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!