Breaking constraints

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I’ve been wearing a lot of lighter colors lately.

I also decided to quit the shopping ban. I don’t necessarily feel like a “failure” per se, but there is some disappointment.

Many years ago (near ten now yikes), when I literally didn’t shop for clothing at all for 5  years straight I was in a completely different environment with different needs. Also, I never technically was on a “ban”. I never restricted myself and even though I didn’t buy clothes, I did buy other things. I keep wanting to go back to that feeling of not needing or wanting anything, but I realized that time is long past. Now, I’m dealing with a lot more stress than I was then (for some strange reason being on unemployment and constantly looking for a job that long wasn’t half as bad as my emotional state is now).

Everything is different now and I can’t deny that I need certain outlets to keep myself sane. The stress of what’s going on with my family (the saga continues with mom, I’m just not updating on it here) and the stress of work (and wondering if putting up with certain people is worth my paycheck) weigh on me constantly. I know that retail therapy is dangerous and I do have plenty of other outlets. However, I feel the need to be kinder to myself now and if I want something, then I’ll get it. It may take me a while to get that item or save for it or change my mind ten times over 3 months for it, but in the end denying myself little pleasures I’ve found more detrimental to my health than anything else.

I was literally stressed out about not allowing myself to buy things. I didn’t have parameters for the ban so even if I didn’t buy clothing I felt bad. If I bought clothes for work, I felt bad. If I spent any money at all, I felt bad. That stress was building up more than I thought and the flood waters broke last week with a series of very HR-worthy stress related work issues. I’m already on anti-anxiety medication and I don’t want to have to double my dose to keep myself sane.

I’m emotionally not ready to impose such constraints on myself when I can fall the pieces far more easily now. As I said, it’s a little disappointing, but I’m definitely not ashamed of breaking my shopping ban. I have bought a few items, which I’ve been eying up for at least a year now. I’m being a bit more discerning and starting to relax more in my style in general. I’m actually tempted to see how far I can push the casual buttons at work. If I get the reaction I think I will, then I’ll know it’s yet another case of sexism in the office, which has been pretty rampant lately, but that’s another story….

One thought on “Breaking constraints

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  1. My favorites are the all-gray outfit and the black and white one. I have reached a similar conclusion regarding shopping: if I keep it within the budget I allow for myself, then I do not feel guilty about it: therapy would be more expensive. I take these Saturday hours off every week and go to a thrift shop all by myself. It gives me a lot of joy and I do end up spending money almost every time, but I try not to feel guilty about it. I want to rid myself of all the guilt. It’s such unnecessary baggage. We need to do things to make ourselves happy, just to be able to go on every day. Life is difficult as it is. Small pleasures make it bearable. I feel like we live our lives oscillating between these two opposite philosophies: carpe diem and memento mori. We must keep trying to balance on the rope between these two. None is better than the other. A good balance in between, that’s what’s desirable.

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