My Weekly Check-in

I can’t believe that it is August already. The summer always seems to go by so fast! I spent a bit of my week school supply shopping. Uggh! Although I love to shop, school supply shopping always saddens me so I like to get it done while there is still plenty of summer vacation to enjoy. I started at Target first. Target is one of my favorite stores because I can get so much accomplished there. You can buy almost everything at Target and sometimes it feels like I do buy everything there! I can never get through Target without spending over $100… or usually more.

On this trip I was very focused on only purchasing my fourth grader’s school supplies and I am happy to say that I stuck to my plan. I didn’t have my list together yet for replenishing my two oldest children’s college dorms, so that would have to wait. My son who will be a senior in high school only needs folders since his school uses the iPad for everything (so easy). It still took me too long to check off everything from my list which also required a second stop at Staples, but it’s done and I stuck it all in the basement with no intent of looking at it until the last week of August.

I then spoke with both my daughter and oldest son to determine what they needed for their dorms. I insisted in May that my son throw out all his sheets, bedding and towels. Apparently he never washed his bedding except the one time when I visited and washed and changed them for him. My daughter still has most of her stuff and only needs new sheets, but since this year she will also have a kitchen in her dorm she wants pots, and pans and all sorts of cooking supplies (she is a good cook). So I will need to put together my shopping lists for what they both need and then spend a day at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Kohl’s and perhaps HomeGoods! I might just sit back, relax with a cup of tea and shop for it all online.

My hormones (due to peri-menopause) continued to be out of whack for part of the week. As I mentioned in my last check-in post, when my hormones get imbalanced my mood gets imbalanced. I will struggle with anxiety and I am just not myself. It was during one of these unstable hormonal days that I felt like I needed to go shopping. I just wanted to feel like myself. I wanted to do something normal, get my mind off my anxiety and buy myself something to help me feel better. So I purposely decided to go to a boutique that I like and haven’t visited in a while.

As soon as I walked into the store I immediately saw a long navy and white striped, "perfect" summer dress. It was in my size and on sale too, so naturally I snatched it into my hands and began slowly walking around the boutique, taking in all the beautiful items on display. I suddenly felt a rise of nerves start to wash over me. It was a strange feeling, like being dizzy without actually being dizzy…a sense of panic although there wasn’t anything to be nervous about. Instinctually I knew what was happening. My body was trying to get my attention and shouting “you should not be here shopping! You don’t need anything and you shouldn’t be here!”. I took a deep breath knowing that I was okay and only having a physical reaction to my mixed emotions about shopping and using shopping as a method to feel better.

I decided then to give myself permission to shop….but not for summer dresses or some great sale item. There on the spot I set up some quick parameters for my shopping. I gave myself a maximum amount I could spend, and set the rules that I could only purchase items wearable into the Fall. My closet does have a need for transitional clothes. The strange feeling left me and I immediately felt better. I hung back up the dress that I didn’t need and found a casual white t-shirt with long eyelet bell sleeves that would be nice on a cool Summer night and warmer Fall days. I also found a white, soft, fuzzy hoodie that again was a great casual piece to use both at the end of summer straight into the next season. And that was it. I touched, held, and admired other items including this unique, beautiful cream colored cocktail dress with thin gold metallic circles embroidered on it (this dress was amazing). Another customer was purchasing the dress for a charity event she was attending. I could envision my “fantasy socialite self” in that dress attending the charity ball and then I realized I truly had no desire to be going to a charity ball. I was looking forward to the plans I had…a backyard bar-b-q with the kids and some close friends. I was able to just appreciate the dress for what it was - a really pretty dress. I was happy for the other woman and knew she was going to look awesome in it!

I left the boutique content with my two purchases and did not feel guilty or have regrets about going shopping. Although I realize it is not a good habit to emotionally shop in order to “feel better”, I did not overshop or overspend. I did not incur any debt and bought items that would be useful in my closet that I would wear within the next month. I also refrained from buying any more summer dresses no matter how perfect, or pretty, or on-sale!

On a separate shopping note, I must say I feel like I can breathe now regarding the Nordstrom sale as there is only a few days left. Looking back to where I was a year ago when I drowned in that sale and how much better I’m doing now I am grateful to be where I am. I’m not perfect. I still desire to shop for clothing more than I wish I did. I still spend too much time thinking about my clothing…what I have and what I want, and what I should get rid of. But I believe this is all part of the process and will hopefully improve with time. I’m in a much better place now than a year ago and that is what I must focus on.

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