Buy Nothing Update: Compulsion & Control

Last week Matt texted me around 4pm and told me his schedule had changed again, effective immediately. Previously, he was working Monday-Friday with flexible hours during the day. Now he works four 10s, which really means four 12s (or more), Sunday-Wednesday.

This isn’t really the end of the world. It’s still days and he still comes home at some point in the evening while I am awake. However, I was not excited about this. At all. His last schedule that seemed so good lasted all of two months. It makes it very difficult to plan anything more than a couple days in advance when these things change all the time.

Right after Matt texted me, I felt this impulse to go to Target. I needed milk and nothing else. But I wanted to go and shop.

I didn’t go to Target. Instead, I resisted and watched tv instead. I didn’t think of it again that night (mainly because Matt came home so I complained to him about all my woes over his schedule).

Then, this morning, I realized what happened. I was looking for a way to feel in control. I wanted to wander around and look at the nail polish and purses and summer sandals. I wanted to pick things off shelves and fill up a basket and get out my reusable bags (5 cent savings) and scan my cartwheel (more savings) and slide my redcard (even more savings)… Obviously my impulse was still accompanied by my compulsion to save and find deals 🙂

Purchasing items (whether or not I needed them) was a way to feel in control. It seems so obvious now… I realize that I was emotionally reacting to a situation that was completely out of my control and I wanted to grasp something solid and be in charge of the decision-making, even if it was unrelated.

Retail therapy! Until today I had never really identified this compulsion in myself. I don’t think I feel this way very often, but I’m definitely not immune, even with my excitement over saving and avoiding excess.

Ultimately, I avoided purchasing anything so buy nothing continues uninterrupted! Onward!

*I got those cutie sandals in the little girls’ section at Target a couple summers ago… Yay small feet. I’m hoping I can dust them off and get to wearing them here pretty soon.

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