Tracey Jackson

Apr 30 2017 | Comments

TRACEY STOPS SHOPPING?

Some of you might have noticed a new section on the website called TRACEY STOPS SHOPPING.

First off, it’s not a joke or a prank or a place to put photos of things I opted not to buy.

It’s a new challenge.  A self-imposed experiment. Lucy thinks it’s  self-torture.

It’s something that will likely turn my entire world upside down. It’s something that I have never, ever done in my entire life.

Twelve days from today, May 12th, I turn 59 years old. One year away from 60  when my WGA lifetime health insurance kicks in. Two years from Amtrak considering me a senior citizen, despite the fact I intend on paying the adult fare forever.

My world is going through some big changes.  I will explain them over the course of what will be a series of blogs, vlogs and interviews.

I am a bit flipped out by the years stacking up here. While I know, the alternative is much worse.

So, I feel the need to shake things up, like really shake them up.  I feel the need to look at my life from a different perspective.

I want to yank from my mouth  the giant pacifier I use to self-soothe.  I want to eradicate  a habit that wastes valuable time and honestly money.

For the next year, twelve months, 356 days, 8760 hours I am going to stop shopping. Cold turkey.  At the stroke of midnight on May 12th, I will not be buying any new clothes, shoes, shirts, jewelry or superfluous items for twelve months, 356 days, 8760 hours.

Why am I doing this?
It’s not for financial reasons, though saving money is never a bad thing.  It’s not because Glenn told me to; he never complains about my shopping.

I want to. I want to see if I can. I have never not shopped.

I have used shopping in so many ways for so many different things for so many years I want to see what my life looks like without it.  I want to know who I am when I don’t shop.

How will I spend my time if I’m not browsing in stores or staring at Net a Porter for hours at a time on my screen.

How will I deal with stress if I don’t stroll through Barneys at the end of the day?

How will I cope with all sorts of unsettling things without my trusted friend consumption? What will life feel like without my favorite pastime to indulge in?

Despite having written a successful book on addiction, I can honestly say I am clearly still addicted to shopping.

It’s not an addiction that has hurt me in any major way.  I still get all my work done. Shopping is a reward for a solid day’s work of writing. It’s what I do with my girls on the weekend and now thanks to the internet it’s where I go to just soak up all that stuff the world must buy that somehow with one click and a proceed to purchase momentarily calms me right down.

It’s not like I can’t pay my kid’s tuition or I’m taking money from my 401K. I am not a sad story here,  I only say that as it’s not a life or death thing. Stop or else.  It’s a life thing. It’s a who is Tracey when she does not consume stuff on a daily basis?

It’s about being grateful for what I have. It’s about as the years move by how is my time best spent?

It’s also a  study about our society and the way we consume things and the dopamine rush the majority of us get when we cradle some new shiny object.

It’s about our attachment to things we don’t use yet we still hold onto.

It’s an internal investigation about how we are perceived, how we perceive we are perceived, and how we perceive ourselves based on what we wear, drive, hang on our walls, carry on our arms.

It’s not going to be easy. I know that. I wake up some mornings shaking thinking about not walking out of Vince with a shopping bag or  not buying one more pair of Lulu Lemons for the next year.

NOT OWNING THE LATEST HANDBAG!!!!

A year is a long time. I could have given myself 6 months, one month, gone a day at a time. But for me it’s go big or go home or in this case just on keep shopping.

I am  not the only person who does this, from the lady who does my nails to my wealthiest friends and everyone in between, everyone seems to be over buying in some form or another.

I will go back to shopping. But hopefully with less fervor and with gratitude for what I have. And I do have gratitude for what I own, but clearly not enough.

After May 12th when I see a great bag I think I can’t live without, I am going to conjure up the image of the great bags I already  have lined up in my closet.

Gratitude – not always wanting more. Big deal. I am enough. Bigger deal. I am not my stuff. Huge deal.

Just a few of the themes I will be dealing with throughout this project.

