Thursday, October 11, 2012

What do I want for Christmas?

I have always known that I shop to fill an emotional need.

Back 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.

In 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.

But 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.

And 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? ;)


1 comment:

Judy Roberts said...

I can really relate to what you said, Myriam. I found the same thing when I moved to Nanaimo. Back then we weren't yet living at Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community, as the complex was still under construction. But Pacific Gardeners already were holding potluck suppers and doing heaps of stuff together. I have NEVER assimilated into a new community that quickly.