Sometimes I think that I should stop going to thrift stores because it can be too easy to buy stuff.
Other days I know that thrift store shopping is a great idea for someone who is trying to live a more intentional deliberate life.
For example, I like to shop for a lot of my family’s clothes at thrift stores. I can get better brands and quality than I can normally afford so I’m saving money. I’m not buying cheap crap that carries the weight of a myriad of social, environmental, and economic issues. Because the stuff has been worn and washed, I know ahead of time how its going to wear and I don’t buy something that is going to have to be ironed. That’s just never going to happen around here.
I don’t buy all of our clothing second-hand. Some stuff is just supposed to be new if you know what I mean and sometimes you just can’t find what you need when you need it.
Because of thrift stores my husband can wear Hawaiian shirts that are actually from Hawaii. My kid can wear the Justice, Gap and Old Navy clothes that she wants. If it hangs in the closet for a bit and doesn’t really get worn all that much, it’s no great loss – we just donate it back. Win…win!
The same goes for other stuff around the house: dishes, decorative items, art supplies, sometimes furniture, etc…
I’ve just learned (and am learning) to be careful and thoughtful about purchases.
Then there is the magical day – the day that I was just meant to end up at the thrift store even if I was in a bad mood and was looking for some retail therapy even though I knew that buying something wouldn’t necessarily make everything all better.
Because what I found did make things better when I was dealing with a preteen child who shall remain nameless who was perhaps being a bit moody and difficult to deal with. The kind of day when I needed to remind myself that love conquers all and I do love her more than I could ever have imagined because her life was indeed a miracle in more ways than one. The day when I kept telling myself that I have survived three other adolescents and none of them are in jail and neither am I even though they might have inspired murderous thoughts at one time or another.
I found this at the thrift store yesterday:
A genuine 1969 Spirograph Plus missing only one piece. It still has it’s original cardboard mat and most of the original paper. How groovy is that! It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you are playing with a Spirograph.
When you are playing with a Spirograph it’s easy to remember that you love that smart, beautiful, creative little girl who is trying to grow up in a big family in an even bigger world. The little girl who is figuring out who she is and what her talents are. The little girl with strength, determination and grit that sometimes comes across as stubbornness and defiance.
When you stop and just spend some time together, you remember that sometimes life is hard and taking the time to play and just “be” for a bit is a splendid idea.