I will not only blog about this.  I will continue to blog about other things.  Wow, travel without shopping – you will go with me on that.

I can look. I can still browse and see what is available. If I remove myself from temptation it’s not much of a challenge.

But this will require a strength and discipline I have never called on. As disciplined a person as I am, and I am disciplined- ask anyone who knows me; when it comes to shopping, I’m a wild child or a wild almost senior;  And have been my entire life.

So, if this does not interest you, you can just trash the blogs that come from Tracey Stops Shopping.  If you have your own issues, I will be sharing tips.

The whole minimalistic movement is very appealing to me these days.

And you are free to take bets on how long I will last. Many already have.

I will include videos in many of the blogs, Interviews with people talking about their own shopping issues.

And please, please feel free to comment, write in and share your stories with me. I can post them anomalously.

Well, that’s enough for now. I need to go make sure I have enough t-shirts to get me through one year, 356 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31 million seconds, but whose counting?

In the meantime meet Carrie

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Amanda Dushan

    Tracey, best of luck to you!
    I bet that you’ll go all the way!

  • horrors! this sounds awful!

  • Sometimes thing that sound awful are blessings in disguise. I will survive or I will fall off the wagon, but it’s not life or death here.

  • Thank you, Amanda. I hope I do. I want to. I want to prove I can and maybe help others along the way.

  • It certainly is not life or death but I figure as we get older we should enjoy more. I don’t love shopping like I did at 20 but I am very happy when I make a good purchase.

  • I agree with you and there are many times when I hear someone near my age has died and I go, well, hell with it, Im buying that whatever it is I was pondering. Hopefully, I live a long life with decades of shopping ahead of me. But for this year I’m going try this! We can still have lunch or meet for coffee and go to stores in LI. Oh – the stores in – never mind!!!

  • Jennifer

    I’m in total support of this, Trace. At the very least, you will know yourself better, perhaps have a chapter for a new book, or maybe a whole book! Where will you draw the line tho’? What if there’s a swell new makeup you just have to have? What are the groundrules? xoxoxo

  • Thanks Jen. The ground rules will be posted tomorrow….xoxoxo

  • michele

    Oh boy, I am duly impressed! I also have no doubt that even when those little temptations arise, you will successfully put them to the side. I don’t think I know anyone with stronger determination than you. Once you set your mind to something there is no stopping you!!! So the very best to you on this adventure in gratitude and self-control…I’ll be following you and cheering on every success!
    PS—Please invite me to the post year shopping spree….cause that is something I definitely will want to see!! 🙂
    XXOO

  • Well, we shall see my friend. When people are watching you tend to be more stedfast. But I want to do this. I really do. She says now. In a month when I’ve chewed through my mattress we shall see. xoxoxo

  • Marla Aaron

    So…I think I love collecting sea shells by the sea shore because it literally feels like shopping to me….I bring this up so this summer maybe…in a pinch….you can beachcomb:)

  • Nice idea,then I can give them to you, you can cast them and make lockets and no… I took that in the wrong direction. xoxoxo

  • I’ll be following you, Tracey, and I really want to do this myself. I just have a couple of personal tweaks – I’m in the process of losing weight so I may need to buy a few new work clothes. And, curiously enough, I have already promised myself a Marla Aaron turquoise enamel cuffling bracelet for my birthday in August. Having said.., your reasons for wanting to do this resonate with me. I have more than enough ‘things’ to admire and appreciate. Maybe I will walk more.. yes, that’s what I’ll do! And we have beaches here too… 🙂

  • That is a lot on your plate Lydia. I love that you promised yourself a Marla cuffling. The best way to treat yourself. Go at your own pace. I’m doing this now as I have a bunch of stuff coming up, to be announced, that will not allow me to do this if I don’t start now.
    But if it inspires people to do their own challenges then that is great!! Good luck with yours. Keep commenting.

  • Laurie Saunders

    I am so impressed by your challenge. Not only because of the personal challenge you will go through, but because of the comment it makes on our society, and our values. Thank you for starting and writing about this initiative.