lundi 18 avril 2011

Side effects and resolutions

The benefit of traveling to Africa is that it kills all consumerism fever in me (for a little while).
Getting home, I want to get rid of (almost) everything, key to my ebay riddance.  All I've been thinking about is how to go back, find a job and leave Europe behind. 
Week 2 of my return: The effect is wearing off though because I made my first frivolous purchases this past Saturday. 

Ah, saturdays... That particular day of the week is also prone to side effects. After the monday to friday hassle, it feels like you deserve a little treat, an escapism and,  like many, I often get that quick rush of pleasure by handing my Visa card in exchange for a little something to add to my closet. 

My back from vacation resolution is to avoid that trap by: 
a) socializing more: calling up on family and friends.
b) watching movies, reading even more (meaning spending at Amazon instead of Zara...)
c) deliberately eluding critical Paris areas and shutting off the web.

That being said, I failed miserably last Saturday and came home with these below. 

I guess all that spending could account for another side effect or back to reality drawback but could also be justified as: 

1)  Brogues were on my Spring shoes list. So why not these well made buttery leather pair from New Look at such a decent price ?

(New Look)

2) After cleaning out my closets and getting rid of shabby clothes, I realized I needed a new grey tee. So why not this cute Petit Bateau tee with a deep back décolleté?

(Petit Bateau)

3) My bags are a constant mess. So how about a lovely nude pink leather pouch from Zara to organize its contents...

I'm done with my half hypocritical justifications and resolutions usually don't last long with me but I feel like surprising myself!  

10 commentaires:

  1. The web is my weakness. I can easily give up visiting boutiques, I am comfortable saying "no" to sales associates, and can easily steer myself away from my favorite shops, but I cannot stop checking for deals online! I was doing really well for the month of April then had their birthday sale and my resolve broke down. Well I shall try again next month! What I should do is delete my subscriptions to newsletters and my bookmarks to sites like yoox and eBay. So hard!

    There is one bright spot - thanks to my iPad I have been reading a lot more now. I used to read all the time when I was younger but with web available on my phone I had so many distractions. Now I've been taking advantage of the many free downloads available through iBooks. They are mostly old classics I've already read, but they're free and worth a re-read. Your plan of socializing is a good one, and it will be easier now that the weather is nicer.

    I won't scold you on your items, they are classics :-)

  2. Oh, I know the feeling! I've been to Uganda twice, and felt just the same way. I had no interest in eBay or other sites for a couple of weeks, more the first time than the second. I was also thinking about ways to go back and work, and bring my family. I wish that that effect would last longer, but it wore off. The web is definitely my weakness. I'm also trying to socialize more to avoid the net trap, it's so much easier now during spring/summer.
    I love your IM skirt, but I'm pretty sure it's too big for me. And, great purchases!

  3. It is hard to get back into the groove, esp. with internets when you get back from vacation. I'm like koko, I don't shop in person that much, but the internet esp. ebay is a problem. I've already bought 8 out of 20 in my wish list, and there's only 1 blank spot left and it's only the first quarter of the year!! I think I'll probably exceed my list, especially when I see that there are basics like black tees I could use. But I think this is more of them being “lost” since my closet is displaced at the moment.

    I wouldn’t feel too bad, one was on your list, the other was a replacement, and the pouch is very practical. I’ve started using my zip pouches that I’ve had lying around. Now I’m not losing my lip balm when I’m constantly switching my bags out.

  4. I totally relate to this post. There are so many times when I've been impacted by something or some event that makes consumption seem so meaningless ... but it only lasts so long! I think unless we experience a major lifestyle change, such as moving to a new place, etc, it's really hard to change your ways. The longest I have ever been able to kick the habit was during my pregnancy and for a few months after my son was born, because it occupied so much of my energy and attention. But even that didn't have a lasting effect, lol. I wouldn't feel bad, I think all your purchases are great and classic!

  5. Koko: The thing is being on holidays and having a crappy connection on location I didn't miss the web or the shopping at all.
    So now that I'm back I want to cut down my internet hours and shopping time. Easier said than done with blogs and all those tempting newsletters you mention.

    Just yesterday, I spotted this great Ann Demeulemeester jacket on a consignment website, I'm still thinking about it but my first impulse was to buy it on the spot. Can't say I really need it but it's beautiful and here I started with a bunch of justifications which would lead me to the purchase instead of focusing on the "I don't need it" part.

    Plus I'm working in a highly shopping area so there's always the temptation at lunch to go and check what's new in stores. I rarely cave in, still I feel like an addict sometimes.

    Garderoben : Don't know Uganda yet. Eastern Africa is on my to travel list too. I have so many places on my list I want to visit...

    I always experienced that feeling of rejection of consumerism whenever in Africa. Traveling to America or in other European countries I never felt it, quite the opposite actually!
    It's that feeling of contentment that you don't need that much to live a good life. Of course, it's naive and it depends on so many variable in a person's life.

    Still it's always a powerful feeling because so rarely felt in our Western societies.

    Like you pointed out, the feeling doesn't last long. That's why writing about it felt like a good reminder.

    Prêt: That's exactly why I bought the pouch!! :)) Ah, the inconvenient of being a bag lady!

    I'm getting back on track, but I want to keep as much as I can of that "holiday magic".

    I'm like a super zen version of myself: getting rid of overwhelming and unused stuff, paying my bills in due time, calling on friends and family, not falling for impulse purchases etc. Well, no that last one needs to be crossed! :))

    S: You're right, unless moving to a remote place or a complete change in lifestyle, it's impossible to avoid all these temptations and even then with Internet it's hard to elude it completely.

  6. All things consumerist aside, I like that T-shirt! I used to work in a shopping area, so lunch time shopping was really dangerous! I think this year I've done reasonably well avoiding unnecessary buys so far, but I'm motivated by the fact that I want to save more, and putting money away every month is getting addictive, if you can believe it.

    Looking at blogs and and websites definitely doesn't help, but I've gotten good at closing windows quickly before I reach for my credit card!

  7. I know what you mean. I just want to get to the place where I focus on the things than benefit me in the long run... Concentrate on studying, building relationships, being nicer to myself...and instead I end up buying grey tees in COS and brogues pretty much exactly like those you posted LOL!

    I thought of you today when I wore our COS scarf and ASOS jacket, and I nearly died laughing when I read this post :D

  8. I'm from the Philippines and growing up there I never bought anything. Maybe it was also because I didn't have any spending money but I think it was just that I didn't feel like I needed any of it to be happy.

    Perhaps it's the side effect of spending too much time at work and on the computer. Instead of living the life you want out there, I end up thinking about the clothes I would be wearing instead.

    I imagine if I made a resolution to only buy clothes in person, I might never buy anything brand new again!

    P.S. I love your blog. Would you care to exchange links?

  9. Thanks Lin! Love Petit Bateau's stuff, always well made and long lasting.
    I get your point on savings. It's incredibly satisfying and empowering to be able to put money aside.

    Thanks Ida! It's so easy to get all worked up on clothes especially when well, you love clothes!
    Thinking, oh I need that when in fact you really don't... Just yesterday, I was considering getting another pair of sandals and then I remembered the stock I have already...Crazy! :))

    Thanks a lot G! You summed it up very well.
    Also the fact that when I was living in Africa there was no "real" definitive season change helps with the whole purchase process. There's no new season/new you being forced on or least less leverage and impact.