The Buy High - My Weekly Check-in

Weekly blog of a shopaholic recovery journey
Checking in to see how the week has gone as a recovering shopaholic.

I shopped this week. I wasn’t planning to shop. I had wanted to wait a few more weeks…just wear the clothing I set aside for my capsule wardrobe…be patient. The urge to buy a few new things to “upgrade” my capsule wardrobe had been nagging at me since I first put together the selected items. I wanted to buy new long sleeve t-shirts including a striped one, a burgundy colored quilted vest, a new fall dress and a leopard bag…maybe even a nicer burgundy bag than the one I already own.

I played the “should I - shouldn’t I?” game in my head several times. I used my "urge strikes" app each time I thought about shopping, and each time I made the decision NOT to buy. That was until one morning, when I was in a “not so great mood”, except I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was in this lousy mood. I so desperately wanted to have a great day, so I wasn’t going to acknowledge this mood!! I was doing several things that morning to defer the mood. First, I started watching one Youtube beauty or fashion video after the next. This, of course, is a trigger for me. I knew that , but didn't care. I wanted to escape my mood. So then I started to “innocently” browse a few of my favorite clothing sites. Little by little I could feel it rising inside me…I really wanted to shop. Yes, I really wanted to buy something and I felt I deserved it. I reasoned, “I should have the items I will feel best wearing in my capsule wardrobe”. What I was truly hoping to buy was the uplift that shopping reliably provides. I believed shopping could put me in a better mood.

In my inbox was an email from J.Crew announcing a sale. I clicked to the site and there I found long sleeve t-shirts (including a striped one), a cute quilted burgundy colored vest and a few super cute leopard bags. All the clothing and accessories that I had been pondering over were available at J.Crew, and since it was a “Buy More - Save More” type of sale, I bought it all…everything…including both the leopard and burgundy bag. Before checking out my online cart, I took the time to use my "urge strikes" app. The app asks many questions, one of which is “How will you pay for it?”. I paused to answer…I would be putting these purchases on my credit card. I did not have the money in hand to pay for it right now…I would need to pre-spend part of next month’s budget. I pushed that thought aside, and continued checking out. Shopping did not disappoint. I had my Buy High!

The story doesn’t end there. As the day went on, guess what happened? No matter what I did, what I tried, the lousy mood just kept catching up with me. At one point later in the afternoon I thought about the items I had caved into purchasing that morning. I realized that the happiness, the excitement, the “buy high” didn’t last very long. In fact, I don’t even think it lasted the whole morning. I’m still waiting for the J.Crew box to appear on my doorstep and I do not know yet whether I will keep it all…or return it all…or return some of it. I’ll let you know.

Of course hindsight is 20/20, and I can see clearly now what occurred that day. What could I have done instead? I could have stopped trying to run away from the lousy mood and just accepted it as "a guest in my house". Bad moods happen..they come...they leave. I could have been more of a mother to myself..acknowledging that I had to wait for the lousy mood to leave and encouraged myself to do something else besides shopping to take my mind off both my mood and the urges to shop. I might have called my husband or my best friend or gone for a walk on my treadmill and watched "The Real Housewives of Orange County" (which is always good for a giggle or two). There are other things I can do when a lousy mood strikes as I wait for it to leave, and next time this happens to me I hope that I will be writing about the success I had avoiding trying to buy myself a better mood!

As for the Fall Capsule…It has still been a bit warm here (or maybe I’m just menopause warm). I find I’ve been putting on the complete capsule look, only to end up peeling off the layers. I did get several compliments on a capsule outfit that I thought was “just okay”. Of course I was happy to receive a compliment, but why hadn’t I thought the outfit deserved a compliment to begin with? Since I had taken a picture of myself that morning (I’m saving all my capsule outfit selfies), I went back to look at it. I carefully looked at myself from the outside in instead of the inside out. I needed to see myself as others saw me, and not the critical way that I may sometimes view myself. Yes, I did look nice…I looked fashionable, put together and on top of that, I looked appropriately dressed for the tasks of that day (volunteer work at the school).

I mention the “appropriate dressing” because I don’t always dress the right way. I know some women have the tendency to underdress…such as wearing yoga pants or sweats everywhere. Those women may desire to “level up” their everyday look, but I often have the opposite issue. I sometimes need to “level down”, as I often overdress for the occasion. Usually overdressing is not too bad (I would definitely choose overdressing than underdressing), but there are times when my overdressing just does not make sense…and lunch duty has been one of those times! In the past I can recall wearing heels or a dress, or long jewelry that kept swinging around getting in the way. This time, wearing my capsule wardrobe outfit, I was put together and correctly dressed for an afternoon at the school yard and cafeteria! My capsule wardrobe experience this past week has been positive...even if I still ended up shopping.

After my post on practicing mindfulness, I have continued attempting to meditate. I silence my phone, set my timer, sit quietly and breathe deeply. My mind still travels most of the five minutes, but I am getting use to the process of bringing it back, so it is no longer as frustrating. I was told there is a meditation app call “Headspace” which I am guessing is a guided type of meditation. Is there anything that doesn’t have an app these days? I have downloaded it onto my phone, and once I try it out I’ll let you know if it has improved my mindfulness practice.

My goals for the next week are to continue working on meditating and also to avoid any more purchases. I need to sort through what I bought this past week once it arrives, and decide what I want to do with them (keep or not). I would also like to complete the turnover of my closet from warm weather clothes to cool weather clothing. Even though I am experimenting with a capsule wardrobe right now, I'd like my closet to be organized for the colder months ahead. Part of what I need to do is a mini purge of what I already have, so I am certain to only hold on to items that I love and that work well for me. I’ll be sure to take pics and keep notes for a future post.

The journey to improving ourselves is not easy, but let’s never give up and let's also rejoice in the progress we do make! I’d love to hear how you are doing in your journey. You can post a message here or come to my Facebook page and join my private group there! Have a great week!

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