The latest Compact update…

Not shopping is tough. I admit it. I like things. I love the smell of new books. I’d love to have a nice, creamy cappuccino every day if I could afford it. I’d like to buy more clothes and accessories so I don’t get bored wearing the same old things every day. I would enjoy purchasing lots of Turkish music, to add another angle to my Turkish cultural education. Did I say I love buying new books? I do. A lot!

The point is, I am definitely feeling the challenge of this no-shopping commitment.

Aside from the actual experience of missing being in the shop and buying some shiny new thing, I am also feeling a kind of ‘happiness gap’. To be honest, I don’t know what term means, but its the best I can do at the moment. I am used to buying myself happiness and pleasurable experiences, via stuff like CDs, books, clothes, but also in experiential things, like meals in restaurants, tasty drinks, the whole coffee/cafe experience, etc. Just as a disclaimer, The Compact doesn’t exclude going out for meals or drinks, and is okay about experiential type stuff, like paying for activities and services, at least according to my understanding. But I am really trying to simplify, for financial benefits as well as some sort of emotional/psychological benefit.

I guess the question I’m asking myself throughout this experience is: What will really make me happy? And, if it isn’t buying something enjoyable or entertaining, then what am I supposed to be doing to fill that gap? What the heck am I supposed to be doing with myself!?!

As I’ve learned so far in my Turkish experience, challenge is the mother of creative thinking. I know there are all kinds of positive, and yet, non-materialistic pleasures to be enjoyed in life. But knowing they’re out there and really making them a part of your life are two very different things. It might take a while to successfully reorient myself in this new direction, but I do think its possible. And who knows what kind of mad ideas I’ll come up with in the meantime!


One thought on “The latest Compact update…

  1. Kim,

    I know what you mean about the happiness gap! I too, have been struggling with this. This was a very concrete feeling when we were living in the dog shack, working 60 hours a week, and living on $250 a month for 2 people and 4 pets. It was hard and I wanted to BUY BUY BUY to feel better, to fill the void. I realized, however, that it was my job that was making me so upset, not the inability to purchase things.

    I do know that I am at a slight advantage with the compact–I live in rural Alaska. There are a lot of nice stores and boutiques in our town of 5000, but nothing compared to a major city. Everything here is also wildly overpriced, so it is easy to say no. I am also fortunate in that I really detest online shopping–I am much too tactile and need to touch things before I buy them. It also helps that we have moved 4 TIMES in less than a year–having stuff is not practical when you have to move it all the time.

    All those advantages aside….what would be different for me if I was in a big city? The Compact would be A LOT harder. 🙂

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