Off Target

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year! Or, as it is known to most of us...Happy Deprive-Yourself Day! That's right, today is the day we all hold to our new resolutions for the year. The day we are determined that if we can just get through these first 24 hours of depriving ourselves of something then, surely, the rest of the year will follow with ease.

What's your New Year's Resolution? Maybe you aren't giving up something after all - maybe you are only looking to gain something. Still, with each resolution there is a two-fold vow taken December 31st, ready to spring us forward into a new and better year where we will fully equip ourselves with what we believe will be necessary to our new found happiness. Two-fold, in that, if you are looking to "lose weight" you are also hoping to "gain self-esteem" or perhaps you are wanting to "read your Bible more" than you will also have to "be less self-centered"...with every gain, there is a loss somewhere - for the better! It seems only right to have a balance of gains/losses when mostly what we are seeking is a new found balance within ourselves somewhere. (Just ask Oprah, am I right?)

Maybe "balance" is becoming an overused term (it can be found on the pile of "amazings" and "authentics" that are getting dusty from their use over in that corner over there). Still, for lack of a better term, I am also looking for some extra balance in my life this coming year.
As a new stay-at-home-mom, I take very seriously my authority over my domain. That is, I run this here household, ya see, and there'll be no more shenanigans when it comes to keeping this Pardy train on track. Er...I want to do a good job at home. :)

So, let's cut to the chase. What am I giving up? Target. What am I hoping to gain? Perspective. (And savings.)

Target? Say what? Is this the same girl who nearly walks around with bullseyes reflecting in her glasses at every turn? Is this the lady who makes a day at Tar-jay into an amusing outing filled with entertaining stories and lattes and deals at the bargain bins and can't stand the notion of not seeing those little red clearance tags polka-dotting her favorite brands???

Yes. It is. You read me right. I'm giving up TARGET for 2012. The. Entire. Year.

I had my final parting with Target yesterday...right up to the very last day, you betcha. I'll admit it wasn't quite the dream parting I had hoped for. I had some final Christmas returns to bring there, and by the time I got what I needed, Matilda was starting to meltdown and there was a line 20 people deep at the Starbucks and it was approaching lunch time and my family was starving. So...there was no leisurely shopping to be had, latte in hand, new shiny items to be discovered. Nope, it was more like ripping a band-aid off, only to find the wound was still there, yet to scab over. The wound of wasted time and money, that is.

So, here's why I'm giving up Target: I can not be trusted. I realized this a couple months ago, as I caught myself once again headed toward the red bullseye (it really does draw you in) and merely going to get out of the house with the girls, grab a coffee, and stroll the store for utter and complete entertainment, justifying the whole mess by "needing" one or two items that I most likely would end up forgetting to grab anyway by the time I filled the cart with dozens of other items that had struck my fancy that day. This was not "shopping for my family". This was not "picking up necessities". This was not even "running errands". This was total self-indulgence...and it was making no sense at all...not to me, not to my time, and especially not to my check book.

We have some awesome and serious financial goals for 2012. I'm excited about paying down some debt and tucking some real rainy day money away and getting a true grasp on what we are spending where and why...not because I want to control the money...but, because I don't want the money to control me (or lack thereof!) It's all God's anyway, but I've been asked to help steward this small portion that's been graciously blessed under our care - and both my husband and I want to be sure this is being dealt with according to our value system: God, family, time together, caring for those less fortunate, and so on...our value system...not Target's (or anyone else's for that matter.) Simply put, I'm removing the temptation. For at least a year.

Now, before you scoff, before you doubt, before you - hey, I saw you roll your eyes! Believe me, this is happening. First of all, I've told you about it, so there's a bit of accountability right there.
Second, if there is an upside to being as stubborn as I am - this is it. One time, when I was in high school, I felt like I had been entirely eating too much chocolate. Like, a LOT of chocolate. So much that I began to think "I don't think I could ever live without chocolate!" (these are the kinds of mundane/all-important life questions that you face in your teens - amazing). So...I gave up chocolate...for 3 years. That was that. I just didn't want to be a person feeling controlled by something - so I just removed it from my world. I wondered if I could do it - so I did. So, believe me when I say I will not be going to Target for the next year.

Yes, I will be shopping elsewhere. Obviously, our need for basic living necessities will continue. But, I hope to be more conscious with where I shop - why I'm shopping - and to do so diligently, with a mission in mind and a list in hand. I think intention is the word I'm looking for. Being an intentional shopper, making sure that I'm finding the best deals for our needs to be met.

Yes, I will be the first to admit that it might not be as fun to shop at Goodwill or Big Lots as it is at Target. For me, that's the whole point of this experiment. I don't intend to never shop at Target again. And, I have no problem with other people shopping there. Let's be clear - I love Target! This is exactly why I need to quit it. I need to step back, refocus, and evaluate my perspective so I can find that comfortable position between needs and wants that allows me to make the most of what I've been given and how I can give back.

It will be so interesting to see how much time and money I will save this year. What will God have me do with it? Certainly, I'm hoping 2012 helps focus my sight on what truly matters, and how to be more thankful for it. I might not hit the bullseye...but hey, it's worth a shot.
(Like you didn't see that pun coming?)


  1. Girl, you are crazy! I fully support you in any effort and goal, but Target is the only place I go for most basic necessities. And believe it or not, its totally possible to avoid the un-nessisary items (when you are poor enough).
    But you are WAY stronger willed than I ever could be, and I am proud of you! p.s. miss you tons!

  2. woah. giving up target is serious business. only 4 months to go!!! :)


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