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Art Collector

Did you know I am an art freak? My galleries are usually found in boutiques and malls. My art of choice? Clothes, shoes, and purses. Each one unique and special to deserve a spot in my closet instead of the wall. Right now I am purging. I am finding out I am much better at binging than purging. In fact if this were a sport, I could certainly compete. But just like any other bad habit it always catches up with you to bite you in the… ahem - backside, shall we say? Mine is catching up and biting me big time. We are moving and my constant accumulating has caught up with me. I have to get rid of or find a home for all my stuff. I have been supplying Love Inc and a few other places with some goodies on a pretty regular basis. It feels good, but it makes me upset with myself. “When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it's not, and I need to do it again.” - Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic I get what she’s saying! That’s one of my favorite movies. I totally relate to my girl Rebecca! I love the rush of adrenaline that overtakes me when I walk into a favorite store. They greet me so sweetly and ask me if I need any help. Where else do you get that kind of attention??? Eyeing the displays and touching the textures of beautiful things is one of my favorite things to do. Guess what though: it’s a time-sucker and money pit. I should be treating these places like an art museum where you look at the pieces and then walk away. Leave it there until the next showing. But I don’t, I don’t do anything “a little bit.” I have coined the phrase, “Go big or go home with gusto.” How do I know this? Because, as Craig and I pack up our lives,

I have had many moments where I asked myself, “What were you thinking!” And I don’t mean canned goods. I mean, I have quite a few cans of black beans and diced tomatoes, but to be more specific let’s just call it apparel. All my years of chasing the shopping high have caught up with me. Do you remember Jeff Foxworthy with his standup routine of, “You might be a redneck...” I have that continuous thought except it’s, “You might be a shopaholic...” When you spend a lot of time handling clothing management like it’s an executive position, you might be a shopaholic. When you find a pair of shoes in your closet and question if they are even yours, you might be a shopaholic. When you find a dress and you have no idea how it got in your closet, you might be a shopaholic. When you find a cardigan with tags still on and then find it in three more colors (because it was that good,) you might be a shopaholic. When you have so many socks you fill a suitcase to transport them, you might be a shopaholic. You get the idea here. Anyways, I am on to a new adventure of simplifying my life. Gulp. I don’t know how this is going to go. I don’t have time to shop right now anyway, but what about when I do have a breather? What will I do? That scares me a little.

I’ve decided to use this summer to find my new normal. To break up with Fed Ex and UPS and find something else other than deliveries to anticipate daily. I am a list maker so I made a list of all the things I could do other than wandering aimlessly through the mall of invites to shop on my iPad. Here’s the shortlist:

  • Read more

  • Engage

  • Bike

  • Kayak

  • Write

  • Help a Friend

  • Nap (personal fave)

  • Organize my photos

  • Try a new recipe

  • Take an online class

  • Binge watch shows

That last one isn’t the best use of my time, but sometimes you just want to go brain dead so I am counting that one. (I want to watch The Crown one of these days.)

That second one though: Engage. I want to be more present to myself and those I love. Without the material distractions of life pulling me away from what really matters. I wrote down a line from Matthew Kelly that’s been on my mind a lot lately. His stuff is sooooo good. I’m adding read more Matthew Kelly to my list. “Whatever is stopping you from becoming the best version of yourself, cast it from your life.” In other words Sherry, cast out the time and money waster of shopping for stuff you don’t need. There is so much enjoyment, fulfillment, and achievement to be had in other things and activities. My bad habits haven’t ever led me to my best self. So I’m going to try, and by saying it here I’m coming out of the closet (there isn’t any room for me in there anyway,) and saying to you. Watch me. Literally. The less stuff I have, the freer I am. I should have known this and I am mad at myself for not catching it before now. My addictive behavior is not something I can just excuse myself for because I AM an addict. That doesn't give me a pass for my bad behavior. No, I have to reign it in. Making myself aware of everything that pricks my conscience and asking myself a little WWJD more often. I should not be wandering through a store or scrolling through my favorite websites any more. It wouldn’t be any different than me wandering through a liquor store and touching the merchandise. I will end up buying something and I guarantee you it will not help me become my best self. At all. I think that sometimes we go to those things because they are easy and give you a little rush at the same time. I find myself wandering on my computer when I get stuck on something I’m working on. The little break I have decided to give myself starts sucking up more of my day and before I know it, I have fallen down into the pit again. Next time I get stuck, I’m going to try and deal it with differently. It's how I coped when I had to change the drinking habits I had. With my trusty list of alternatives and post it notes of encouragement where I could see them. A whole new normal. It took time, but it works. I did it once and I will do it again. The things on earth will never make us truly happy. How sad was it to hear of the death of Kate Spade? To the world she had it all, but she didn’t. All the success in the world makes no difference when it comes to mental illness, depression, or addiction. Find your happy. Be quiet and seek his voice. Listen for instruction instead of seeking distraction.

One of the things I am going to spend more time on, is a new place on my website to connect. Social Surrender. There we talk and share in a private, anonymous space what we are surrendering. It can be anything from addiction to OCD. Whatever is holding you back in this life and dragging you down. There we can encourage one another. Using our own journeys to help others. (Make sure to click on the link above to see more!) Together we are stronger. I’m off for a long weekend away with my hubby. A little business mixed with a lot of pleasure. We are going to soak it up because our lives at home have been crazy and that’s not going to change for awhile. I am grateful for the opportunity and plan on taking full advantage of it! I’ll be sharing our adventure on social media if you want to see where we are headed. I brought a few books, my computer and my journal. I only have one pound to spare in my suitcase. That really doesn’t mean anything - I have conquered the weight limit before.

However, this time I am going to try come home with a little less baggage. Peace On Your Weekend, Sherry


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