Tuesday, April 22, 2008

shopping can be dangerous

okay, so i admit it...i am prideful. full to the brim with pride and not in a good way. i thought i was doing so good at mending my ways...becoming green, saving the planet & my pocketbook, until today at Toys R Us. of all the places! i thought to myself that i could last two months without having to post an oops moment. but here i am, not even through month one and i am posting my second oops.

we have three birthdays of close friends in the next couple weeks , so i set out today to go shopping for those kiddos. i thought i was safe at the toy store...but i wasn't.

the truth of the matter is that i am a sucker for the clearance rack. i found the cutest sets of tanks & shorts for my daughter on clearance...i know, i know. major slip-up.

let's not even go to the part of the shopping trip where i was in the hello kitty aisle for about 15 minutes contemplating a cute hobo hello kitty purse for ME...not my daughter, not for the birthday present...for me. i have issues. luckily, the hobo hello kitty is still at toys r us....calling to me. it is the cutest thing.

so, a minor set back...or a major set back...depending on your perspective. the optimist in me is saying this was minor. these clothes will be great for my daughter...cheaper than driving all over town looking at consignment stores to find what she will need for play clothes this summer. there have been days passing by that i haven't bought anything, new or used. that is a very good sign. my husband is happy. my bank account has some money. things are a changin'.

the pessimist in me is saying that i could have done more...i could have waited for the church garage sale, gone around to consignment stores and searched for hand-me downs...instead of giving into cutest & clearance. there will always be something that i do better, i am sure of that.

i can see how this challenge is just that...a challenge. it is stretching me, growing me to think outside the box. to see how much i don't need all that crap that the TV is trying to shove down my throat inconspicuously.

we are the first of the generations that are completely influenced by tv...our great-grandmothers were the last generation to know what life was like completely without the bonds of the media. the last generation that, while at the grocery store, worried more about what to make for dinner or how the vegetable garden is doing rather than when Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise will give Suri a sibling. (not saying that all women worry per se about the Holmes/Cruise baby project...but most of us could admit to knowing more than we want to about celebrities...) this compact challenge is becoming a way of life for our family...a buck of the system. it is going against everything that this american world has been teaching me through Sesame Street all those years ago.

we are on the cusp of so many changes in our family...how to raise our kids, what to teach them, who will teach them and what values we want them to hold close. i can't help but be a little overwhelmed at all these thoughts. all i know is that i don't want to follow the status quo, i don't want my kids to worry about what the jones's have and how to be better than them by the world's standards. i don't want them to buy into the lie that more stuff will make your life better or easier or more successful. i want them to be happy.

i want them to work with their hands, to get dirty and sweaty after a hard day of play. i want them to be life-long learners. i want them to be resourceful. i guess that is why this challenge is so hard for me right now. it is working out all the world has put in for so long. all the sudden it has become so much more than just not buying new stuff...it is about life change.

i share this oops to show i am human, worse off than i thought on this challenge. although it was an oops, it was in the midst of so many positive changes...so i guess i am still a little full of pride, but in a different way. we have come a long way since april 1st. but still...beware of Toys R Us!

*cross posted at mint green mama


Jenny said...

I'm glad you shared it! Part of compacting, I think, is the journey not the end result, you know. It's about learning to live with less and slip ups happen. They just do.Now, of course, I just try to skip retail stores altogether. I think you've made awesome progress and your almost half-way to your goal!

meredith said...

I agree...I am really learning that through all areas of my life. It is such a journey...not an end result. which is very FREEING!