Cycles of life

bd cardIt’s the end of another tradition. The acknowledgment is more appropriate since the tradition ended many years ago.

This week I met up with an old “shopping buddy.” Along with another friend, we would do whole day excursions visiting different shopping areas. Our goal was to nab the best deals. That and giggle. And eat. It’s a girl thing similar to a ball game for the guys without the packages at the end.

And we did giggle! We came home with shoes and jeans and tops and underwear and kitchen stuff. It was always a fun day.

Sometimes getting there was a big giggle. Once we missed our turnoff and didn’t realize it for a half hour. Too much chatter and not enough attention. It didn’t matter. No meetings or phone calls to make.

That was then. That stage moved on.

My friend said that she hates shopping now. We haven’t taken a field trip in over five years. It was back when we were working, before retirement. A lot of what we shopped for was work clothes.

Unlike men, who buy a case of shirts and pants and wear them for a decade, women like change, color and style – especially for work. And shoes. All kinds of shoes – sneakers, boots, dress, casual, slips-ons, clogs. We bought them all.

I told my friend that I don’t treasure shopping like I used to either.

My clothes go in cycles. This winter I’m in a sweatshirt cycle. I have beautiful flannel shirts but I mostly wear soft comfy oversized sweatshirts. Other years, I am in a shirt cycle.

As for bottoms, like the men, if I find something that fits and is comfortable, I can buy a case in navy and black. I’ll be good for a while.

I may not miss the shopping part, but I miss the day trips with my besties. We do lunch now and then, but there is no trunk full of bags at the end. Or skinny wallets. We still get the giggles though.

What did you stop doing when you retired? (or maybe not retired but changed lifestyles?)

 

63 thoughts on “Cycles of life

  1. Charley and I went out to the mall to shop last week. I hate shopping, but all of his pants were frayed and I needed a workout outfit for the gym we signed up for. So, we turned it into a date night and because it’s the end of January, the sales were great. Win, Win! And now he can once more go out in public. since I’ve retired, I have the time to write and am making good use of it. too.

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    • I like the tactile part of shopping. Touching, feeling the fabric, looking at the details. On-line is always a crap shoot unless I already bought one or tried it on somewhere else. Then there is the chocolate afterward. Can’t forget that.

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      • True, I pretty much try to stick to things I have bought before. I just ordered some shoes, though, and am really nervous about it. Shoes usually have free mailing and free returns. Otherwise people would not buy them.

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        • I will buy shoes on-line if I can try them on at a brick and mortar store but they size isn’t right. Then I have a good level of confidence. Zappos is good with the free shipping and return but you pay full freight. I have narrow feet so I am always checking out on-line shoes. Stores don’t carry narrow anymore.

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  2. When I left university world and started working in alternative education world, I stopped wearing make-up. I also stopped sending my husband and daughters off to his parents for entire weekends so that I could correct stacks of papers for hours on end. Don’t miss either of those things of course.

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  3. I’m just now 6-months retired. I haven’t figured it all out yet, but things have definitely shifted and changed. I haven’t completely adjusted. And I do miss some of the relationships that are just going to be much harder to maintain. ;-(

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    • The first year was like a long vacation. I am 5 years out and still trying to figure it out but loving every minute. If I wouldn’t worry about things like health care and devastating illnesses wiping out everything saved, I’d be much better.

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    • I knew it in my head but was still amazed after I retired. Without a place to wear it, the excitement of new clothes goes away. It took about a year for me to realize that I didn’t need another piece of clothing for the rest of my life. Well, that’s not going to happen. I have to cloth the poor people somewhere.

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  4. Isn’t this how we all feel like when get at this age were we retire and we seem to more tighter with the wallet spending in retirement than when we were working. Our days doing things with out buddies seem to slip bye us and time gets away from us before we know it we forgotten what it was like to do crazy things we did together. Yes, retirement is suppose to be a time that we all are suppose to be able to enjoy our golden years that we worked so hard for in first place but never counted on economy to be were it is right kno either. I like your blogs they have a lot truth behind them. A lot memories come to my mind and how time has gotten away from me. You have away with words that draw people into what you are writing about.

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  5. I don’t much enjoy clothes shopping anymore… not sure why. I like to purchase online rather than cram myself in a tiny changing room and keep having to go back out for the right size. I also stopped cooking when CH retired… he is a better cook and baker!

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  6. I’ve always preferred clothes shopping alone – or, if I went with someone, it would have to be to help them buy something, not me. I have found that I shop much less now that I’m retired, but I haven’t quite gotten it through my head that I don’t need so many things. I just bought two tops yesterday at Marshall’s (at least they were cheap), but I already have so many and, honestly, I keep reaching for the same few things over and over. I’ve off-loaded quite a few things to my favorite second hand store, but I could get rid of a lot more… and will.

