Confessions of a Recovering Materialist

Why you can't buy your way into happiness
Confessions of a Recovering Materialist

I am a recovering materialist. It came home freshly to me the other day when I picked up an Anthropologie catalogue and a Boden kids catalogue from the recycling container in our foyer just for fun—something I haven’t done in a long time. I think they stopped sending them to me when they realized I’m not going to buy anything from them anymore. Flipping through the catalogues gave me a new perspective on something I’ve been struggling with for years now.

The Good Ol' Days

It’s easy to fall into the “happier-when” trap. After my husband and I got married, we’d put on a bunch of weight and then had taken it off plus a little more. I keep remembering that period of time as a really happy, wonderful season. The reality? What I’ve been remembering are actually a few isolated moments of “happiness” that actually centered around the buying of new clothes. When I picked up those catalogues again, I was reminded of how I’d spent the majority of my thought energy during that stage of my life: in scheming how we could afford for me to wear J.Crew and Anthropologie clothing.

Looking at those catalogues, I was forced to admit I had actually been very dissatisfied and unhappy with my life.

On one level I think this is hilarious. I was showing my middle-class aspirations. I had no yearnings whatsoever toward designer clothing, even though I’ve always been an avid watcher of Project Runway. And I love Ellie Saab and Marchesa (can I get an amen?). On another level, I find it really sad and frightening that my virtual environment has me pegged so well—that I have put myself into a position to be sold-to at such a relentless pace. Looking at those catalogues afresh, I was forced to admit I had actually been very dissatisfied and unhappy with my life. I was relying on some voices that ultimately didn’t care about me to tell me what I wanted.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at

Free CT Women Newsletter
Contentment; Happiness; Materialism; Money
Today's Christian Woman, January Week 2, 2015
Posted January 14, 2015

Read These Next


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

May 25

Follow Us

More Newsletters