Saturday, February 24, 2007

Material Girl

"Everyone is living in a material world, and I am a material girl".
Those lyrics could not apply to me more. My shopping habits are under much scrutiny for the next two weeks. Let me explain.....

As I have mentioned before, I am attending small group study on Monday nights. Every week at the end of our study we have to come up with an 'application' for our lives and report back the following week. The applications are supposed to fall in line with our topic of study for that week as well as be 'personal, specific, measurable'. This week it was difficult for me to come up with an application. I loved our study, but wasn't sure how to apply it to my own life. Well, we did talk about certain emotions or characteristics that we may not always be honest about, including self-absorption, discontentment and jealousy. I decided my personal application would have to do with that.

I think I have blogged something like this before, but in a much more light-hearted way-my shopping habits. I don't know if this stems from a form of self-absorption, discontentment or maybe even jealousy. I want new things, and I want them alot. My group asked "what kind of new things?" I said "anything-shoes, clothes, jewelry, books, dvds, candles, pillows, picture frames, cd's, furniture, you name it". Actually, not only to do I want new things, I purchase new things alot. I don't know why I do this. I am not sure if it is because of a form of self absorption- wrapped up in making myself, my home, my life, look a certain way. I am not sure if I shop because of discontentment. Am I trying to fill my life with certain objects that will never bring me happiness? I know in my heart that things will not fill any voids I feel, that I need to turn to God for happiness. Why don't I live like that? Maybe I shop out of jealousy. Not jealousy towards one particular person, but more along the lines of "we are almost 30 years old, we should have this and that by now". One of my group members said that she heard a speaker once and our generation expects to have things that took our parents 30 years to acquire. How true is that? That really hit a cord with me.

So, my application is not to buy anything new until our next group meeting. Normally this would be one week, but we aren't meeting this Monday, so I will go two weeks. I know this sounds so shallow- trying not to buy something new for two weeks, c'mon. When I think about buying something, I am praying to God to open my eyes and heart and truly understand why I feel this need to have new things all the time. I'm taking it to an extreme right now- only food and gas are my purchases. I really need new mascara, my old tube is almost completely dried up, but I am not even going to purchase that. And trust me, this is hard because Monday before I went to small group I was doing a bit of online shopping and had two pairs of shoes in my online cart. I didn't buy them before I left for group, so now they are just sitting in that cart, maybe never to get purchased!

I am hoping to learn so much about myself with this application. I would like to know where this desire for "things" came from. My mom certainly is not like this, I was not brought up this way. I suppose it has alot to do with my friends and society in general- wanting to keep up with a certain lifestyle. I also realize that I need to take it even a step further and do some "material purging"- going through our apartment and getting rid of those things that we do not use, including clothes, shoes, art, purses, decorations. I was talking to Keith last night, telling him that I like opening up my closet and seeing it stuffed full of clothes. How self absorbed is that? Why on earth does that make me happy? I wear the same 10 shirts in the winter, the same 10 shirts in the summer and the same 3 pairs of jeans year round. Why do I hold onto all the others? So just in case a friend comes over and opens my closet they can think "oh, Corie has so many clothes?". Who cares?!?! I am considering taking a day off of work, a personal day, to start this "material purging" process.

This has turned into a very long blog. I'll update you on the outcome of my application. I should really challenge myself and go to the mall with friends. It's easy not to shop when you are sitting at home!

Happiness is not having what you want, it is wanting what you have. ~unknown

1 comment:

it's me, Val said...

What a great blog, Corie. I'm not even sure what to say because, I have to admit, I am the same way as you. My mom was not like this either and still isn't. I truly think it's the society we live in now. We do it more for impression than anything else. I admit it, I do this. I don't know many who don't. But the ones who don't I think are truly the happiest. I admire these people and try to be more like them. Building our house has been a great deterent for me. I haven't bought anything for myself in weeks - or my children - except the necessities, and I feel good about it. How do you feel after not buying things? Kudos to you for doing so good. Most people would say they'd like to do what you are doing but never ever would. You are the best, Corie. Love ya!