Black Friday, that ominous day of the year when hordes of shoppers descend upon malls across America. It is a celebration of consumerism and the holy search for best deals of the year. For many that means stress—long lines, arguments with other shoppers and even injuries. Literally shopping ‘til you drop. It makes me shudder just thinking about it all. This kind of consumerist frenzy showcases some of the worst elements of our more, more, more focused society, namely unhealthy shopping habits.
I used to be a somewhat compulsive & mindless shopper. One of my triggers, discount bins at the front of the store. Before I knew it, I spent ten dollars or more on things I didn’t need because it was a “good deal”. Many of us buy things we don’t really need or don’t even like that much. Shopping as a compulsive behavior, not a meaningful experience that it can be.
It’s not that I think all shopping is bad, or even that hunting down a bargain is a distasteful act. In fact, I have a newfound love for shopping. My boyfriend, Christian, and I practice something we call intentional shopping. When we go shopping it’s because we need something or want to replace something with a better quality item. As a result, we relish the experience.
The available space in our tiny home is limited, and we like it that way. The space we do have is reserved for items we really love or need. This naturally lends itself to quality over quantity. For us shopping is now a conscious kind of treasure hunting. Recently we were in search of the perfect hooks for our DIY coat rack. We visited many stores, and found a selection of hooks but none were quite right. It wasn’t a stressful experience. It was like leisurely sightseeing with the exhilarating anticipation that the next store or the next aisle would hold the treasure we sought.
One lovely morning, we visited a large, eclectic flea market in Raleigh, NC. We had a fun time strolling, talking and perusing the booths. Towards the end of our visit, we discovered them, the perfect just-right hooks—adorably woodsy & sturdy. Cue the angels, “ahhh ahhh.” Besides our coffee, these were our only purchase that day, what we came for. All in all our shopping experience was thoughtful, enjoyable and ultimately very satisfying.
Now every time I hang up my hat, a smile comes across my face as I admire the beautiful hooks and reminisce about my shopping experience. As you embark on your next shopping trip, I encourage you to do it intentionally. Guaranteed to be a meaningful experience and a stress-free bargain.