Recovery is Not a Linear Process

This blog is called “Recovering Shopaholic.”   It started out being a personal log of my progress in overcoming a decades-long compulsive shopping problem.  I never dreamed that I would attract as many readers as I have and have the capacity to touch so many people’s lives.  Over the close to three years that I have written this blog, it has evolved into being about more than just me and my recovery, but that is still the focus of many of my posts, including my accountability updates.

Winding road of recovery

This is often what the road to recovery looks like.

Most of the comments I receive on my posts are very positive and encouraging.   I appreciate that so many of you share your own struggles and triumphs in your comments and emails, and I am frequently touched that you feel comfortable opening up to me.   In addition to sharing about yourselves, many of you also comment on my growth and progress.  Sometimes you challenge me with your questions and give me “tough love” about my behavior.   On a number of occasions, readers’ comments and emails have inspired future posts. This is one of those times…

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On Sales, Marketing Messages, FOMO, and Shopping

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (NAS) just ended this past Sunday.   This is not only Nordstrom’s biggest sale of the year, it’s also my favorite sale and I’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival every summer for as long as I can remember.   Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I opted to sit out the sale back in 2013 and that I spent too much time, attention, and money on it last year.   This year, I set the intention of finding a happy medium between avoiding the sale altogether and overdoing it.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Did you shop the NAS this year? (images:

I ended up shopping the sale in person twice this year and also ordered some things online.   I will debrief how I fared toward the end of today’s post, but there are other topics I would like to cover first that are far more relevant to all of us.  Specifically, I would like to address how sales like NAS are marketed to customers and how the messages that consumers receive affect our buying habits.  I will share my reactions to the messages I saw in the pre-NAS marketing materials this year, as well as to the signage within my local Nordstrom.  I would also love to get your input on how retail sales are marketed and how you respond to the barrage of messages pressuring you to buy.

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Lessons from a Clothing Swap

This past Sunday, I attended my very first clothing swap event.  I was invited by one of my local Facebook friends and mostly went because I was intrigued and wanted to get out of the house. I still had some of the clothes I’d purged during my May “KonMari Process,” as the local consignment store was only interested in a portion of my cast-offs.  So I decided to take those items with me to the clothing swap and see if anything there caught my fancy.  In today’s post, I share my clothing swap experience and what I learned from it.

Clothing Swap

Have you ever attended a clothing swap event?

I had no idea what to expect from the clothing swap, but as I wrote above, I was curious.   The event was being held in a fairly upscale area of town, so I had high hopes that I might find some hidden gems there.  Not that I was in search of anything really specific, but I liked the “treasure hunt” aspect of such an event.   That element was what used to have me visiting consignment stores on a regular basis. I never knew what I might find and I always hoped I’d discover a “diamond in the rough” among a vast array of virtually worthless rocks.

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Is Shopping Your Only Hobby?

The other day, I saw something written on a forum that really made me think:

Seriously, it’s just clothes.  How empty must your life be if your only hobby is shopping?”

In fact, that quote didn’t just make me think – it actually made me cringe and almost cry.   It hit just a little too close to home for me.   I haven’t written about the “full life” issue for a while, so I think it’s high time for another one of my open, honest, and emotionally raw posts.  These posts aren’t easy for me to write, but they do help me explore important issues, and I also think they strike a chord with many readers.

Default Activity

Shopping hobby

Is shopping your default activity for all of your emotional states? 

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More Thoughts on At-Home Wear

Terra Trevor’s guest post last week and the follow-on comments from readers really got me thinking about what I wear at home and how I feel about it.  I’ve written quite a bit about how our wardrobes should suit our actual lifestyles instead of imagined or wished for lives.   However, for some reason, when I’ve thought about my own wardrobe and lifestyle, I really only took my “out and about” activities into consideration.  I mostly left my at-home life out of the equation and have rarely addressed this topic on the blog thus far.

At home clothing

What do you wear when you’re at home?

Such an omission might make sense for someone who is rarely at home and spends the majority of her time at an office and engaging in after hours and weekend socializing.  This type of woman may not really need to give much attention to what she wears at home.   A few pairs of pajamas or nightgowns may be all she really needs.  But that is not my life at all.

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