What, you may well ask, has stopping shopping got to do with walking and meditating? I’m hearin’ ya!
A hundred years ago when I was young and thin, (and thought I was fat – DRAT!), I was a wonderful consumer. I was just what the capitalists ordered! A creature the bankstas loved!
(Don’t they just love us getting into lots of yubbily debt!)
In the 80s I had “the look” – the big hair, the shoulder pads, the overalls (or was that the 70s?) – I spent what I earnt – I didn’t save. We rented. I had no financial smarts or a car but I had a store card and a credit card.
To give you an idea of how I looked I loved Wham! I wore flouro T-shirts with statements and went vegetarian for 5 years after reading Diet for a Small Planet. I was a sort of hippy! (in the early 80s).
(Also bear in mind I was working in the public service in the tax department after having dropped out of NIDA’s director’s course – now there’s a case of juxtaposition!).
Fast forward to the nought-teens aka 2015 and I’m divested from fossil fuels, don’t shop at major supermarkets, have rediscovered the grandma glories of bicarb of soda and vinegar and am rubbing arrowroot flour in my armpits.
How did this happen? And why?
Instead of boring you with my life story I’ll bore you with only a bit of my life story!
Five years ago I split from the NT and a marriage in ruins and arrived here in the Far West NSW town that would become my own, (except to become a local you really should have been born here. Aint it the case everywhere?)
Anyhoo – I had also done one or two 10 day Vipassana retreats and you can’t do 100 to 200 hours of meditation (non-sectarian) without it affecting your inner workings. I wanted a bit more soul in my life and a lot less (searching for the right word here) “soul substitutions”. More bliss, less mess.
I’m also a political creature as those of you who follow the FaceBook page will no doubt agree.
So one of the first things I did was to not go shopping at the big super markets like that one beginning with W or Big or C – none of them. Yes, they do some mighty fine deal$ but I made a decision to shop only at the local IGA co-ops. And have done so for some years now.
I just got really sick of making rich people richer with my hard-earned dollars. And also the way that the cheap items were sourced and how.
If you are going to follow this switch, be kind on yourself as it’s a big switch – you don’t get to go to the “mall” – or window-shop or see all the folk who might be there spending all their hard-earned dosh. Nada. That party-like atmosphere, those laden shelves are all carefully designed by psychologists to get us to spend our dollars. I’ve noticed you don’t get such a choice range either but what the hey?
I haven’t been inside any of them for a couple of years now – and I’ve even shopped at a local small franchise for printing cartridges at greater expense so as to avoid entering the big chains. And yes, at this point in time, I’m “in between money” – it’s that political for me.
But no, I don’t have kids and I am not judging anyone at all for shopping according to needs. It is my political choice alone. Please don’t think I’m judging at all. I’m simply NOT!
The next step might be to start decluttering – for 4 years my garage/shed held furniture and stuff from the NT and clearly I had no need of it since it had sat there gathering dust for 4 years. Prior to that, it had been in storage for another couple of years. Blow that for a joke – I held a garage sale.
All the stuff from those failed days went in a day – I pocketed some loose change and could now park the limo inside the garage.
I also made a vow to not buy any new clothes this year – I put it out on the FB page and since then the only new items (as in brand spanking) have been a pair of walking shoes and a pair of new track pants at the second-hand shop. They turned out to be plastic so collect the dog-hair like it’s going out of style.
On the other hand, I have bought a few second hand items but I’ve also tried to balance the incoming with the outgoing. A standard rule of thumb is that if it hasn’t been worn all this or last year, then give it the hoik.
So mostly shopping local, empty garage, rationalised wardrobe. What next?
You’ll have to read Stopping Shopping Part 2 to find out!