Perhaps at least three of you have been secretly wondering… Has the (unintentional) clothing fast ended now that CC is in the land of plenty? The land of insultingly low prices at surprisingly good quality? The home of the Mom who says “You need this and it’s only $6, so who cares? I’ll buy it!” The home of the brave and the land of the free gift with purchase?

You get the idea.

Well friends, yes and no. The “fast” has ended, and I am very thankful for some fresh maternity options to show for it, because I. Am. So. Pregnant., but I think something new has taken its place.

Inside the dressing room of the nearest Ross (a super-cheap department store similar to T.K. Maxx in the UK, for which, sadly, there is no South African equivalent) I have discovered a different CC trying on clothes, mostly because it is f-f-freezing around here, I didn’t pack properly (but not on purpose!), and stuff. just. ain’t. fitting now.

It is as if something has broken, and I’m really glad, and I don’t want it to be “fixed.”

Instead of trying to come up with all the reasons why I need this particular item, I have found myself deliberately putting things I really like back on the rack. Instead of justifying a previous fast with a present feast, it seems like my want vs. need-o-meter has found itself dialed onto a completely new setting.

I still like stuff and I am overjoyed that I’m no longer covering up jeans that no longer fit with a carefully placed rubber band and a wide belt. We found some wonderful maternity jeans for $12 at Ross (about ZAR 80/GBP 8)! But I am finding a different version of myself in the dressing room, who values cash for different reasons, and wonders how it could be better spent, if I don’t get too busy spending it on myself.

We strolled into the GAP the other day, specifically because we had a 40% off coupon in hand. The familiar GAP-esque, earthy, woody smell was familiar to my nostrils. The style and the feel of things seemed really similar, even though it’s been a long time since I’ve darkened the doorway there. But as HH and I perused the racks, we sort of looked at each other with slightly puzzled faces.

“It seems like the GAP is selling something I’m not buying anymore,” I said.

I was glad Hero Hubs knew exactly what I meant.

I don’t know if all of this will make a hill of beans of sense to you, dear reader. But nevertheless, I’m excited to report that some little widget, secretly implanted in my brain by the materialism and marketing fairies, has begun to malfunction. I’m weighing a $30 purchase against sponsoring a child to be able to eat for a month. I’m thinking about the reasons I don’t need, instead of the reasons I do.

And I’m hopeful that this ‘malfunction’ will help me focus more on Presence than presents again this Christmas, and perhaps even all the year through.