I have been posting a lot of items up for sale on Ebay lately. Now that the wardrobe is installed I thought it would be a good opportunity for the 3rd major cull since I purchased this house almost a year ago.
Frankly, it amazes me how easily I accumulate stuff. I never used to be so obsessed with shopping or “things”. I can’t deny I have always had a bit of a fixation for shoes, but I don’t recall ever being quite so distracted with fashion as I have been these past 15 months or so.
As I sorted shoes between the wardrobe and the “Ebay box” I contemplated this change in me and wondered if it was an indication that I was becoming shallow. When exactly did I start being so concerned about how I looked? I have always been fit and always conscious of my weight, but that has stemmed more from a “staying healthy” perspective rather than a purely cosmetic influence.
I suppose, the new friendships I have developed over the past couple of years and in particular, the work colleagues I now have (many of them very fashionable women who do enjoy a spot of lunch-break-shopping followed by a detailed show and tell when they return to the office an hour or so later), may have something to do with it. What girl wouldn’t be lured over by the “oooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” emerging from the shopper’s office, and the ever so enticing crinkle of tissue paper as the treasures are unwrapped?
Yes, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement, especially as almost every retail store in the city appears to lately be in a perpetual state of: “SALE!”
But I suspect there has been a little more to my preoccupation with pretty things than the camaraderie that accompanies a girls shopping trip, and I suspect it has a bit to do with a certain fear that I have not wanted to acknowledge. I have hinted at it, and I have thought about it, but I have not wanted to bluntly admit that despite my successes, my friends and my busy schedule, I still experience the pang of loneliness on a regular basis. Sure I’m not unhappy, and a lot of the time I enjoy my “me” time, but I cannot deny that the more time that passes, the more frequently I seem to find myself wishing that there was someone else around during the quiet times. Those times when you just want to stay at home and relax, you don’t want to leave your house, but you want someone there with you.
I have been noticing that it is during these times that I find myself checking my email, surfing the Net and scouring the online stores for yet more fashion items that I really don’t need but all of a sudden cannot live without!
Some people fill that hole with food, others alcohol, some just fill it with constant and obsessive exercise. I fill that hole with shopping. Unfortunately, the past time has created a hole of an entirely different nature- the one in my bank balance!
It was with this in the back of my mind that I arrived at work on Monday morning, only to discover a distraught colleague who had learned of a recent ex-colleague passing away unexpectedly. I had never met this man but he apparently died suddenly a few days ago from an aneurism. He was 36.
Only 3 years older than me. He is survived by a wife and two young children.
How’s that for perspective.
So, I figure it might be time to make a change. I started doing yoga this year in an attempt to help me find “serenity” but perhaps I can start to achieve that inner peace in other ways, by shifting my focus. It’s time to stop trying to fill the hole in my life with “things” and instead, concentrate on filling it with “experiences”.
If I were to look into a crystal ball and learn that by 36 my life would be over, how would I want to live my life in order to feel more “ready” to go? What if tomorrow is my last day? Would I be happy about the life that I have led?
Will I give a second thought to the 50 pairs of shoes in my closet? I think, not.
I am hardly addressing anything new here, people are always going on about about “living your life as if every day were your last”. But we are humans, and we have short memories and we are easily distracted. We forget.
2012 is approaching rapidly and I am dedicating the last few months of 2011 to shifting my mindset. 2011 was about me taking control of my life, it was about getting settled on my own, it was about an inward focus and learning to recognise that it is acceptable to put me first. I think materially, I have pretty much ticked that box. Spiritually and emotionally, I have definitely made progress but I think true success in this regard requires…something more.
I am now ready to start prepping for the next challenge and the next challenge is all about making my life…bigger (NB not “flashier”).
To lead a life that is both more expansive and more inclusive.
One of the best ways to do that is to travel.
Another way is to say ‘yes’ to as many opportunities as possible.
2011 was the year of “Serene”.
2012 is going to be the year of “Yes”.