Friday, March 13, 2009

Maintaining a Positive Outlook

This post is a little off topic, but I think it's pretty important, and actually integral to the spirit of Thrift Store Confidential.

Maintaining a positive outlook during prolonged crisis is one of the trickiest things to do. Every ounce of media is focused on our recession; some of my favorite chain stores are e-mailing me several times a day, it seems, with a new sale or markdown special, the Glamazines are full of articles on "Budget Finds!" (only $220 for an organic t-shirt? Really?) and literally every person I know is worried about their job stability. Overnight, it seems, costs of basic necessities are going through the roof, and the national sense of outrage at the people who have profited from years of bilking consumers is at an all-time high. (Thank you, Jon Stewart!)

Deep breath.

It’s everywhere, this panic. It seems that no one is immune to it; my friends are artists, bankers, accountants and designers, and despite the disparity in occupation and lifestyle, everyone is in the same basic place – it’s a feeling of freefall and abject anxiety.

What the hell does this have to do with shopping in thrift stores?

Well, it’s about seeing the world differently than you used to. It’s about engaging your creativity, which responds beautifully to even the smallest effort. Especially in what Shakespeare called “these lean and pursy times,” the world is not going to step up and hand you a lovely life on a silver platter. This short time of ours is largely what we make of it, and what we make of it depends largely on our outlook.

There's an enormous shift in the paradigm of life as we know it; the status quo that longer applies. I predict that tiny, heretofore unrecognized acts of selflessness and community will begin to occur, because, well, it makes us feel better to be connected to something during a time of crisis.

So. If you have some free time, why not take a little bag of used clothing to DONATE to your local thrift store, and while you’re there, take a look around. Someone, somewhere, will be grateful to have things that you no longer want or need, and maybe you’ll find some little something that pleases you in a retail therapy sort of way, without the extreme guilt of a shopping spree.

Sometimes the smallest things can make the largest difference.

More to come.
All best,

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