I remember a few years ago when I would go to stores and wander the isles looking for things to buy. I didn’t have any reason to buy them, I just went shopping for entertainment.
I would buy things on sale because they were cute.
I would buy newer editions of things I already had because they were somehow upgraded.
I would buy decorations and knick-knacks because they were cheap.
I would go into a place like Target for shampoo and come out with three bags full of junk for no other reason than it was there. Apart from the shampoo, I didn’t actually need any of it.
I would mindlessly ramble from one department to the next, picking up things and eventually purchasing them just because I didn’t feel like I had anything better to do.
I was completely caught up in our consumeristic culture, and it was suffocating me.
What a difference a few years can make.
When I discovered minimalism as an option, back in 2016, it was like someone had switched on the light for me. Suddenly, I realized that I could have more in this life – more peace, more happiness, more enjoyment – and I didn’t have to buy anything to get it.
After spending a good chunk of time (that entire first year) decluttering and minimizing my life, the mindless wandering of stores stopped being so appealing. I found myself wanting to do more meaningful things. I wanted to go out more in nature. I wanted to spend more time actively engaging with my family. I wanted to live intentionally, and that meant making better use of my time.
I wanted more, and I realized I could have it.
Success can be measured in many ways, but today I want to tell you about one specific form of success that I recently had.
Last Friday, my family had to travel to a town two hours away to get some work done on our car. In case you are wondering why we drove so far away, it was a recall service and we don’t have a Subaru dealership in our town. Because the recall service would take about five hours, the dealership gave us a loaner car for the day. And because our small town doesn’t have a lot of stores that many other towns take for granted, we decide to check a couple out.
Specifically, we checked out Target and Hobby Lobby.
A few years ago, I would have been loaded up with bags from each of those stores.
A few years ago, I would have wandered every isle and bought things for every member of my family, and found new ways to decorate my house and new hobbies to try, and… and… and…
But this time, I bought nothing.
I wandered the isles. I looked at all the neat stuff. I saw things that were beautiful. I saw things that were useful. I saw things that the old me would have purchased without a second thought.
But I’m not that person anymore. And this time, I didn’t buy anything.
I’m not saying I never go shopping or that I never buy things for my house or my family, but I am saying that I had success in not mindlessly purchasing things I don’t actually need.
I was able to wander those stores and enjoy looking around without giving in to any of it.
It was a pretty big deal for me.
And, while I did enjoy looking around the stores, I also found that I’m now a person who enjoys a walk by the river much more than a stroll through a mall.