I have always known that I shop to fill an emotional need.
in Alberta, I lived on an acreage in the middle of nowhere and I felt
isolated. I had a few friends in town but they were always too busy to
have coffee of whatever. So, when I felt stressed or bored or lonely and
I needed something to distract me, I would often turn to shopping.
the summers in Alberta, we went rafting or swimming in the Pembina
River. Or we played croquet or badminton in the yard. But the
walks/hiking weren't great and there wasn't a whole lot else to do.
Then, as soon as fall arrives it's often too cold to do anything (it's
already snowing there!) and when toting three small kids, a lot of
activities were just too frustrating to bother with. For example: If we
go sledding, the kids slide down. Then they refuse to walk more than a
meter up the hill. Then I have to haul them all up the hill. Needless to
say, most sledding trips last about ten minutes and it takes my back a
week to recover.
So, our go to
fix was to head to the nearest shopping center and waste a day visiting
stores and shops, picking up a new movie or board game or a new shirt or
a new pair of jeans or even a Wii or Kinect video game.
here, in cohousing, we have so many other distractions that we are too
busy to shop. I get to chat with neighbours and my home is constantly
buzzing with my kids and their friends running in and out. There are
weekly yoga classes and weekly potlucks. There are Solstice
celebrations, Thanksgiving diners, talent shows and unexpected gifts and visits.
when we have a day off, we are too tired to shop. And, while the
weather has been so fabulous, we have been exploring. We are constantly
looking for a new spot to find star fish and crabs and looking at
Canada's biggest trees.
Once the rain comes in, we might revert
back to the old ways a bit. We'll be depressed by rain and grey skies
and need more outlets. We'll need to make sure those Tuesday night Game
Nights get reinstated. :)
But, the point is that I feel my
emotional needs are more fulfilled here. I am accumulating friends and
love and that has reduced my desire to accumulate things.
The answer is to the questions, "What do I want for Christmas?" is:
I don't want anything.
Now, the really question is, how do I get my husband, who loves to give gifts, to accept that? ;)