Mum's the word: How lockdown showed me how to buy necessities

Once columnist Alison Curtis started online shopping she couldn't stop... but she was at least investing in her family's well-being
Mum's the word: How lockdown showed me how to buy necessities
Irish Examiner columnist Alison Curtis

I know for many people one of the 'eras' of lockdown was online shopping. A period when we could no longer go into shops so we went online and bought — in some cases — the most ridiculous things. 

Pillowcases with your pet’s face on it, a desktop refrigerator, or led lightsaber chopsticks whatever it was (no judgement), many of we lost the run of ourselves during the last number of months.

I held out pretty well for the first few weeks and then once I started online shopping I couldn’t stop. 

As I spoke about in an earlier column, during lockdown I rediscovered my love of tennis and have introduced my nine-year-old to the game. So, of course, we needed new tennis shoes, balls, and a few outfits! That is where it started.

As we went further into lockdown I scrolled further down the endless pages of different online shops selling anything and everything to do with being sporty!

Along with tennis, we made an effort to get out hiking twice a week. It’s a wonderful thing to do and an activity that most families felt safe doing during phases 1 and 2 of lockdown. 

But obviously we needed new rain jackets, joggers and Techsweat tops in order to do it properly... or so I convinced myself. So I bought these items for me and my daughter. I also wanted a good backpack and a new thermos and so on.

As I was browsing through the different virtual aisles of these online shops I would inevitably pop a t-shirt here or shorts there into my cyber trolly and before I could take any items out I would practically smash that 'purchase' button. 

There was a period whereby I was buying some athleisure item each week, and each time justifying it in my mind as something that would really improve my life!

Then the weather got nicer and the country moved into phase 4 we decided to go for our first ever sea swim. I don’t know how I have not managed to do this before after having lived in Ireland for 21 years. But it was incredible, freezing but fun. 

My daughter Joan loved it so much, she is such a water baby and was on such a high afterward despite being ice cold.

So that got me thinking I should probably invest in new sliders for me, possibly new towels and a beach bag… I also went so far as to google Dryrobes for each of us but stopped when I saw the price tag. 

That was the moment I realised I needed to stop. 

From then on I resisted my usual hotspots on the web, took stock of the items I had bought, and realised we had made good choices but that we defiantly had enough.

Yes, I did spend a good bit but I really do feel it was an investment in us as a family and our wellbeing. After all, this is the year of really and truly embracing the outdoors and all that Ireland has to offer. 

To enjoy sea and lake swimming, hiking, tennis, running, kayaking whatever it is we choose to do and experience. It is the safest way to have fun with our kids.

My daughter and I talked about our summer plans a few weeks ago and I told her it was going to be an outdoor summer. That we would choose a small group of friends that we would meet regularly and try different actives with or explore places we haven’t been to. 

And this is the kind of summer we are having, the kind that I feel she is getting great joy from but at the same time we are keeping our family healthy and safe.

So upon reflection yes I did need that bright pink Techsweat top but I’m glad I stopped at the Dryrobe.

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