Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2018 is off to a good start for all of you. It’s been over ten months since I pressed the pause button on this blog last February. At that time, I didn’t know when or if I would be back to blogging, but I promised to keep you posted on my decisions in that regard. Yes, it has taken me a long time to provide an update, but I didn’t decide on what I would be doing until quite recently.
I recently decided the path I will take regarding blogging…
I actually didn’t expect to stay away for this many months, but the time went by quickly, as it is wont to do. As the months went by, I found myself missing blogging, but I felt confused as to whether or not I should resume writing “Recovering Shopaholic.” I definitely missed the connection with readers, as well as the self-expression and sense of purpose that blogging provided, but I no longer wanted to dedicate so much time and attention to writing about my wardrobe and shopping experiences. Although I still have issues in both areas and am still a recovering shopaholic as opposed to a recovered one, somewhere along the line writing about my journey with such openness and exacting details had become counterproductive for me. I found that focusing so acutely on the specifics of my wardrobe, purchases, and outfits kept me locked into the obsession and compulsion with clothes that I had struggled with for so many years.
I’m grateful for the wonderful comments and emails I received on my last two posts, “Recapping Balance and Striving for Peace” and “The End Game of Project 333 and Capsule Wardrobes.” I’m always happy when my writing resonates with readers and I appreciate those who took the time to let me know that what I wrote was meaningful to them. I’m actually quite proud of these two essays, as well as much of the content I’ve published in the past four years.
The Value of the “Power Pause”
I’ve often written about the “power pause” (a term borrowed from Jill Chivers of “Shop Your Wardrobe”) as a helpful technique for cutting down on mindless shopping and compulsive buying. So many of us feel utterly convinced in the moment that we have to have a particular item of clothing, but if we push ourselves to wait for a couple of days – or even a few hours – that need often dissipates. I use this technique as much as possible, even if it means leaving items in my online shopping cart overnight or having to backtrack to a brick-and-mortar store the next day to buy something. More often than not, I don’t end up purchasing the item in question because the passage of time shows me that it’s just not critical to my wardrobe or my life. I simply don’t need it as much as I thought I did, if at all. The power pause has saved me a lot of money I might have spent on items I didn’t really need or even want. It’s also saved me countless hours spent on making returns, as well as deep feelings of guilt regarding the sheer waste of it all.
So much has been going through my mind since I published my last post. Crystallizing the thoughts I shared with you earlier this month was a breakthrough for me and has created an opening for new breakthroughs. I believe that this is the year when things will finally fall more into place for me after years of feeling stuck in the mire of my anxiety and discontent. Granted, I still feel stuck in many ways, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel, a clearing for a new and better reality.
Seeing a Clearing for a New and Better Reality…
Today’s post is another one I’ve been intending to write since the beginning of the year, but I wasn’t able to slow down and take the time to pull it all together. These more introspective essays don’t necessarily take longer to write than the ones with lots of photos and numbers, but they are more difficult for me to complete. I need to have the internal clarity in order to be able to express myself in a way that makes sense. My brain has felt like a big jumble for quite a while now with so much inner noise that it’s been hard for me to relax or sleep.
Back in September, I attended the San Diego session of Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour.” As I mentioned in my post the following day, knowing that I’d be attending this talk motivated me to create a hypothetical summer Project 333 capsule wardrobe (which I later decided to dress with for the month of October). At that time, I promised to share some of the insights I gained from the Tiny Wardrobe Tour presentation, but I haven’t been able to do so until now…
Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour” – September 2016, San Diego
A lot of thoughts came up for me during Courtney’s talk and I found myself on the verge of tears several times. I started capturing my thoughts shortly after the event, but I was unable to finish the post for some reason. I came back to it a couple of times, but ended up leaving it unfinished again. It wasn’t until this week that I was able to complete it to my satisfaction and share my musings here. Sometimes we need to sit with something for a while, and perhaps what’s happened in my life over the ensuing months has helped to crystalize the lessons in my mind.
I hope you all liked Esther’s “story of recovery” that I published last week. I felt it was well worth interrupting my 2016 recap posts (see the first two HERE and HERE) to share such an inspiring story with you. If you enjoyed reading about Esther’s journey and want to learn how others have been able to overcome their shopping and wardrobe management challenges, click here. What I love most about the recovery stories is how varied they are, as it illustrates that there’s no one right way to reach peace and freedom around shopping and our closets.
It’s time for my final “by the numbers” accountability update for 2016. I already covered my wardrobe “all-stars” and “benchwarmers” earlier this month. In today’s post, I’m going to look at the remaining numbers surrounding my wardrobe and shopping for last year:
- My budget
- My purchases
- What I purged from my closet
The following is a guest post from Esther, who shares how taking on two challenges over the past year has helped her to gain control of her shopping, pare down her wardrobe, improve her personal style, and feel more at peace with herself.
Ever since I was a teenager, I have always felt “out of step” and like I never knew how to dress. I longed for a uniform so I didn’t need to stress out about what to wear. In my search for ease, I actually started buying and buying. Ironic, isn’t it? I was always attracted to minimalism but went in the opposite direction. On top of that, I picked a profession (or it picked me) where I lived in workout clothes. Remember when those “track suits” were popular? That was the closest thing to a uniform I ever found. Meanwhile, I had tons of clothes but “nothing to wear”!
Fast forward to July 2015 when I asked my daughter to help me find a style. She suggested that I use both Pinterest and Google. It was through my online searching that I found this blog. That was the first time I realized I was a shopaholic. When Debbie’s private Facebook group started, I was “home.” I became a daily contributor, even though it took me a while to do outfit of the day (OOTD) posts.
Last week, I shared the good news portion of my 2016 wardrobe review, my closet “all-stars.” In compiling the information for that post, I was pleased to see that my frequency of wear numbers had significantly improved over my 2015 statistics. Now it’s time for the flip side of the equation, my wardrobe “benchwarmers.” As with my last post, I will share numbers and photos, as well as my thoughts about the lesser worn – or not worn at all – items in my closet.