In college, my roommates and I went often to the movies. After seeing Confessions of a Shopaholic, I felt much like the main character, Rebecca Bloomwood. Not that I racked up almost $20 grand in debt, got a job that I knew nothing about, lied to a debt collector, or bought a green scarf for $120 on maxed out credit cards, but the movie made my conscience weary–because I did love to shop. And I was good at impulse buying.
I have always been one for fashion. It was why I wanted to be popular..they wore cool clothes. With my sister visiting this past week, we discussed the 90’s fashion and what we used to wear. Much laughter later, there is just no way it was fashionable, though at the time it seemed so. (I still dig 80’s fashion.) 🙂
Back to Denver days, or as I term–my “glory days”–I loved the city life! I lived with college roommates, had a great job (who doesn’t love Target attached to a mall?), lived in a great neighborhood–across the street from the public library and a park, and was only a few blocks from the best tea and coffee shops. I was in great shape, attended an awesome church and Bible study, volunteered with an after-school street church in downtown Denver, and was surrounded by friends. And I loved to shop.
It is hard not to when you are surrounded like this with so much. It was mostly clothes and, not to blame, but when you are a cashier seeing things fly past your nose all day..sometimes it gets to your brain. Brainwashed. It was better than magazines: I saw the newest products and prices, plus I had an employee discount. But not all shopping was for me. I like to give gifts; giving gifts brings me joy. Getting unexpected gifts gives me joy. To give you must also receive.
It wasn’t until we moved to Ohio that I got really serious about sorting my belongings. Growing up, we did have a thrift store run by our church and we gave our un-needed items to them for others to use. I am all for thrift stores…I shop at Goodwill, but I have always been one to want new in clothes. Fresh. I don’t think it is bad to shop that way, but I have to watch the impulse buys and motives when doing so.
I stopped shopping like Denver days when we moved out here. Yes, I still shop, just not as often. Before August, when my driving ordeal started and then draining health, I would run my errands after church. Coming in the house, I would try to hide a majority of my things in my disposable bags on my way past the kitchen, through the living room and to my bedroom. Parents always seemed to be in the kitchen; I don’t know…something like parents eyeing you makes you feel accountable for what you buy even though I don’t think they cared. Some Sundays it was just food anyway.
Times change. I still like fashion…I follow a few fashion blogs and still stand in front of my closet making “outfits” for different days or upcoming events. But shopping is now mainly for the needs. Most of it is now OT needs. I bought a set of plastic bowls, plates and cups the other day as it is something I need for the kitchen. They have better gripping edges; Me holding glass is getting dangerous. The OT list is for needs that will help me function and be safe, like a shower chair. And the walker I have is just genius!
Because I have been on steroids for almost a whole year, I have gained some weight. With my body the way it is, there are times when just getting ready in the morning or putting away my laundry feels like an exercise. Even today, putting on my socks, ankle braces and shoes took fifteen minutes; I hadn’t even done any PT yet but was breathing as if I did. My body is not its Denver “glory days,” and accepting that has been a long process of faith.
I did have some wardrobe needs now that winter is around the corner: pants and sweaters (among the top of the list.) I don’t think I have met anyone who is excited to go pant shopping. And in my case, I was looking for specifics. Mom recommended J.C. Penny as first stop. I had asked her to join me as I was uncertain of exactly what I was going for–basically, comfortable pants with no buttons. Slacks. I still have jeans and will wear them, but I needed something that was less harsh on the stomach.
We found what we were looking for in the petites section and I was pretty excited. There were some fun colored ones and a corduroy pair. Those didn’t work and fashion was thrown out the window. I try on the others and say, “I look like an old lady in these.” Then quickly blurt out loudly, “No offense if anyone heard that.” I just didn’t want to offend an elderly lady in the dressing room, happen that there would be one. It was exciting to get these pants but I have to admit, it was and is a bit embarrassing to wear them. Just not the fashion I am accustomed to, but they meet my need.
Sweater shopping was more normal–of course, Target just feels normal. 🙂 Marcia helped me find some sweaters. I am so glad she was there, because the last long sleeve shirt I try on, I get stuck. By this time, my arms are pudding and I had to ask for help to take it off. In other words, I may love fashion and shopping but it is now a very exhausting experience. Let alone when I get home I can’t carry my bags up the stairs anymore either.
I am still accepting the wholeness of these past few months–the changes in my body and image overall, but I feel I am reaching a point where I see significance in more important things other than fashion. You will still see me planning outfits or making a “new look” out of the clothes…just rearranging colors and patterns in ways I haven’t worn them before; I will still read the fashion blogs and comment on stranger’s cute shoes, but I am seeking to be content. Fashion is fleeting, but a thankful heart is what I desire most of all.
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
I Timothy 6:6-8 ESV