Apr 30, 2017by tracey Comments

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.


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