I have been in denial.   For the past 30 years I have been a marathon shopper. My mom has always been a marathon shopper.  She can skim sale racks in record time. I'm sure she could be blind folded in a mall and would still find her way to a sale.  So I was groomed to be the same for as long as I can remember.  Back in the 80s we'd drive from Ottawa to Montreal to shop for the day.  Yup 4 hours of driving to shop.  We were like a well oiled machine starting at Holts and moving through downtown.  We'd stop for lunch, often at Ben's, and then keep going until about 4.  Then we'd drive home. We rarely shopped with a list.  We'd shop stores we couldn't afford at full price and see what "deals" we could find. At the end of the day we still had the energy to drive the 2 hours home, and I'd often go out that night with friends.

In the past few years I have made a concerted effort to be a more careful shopper.  Shop for the things I need in my closet. The things that work for my body and my style.   And yes, I still shop at expensive stores - when there is a sale.  But the definition of "deal" has changed for me.  The definition of quality has also changed. I buy less - but I often pay more.

What I didn't realize until yesterday is that I am no longer a marathon shopper.  I am out of shopping shape.  I spent 3 hours with my Mom in South Granville looking at Boxing Week sales and was exhausted!!!   I was a puddle of jell-o sprawled on the couch afterwards.  This makes my sore body and blisters after my NY City 2010 shopping day more clear.  I had put that down to swollen feet (from flying in the am) and to the NY humidity.   When truly I just didn't want to accept that even if I didn't marathon shop anymore, that didn't mean I couldn't still do it. 

How did I get here?  After so many years of grooming and training from my Mom.  How did I let all that go to waste?  Clearly the answer is motherhood.  With a 4 year old son, I no longer have a full day (or half a day) devoted to shop.  So I shop in short conscious bursts.  I have a list. I take advantage of 10 minutes here and an hour there.  I keep track of when sales happen at my favourite stores and schedule them into my calendar.  I have become an appointment shopper.

In the end, I know my shopping is more efficient and effective.  But somehow there is still a lost joy in knowing I can no longer enjoy a day of wandering the stores and still have energy to get off the couch after - let alone go dancing with friends.