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    • For serious clothes shopping I prefer to do it alone. When we went as a group, we’d split up and meet at an assigned time. I find that I buy too many tops. Pants are pants whether they are yoga, sweats or jeans but different tops make it look and feel different.

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  7. It is interesting how shopping online has changed the whole dynamic. Still, though, clothes (and especially shoes) I think are tricky to buy that way. I still like holding an item, trying it on, etc. And then, as the point of your post really makes, it’s the social angle to shopping, especially for women. I just wonder how much of that has changed because of online availabilities? Is that yet another reason why malls are struggling? – Marty

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  8. Retirement changes things in ways one doesn’t imagine when you think about retiring. The social aspect, both in and out of work, is tough to lose. You can always do a show, lunch/dinner, etched, but I know it’s not the same as shopping which had a much longer life span..:)

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  9. And shopping online has changed a lot.
    I have these great yoga pants, and I can’t find them any more. I am so upset. I bought some white ones just b/c they were on sale, but when am I going to wear white yoga pants? hahahaha

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  10. I have been caring for my elderly parents for the last few years, and it appears what I have given up is going out. My shopping trips always include a list, and it seems that I hit the stores in a flat run, desperate to get home again and relieve anyone I put in charge. I come home with what is on the list and anything that I pass that I feel might be needed. It’s a lot easier on my finances, but sometimes I do miss wandering around the stores looking for nothing in particular.

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  11. I have always been “overweight” so shopping for clothes has never been fun for me, and now that I work from home, most of the time in my pj’s, even less so. Books and scrapbook supplies, that’s a different story. My niece and I go to the Scrapbook Expo twice a year and that gets me my fill of all day shopping and giggles.

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    • When I started menopause, I got rid of everything that had to be dry cleaned. I still have a few blazers but even my coats are washable these days. Dry cleaning is so expensive now. My husband likes starchy shirts. I’m not doing them so they go to a dry cleaner. Shirts aren’t as expensive (and definitely worth it if you want to keep a happy wife) but I had a suit jacket cleaned and it was $10.

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  12. I love to shop. I like it less now because we are trying to cut back. It seems lately there have been many changes. I too meet my friends for lunch. Discussions not as light though. And I too miss the packages at the end of the day. (We’d always feel so guilty…part of the fun.)

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  13. I’m only 30, but I’m cringing at the fact there might be a time when I hate shopping. THE HORROR. I hate overpaying for things, and most things are cheaper online, so recently I’ve done almost all my shopping on there. The only time I ever go shopping is when I need food. It’s been a rough life these days. 🙂

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    • I was just getting in my shopping stride at your age. At that point I worked for a large Fortune 500 company. It was all formal business clothes. Suits, pumps, pantyhose and I loved it all. I felt so pulled together. As things became more casual, it was still ok but now people wear the same thing to wash their car that they wear for work. I loved dressing up.

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  14. I’m like nancy. I don’t like clothes shopping, so I buy in bulk, wear forever, then when necessary force myself to do the whole shopping ritual again. I used to have a few friends who’d drag me out for a day of shopping, but they were older than I am and they’re retired now. And like you said, they no longer want to spend the day shopping, so I’m off the hook. *yeah*

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    • Retirement brings a different perspective. I still occasionally go to an upscale store (by myself) to see what’s “in” but I no longer have the desire to buy. I’ve converted to your style of buying for pants and jeans. When I love it, I buy enough for a decade. I can’t wear a wide pant leg so I’ve just bought a bunch with the current narrow leg style to take me through the next bad design that I can’t wear.

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  15. I’ve never been much of a shopper . . . except for groceries or wandering through shops and stores in touristy towns like Bar Harbor, Maine or Williamsburg, VA. I’ve never done an all day shopping extravaganza with girl friends ~ except maybe in high school. I tend to buy clothes (and shoes) like the guys you’ve described ~ find something that works and buy several years worth. And I use one purse at a time until it wears out. None of that has changed since I’ve “retired.”

    What has changed? Everything. We moved so the weather, our friends, the terrain, and our habits are all different than when we worked. We exercise more (swimming, biking, walking, kayaking), go to the beach more (mostly to walk), visit more art galleries, living history museums, etc. It’s all good . . . but it IS different.

    I sense that you miss your girl buddies and the giggles more than the shopping. Do you have the stamina to plan a “reunion”? Maybe a “day at the spa” outing would appeal to them more than traipsing from store to store?

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    • We do get together occasionally, mostly to eat. One has moved a distance. Life changes as you say. It’s a nostalgia for a time that was. The funny thing is that as much as I enjoyed fashion (and still do on a more limited basis), I was never one for those little knick knack stores in small towns or antique stores. Like you I use one purse until it falls apart. I have a summer one and a winter one. I don’t have the patience to figure out where I put stuff in different purses.

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