Tag Archives: Target

I used to be a Shopaholic

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


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Books and Movies, Family Times

Looking Upward

Over the weekend, I finally accomplished putting into chronological order and placing my college to present pictures in photo albums. It brought back many great memories. As I sorted, I found these pictures that made me laugh at the memory of the evening:




During my years living in the Denver area, I lived in a neighborhood called Bel Mar. On the corner of Wadsworth and Alameda, this was the rising place for living and shopping. The Target I was employed at was about fifteen minutes from Bel Mar…connected to a flat mall that had an indoor mile track that ran its course around the stores. I enjoyed a mile walk on my lunch breaks. I think every mall should be modeled after that one.

Even though there were a few Target stores in the area, Bel Mar also built one a few months before I moved. It was one of the “new city” model styles where the parking garage was underneath on the “first floor,” making the actual retail store on the second floor, all of course equipped with escalators, a stairway, and an elevator. I opted for the escalators.

Mom came to Denver every other week to help me on my chemo weekends. After the grand opening of Target (we had watched it being built over time), I wanted to show her the inside of the new Target. Up until this point, I had only been in a few times, because it was more convenient for me just to get my needs and groceries from my Super Target rather than stop at another one on the way home. But with Mom, we had grabbed a few groceries and as we left, I made a discovery: they even had an escalator for your carts!!! I was laughing so hard, Mom was afraid I would fall down our own escalator. 🙂

Currently, I have recently developed a phobia of walking down the stairs. Going up the stairs is not a problem; just coming down. Too many falls in the past few months has triggered this phobia, but I can’t say that I had really classified it as a fear up until a few weeks ago when I mentioned it to a friend. Now I am not even sure if it is just the stairs I fear falling–I think it is falling in general.

With my balance continuing to worsen, I have now restarted Physical Therapy, but it takes place here at my house. Due to the decline of function in my hands (especially the right hand), I will also be starting soon some sessions of Occupational Therapy. The reason for having the sessions here at home is to help me with my everyday living. For example, because I started my first PT session last week, we did a huge overview of my current conditions and discussed the areas in which I need assistance. Most of my current frustrations deal in the realm of OT, but balance was a major issue for me in PT. She gave me a suggestion for going down the stairs sideways, but to be honest, it doesn’t make me feel any better about the decline. As for right now we are mainly focusing on extra balancing exercises to accompany the PT strengthening exercises I have been doing already.

To access my current conditions, my therapist had me perform some “strength and mobility” tests. I can only stand on one foot for a mere one or two seconds…and standing with one foot in front of the other depends on which foot is placed first. Considering I have had two blood clots in my left leg, don’t be surprised to hear that it is my stronger leg. I think it always has been to be honest. When we lived in Colorado, I did get the chance to learn how to snowboard before my balance would no longer permit the activity. My Dad insisted that my sister and I take a half day of lessons before we just went out on our own. At the rental shop, when deciphering which foot you will put forward on the board, the rental personal did a little test. He had me turn around and gave me a slight nudge. I put my left foot forward first. He said, “You’re a regular foot.” (A right foot is called a goofy foot.) I think if anyone gave me a little nudge today, I would just fall over.

I am seeing the reality that my balance and falling will worsen. I have no control over it. There are days when I am to the point of tears at my balance. Other days, I find humor in it. I think it parallels the balance of life: days when strength is strong and days when strength is weak…in both I need to keep looking upwards, knowing when I fall, He still stands.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2 ESV


Filed under Adjusting to NF2, Family Times, Funny Stories, Muffy, Random