I’m just about to come to the end of my second month of thrifting. I know a few of you are following my progress with a view to doing the same yourself, so wanted to write a quick update.
It seems hard to believe that I’m two months in; already a sixth of the way through the year. OK, so let’s put it into context, we’ve been in full blown lockdown that whole time. Plus, we were snowed in for a week. But, interestingly, I’ve felt the desire to purchase slowly ebb away.
If you’re hooked on anything, it makes absolutely no difference whether the need is there or not, you will carry out whatever addictive behaviour satisfies the desire. So, theoretically, regardless of whether there is a party to go to or not, I would still want to buy the frock. And that is pretty much how I used to exist. The “oh, that’s a lovely top. I’ll get it just in case”. And of course, the “just in case” never came, because invariably, by the time that opportunity to wear the little top arose, I’d moved on to the next fix.
It’s only by putting a bit of distance between myself and those behaviour patterns that I can now see with total clarity what was driving them and how dysfunctional they were. Having given up both smoking and alcohol, I am totally aware of what an addictive habit feels like, and I can now see my historic retail habits firmly satiated the same desires. A need for fulfilment, of being attached to something. And I wonder how many more of us there are out there? I’m starting to see what I previously saw as a harmless act through somewhat different eyes now. How much of a hold has consumerism got on us all? How blind are we to being brain washed into spending money that doesn’t need to be spent in order to satisfy a lifestyle that is both shallow and hollow?
So where am I now? After two months, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my urge to spend has gone. The umbilical cord to the online checkout has been well and truly severed. I feel a great calmness and a shift in how I view possessions generally. Is it functional? Does it serve a purpose? Do I need it? These are questions that regularly flow through my thoughts as I wander around my home. To give you an idea of what a seismic shift this is for me, this is coming from a woman whose home has been her everything. Yet now a very big part of me feels like I could just walk away from it all, with no sense of loss.
In terms of clothes, I open my wardrobe each day and feel a sense of overwhelm. There’s just too much “stuff” there. A couple of times I’ve spilt something down a white top, which even Vanish has failed to have an effect on, and I’ve gleefully thrown them in the bin thinking “well that’s one less thing to worry about”.
I can feel another project coming on at the end of the year. This one is going to include a lot of black bags taking a one-way trip to the charity shop – if it hasn’t been worn over the coming 10 months, whatever the item, I really can’t justify keeping it in my life. Capsule wardrobe, here I come.