When I was younger, I would think nothing of spending an entire Saturday at the mall. I would always find an excuse to buy something new. I would spend hours, often with my Mom or a good friend combing the sale racks at Woodward’s. I had to find a blouse that was the right shade of pink to match the pants I bought the week before.
Today, I found a gift card in my wallet that I had forgotten about. Suddenly, I had a good excuse to go down to the Outlet Mall not too far from my house. It was a rainy Saturday and it would be good exercise I told myself.
I started to walk the big circle of the mall. I went in and out of several of my favorite stores. I tried on a pair of navy pants. I don’t need these I thought to myself. I already have four pairs. I picked up a black purse that was 70% off in the Coach store. I don’t need a black purse I thought to myself. I already have three different ones.
This went on for about half an hour. After walking two complete circles around the mall, I was getting tired and I had yet to purchase anything. I plopped down in one of the oversized chairs in the middle of the mall. This is silly I told myself. It’s my day off, I’m tired and I have buckets of clothes I can wear. What am I doing?
My guilt was slowly turning into gratitude. I began to feel thankful for all that I have. I can only wear one blouse and one pair of slacks at a time. My four closets are full of everything I would ever need. I also came to the realization that the money I was going to spend would take away from our long term savings goal.
I left the mall and drove home. I settled in my comfy chair and looked around my cozy home. I am lucky to have what I have. I did not allow myself, although tempted, to fall into the trap of accumulating more things.
I’ll spend tomorrow filling a few bags for goodwill and counting my blessings.