew the proverbial line in the sand. i have forbidden myself to go shopping. the only exceptions are food and any other items which the mister and i agree are needed. my goal is to save my time, my money, and my sanity. most importantly this will present me with a little more time and energy to enjoy the things that we already have. since my declaration i have cleaned up the clutter that was taking over our house and happily unearthed goodies about which i had forgotten. like a scandalous quantity of tea light candles -- thank you ikea. candles make me feel warm and fuzzy, so the past few days i have been merrily burning my way through our heap of candles. i have barely made a dent. i also rediscovered a stash of coasters. i dont know about you, but my mum ingrained in me that one must always use coasters. not surprisingly, i get excited about the wee little buggers. little did i realize how many we have acquired. so now my curiosity is overwhelming. i cannot wait for the myriad of possibilities that await me within the world of stuff that is our home. i am going shopping...in our closet.


  1. oh! I've been feeling that same way! Like if I can just get that one thing that this room/outfit will be PERFECT. Except I never sit in THAT room or wear THAT outfit, because I'm always out shopping. In moving my office down to the pink man cave, I've uncovered all kinds of buried treasure that I will hopefully be contented to play with in my new digs. While wearing some clothes from my closet that still have tags on them... Now if only I could keep myself from internet window shopping...

    Pink man cave will hopefully be my Lesotho!

  2. finally someone who understands the trials and tribulations of the quest for the perfect ________ (fill in the blank)!!! i thought i was the only one.

    good luck with the pink man cave. i hope that you find the inspiration to cease or reduce the urge to shop, because it is actually remarkably liberating. but you are correct...avoiding the pitfall of internet browsing is like trying to avoid scratching a bug bite.

  3. Lesotho goes to candles goes to coasters goes to closet shopping. It is truly stunning how your brain works. I am in awe.