I’ve been thinking about the seasons and having a spring clean recently.
It is also about this time that some people (myself included) like to spring clean their homes and start eating better and possibly beginning an exercise routine as they have more energy.
For some reason as far as I am concerned my spring clean/clear out often happens after a relationship breakup and I focus on my clothes. This is when I decide to remove the clutter and reorganise my wardrobe. It’s almost like a ritual. A relationship will end and I will stay home on a Saturday night with a bottle of nice wine, some music as my companion and begin sorting through my clothes (life?).
It begins with me emptying all the contents of my wardrobe onto the living-room floor and then I embark on the task of sorting them into three piles.
- The first is for out of season clothes to be stored away…
- Another is clothes to keep and re-hang neatly….
- Then there is the charity shop pile…
This last pile got me to thinking. The clothes in this one were mostly purchased ‘off the cuff’ from eBay whilst working my night shift job.
A parallel then dawned on me with the spring clean and men! I am an impulsive buyer and I am also impulsive when it comes to relationships. Maybe I am just impulsive. Period?!
When I see something or someone that I want it is usually spontaneous. I act fast, driven by desire and without thinking about the consequences.
I do not try things on. I don’t ‘um and ah’ with myself or ask a friend’s advice if it suits me. I don’t think about personal style, or lifestyle, utility or strategy. No. I jump straight in and take it.
To begin with, ‘things’ often seem oh so appealing. I can convince myself in an instant a particular item is something I have always needed. I visualize and picture myself wearing the clothes. Click and buy. Job done!
The first part is the best – the excitement of the purchase. Especially on a bidding site such as eBay. I have spotted what I want and my bid is set. I make sure I am the leading contender right up till the last few moments before I finally seal the deal. When the final countdown begins my heart always beats a little faster knowing that it is possibly going to become mine and when I do win I am almost giddy.
The next few days on from that first impulsive buy I start to communicate – an email here and there, confirming everything and that it is on its way and secure that it is almost mine. And then it finally arrives.
Just like a first date. I size it up, scrutinize it; check out how it has been presented, look for obvious flaws, but overlook deeper issues if I like the look of it. Then I start to open up the outer packaging – perhaps a tad nervous as to what I might find. Is it the real deal?
With men, the reason I get slightly worried is that some people in the past have lied and disappointed me. They can make themselves or a situation seem more appealing than it really is.
However, this not always a deal breaker. None of us are perfect and life is complicated. If things are not genuinely as good as they first seem or as expected I often try to decide if I can work with the present reality… and, of course, with hindsight like a lot of people, I have often thought to myself: “what were you thinking!“.
Back to clothes. After a week or so with my new item – little alarm bells might start to ring. This is when I try to tell myself that I do like it and put it on hoping I will grow to love it. I convince myself I will wear it.
Yet, often the fit isn’t great. But I want it to be. (Oh how much I’d love it to be perfect!) I picture myself wearing it in the sunshine, sitting under the beautiful blossom tree in the Pavilion gardens, supping a cider in a beer garden, on the beach or at a music festival. But alas I also start to hear the warning signs.
The little voices – in yoga we call them the ‘chitta vritti’.
You may have heard chitta vritti described as Monkey Mind or mind chatter before. It’s a Sanskrit word that means when your thoughts are dancing in your head. Some are hectic and want to be center stage, some chill and hang on the sidelines waiting for their moment. They bump into each other, some hang on for the last dance, some leave early. Too much of this and you start to feel in a spin, worry and even get anxious. Yoga and meditation are great for quietening this by the way. When it comes to my impulse clothing buys at some point after the initial honeymoon period my chitta vritti tell me; ‘it’s not for you, Kirsty, this was an impulse purchase’.
Chitta = consciousness
Vritti = fluctuations
OK, so I have a history of behaving impulsively as I said. Looking back, when I was younger I rarely listened to others and often kept things that were not for me for much longer than I should have.
This summer I will be turning 36 and I now know my own body and mind much more – I feel I know what suits me. And I think I have a better idea of what is good for me and what I want.
This new outlook has lead to my impulsive choices getting cast off in my most recent spring clean. I still look at the clothes and smile at the reasons for initially choosing them – and do not doubt I was sincere – at the time I DID WANT THEM. I was not being dishonest when I made my decision. However, I know that someone else would suit it much better than me. This other person would love the item with all their heart and wear it over the coming years. They’d have a long life together and be happy.
And so I pass these treasures on to others. I think of them as treasure and not trash, because they were once lusted over and sought after by me. That makes them special and valued. Alright, they are the fruits of my impulsive decisions but certainly not something I would ever regret. They were perfect for a certain moment, a special period, maybe just fleeting and this is fine. We are all allowed to change our minds. I just have not found my purchase of a lifetime.
So what is the point and what have I learned?
I have benefited from a life lesson after my most recent spring clean and reflections on it. For one, my eBay app is going from my phone. Two, my Paypal account is going to be disabled. I need to venture out and look further afield. I need to try on more and not rush into things.
I am Kirsty. I am impulsive. I have been eBay free for 24hrs.
Wish me luck 😉