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"When We Get our Glow ON, we CAN Light UP our world!" ~ Bets

From Fashion Junkie to Finding Fulfillment and Getting My Glow On ☺

I’ve been smiling to myself reading all the excited posts on Facebook and Twitter – British high street fashion chain Topshop has opened in South Africa. A few years ago, this news would have put me in an excited shopping frenzy. But the last few years have seen my circumstances change dramatically. And that’s the reason I’m smiling. ☺
I may never have imagined that my credit-crunched budget would have been a blessing.
But it truly has allowed me to understand what’s really important and to get my priorities straight.

I was obsessed with fashion! The latest looks, labels and beauty products – I had to have them all! I had to be in the front row of every catwalk show. Even my boyfriends had to love fashion – I wanted men who would shop with me. No surprise then, that three of them turned out to be gay!

When I started working as a junior reporter on a newspaper, I was told to cover an incident of political unrest. That didn’t suit me at all. It was dangerous and deeply unglamorous. I remember telling my editor that I didn’t do body-bags – I was all about Louis Vuitton!
While my journalist friends and colleagues were reporting on the harsh, scary realities of Apartheid South Africa, I was only interested in the shallow world of glitz and glamour.

Vogue, Harpers and Queen and Harpers Bazaar were my bibles. And because most of the stuff I wanted wasn’t available in South Africa, I’d spend ridiculous amount of money travelling to Hong Kong, London and New York just to shop.
When MAC cosmetics first opened up on the Kings Road in London, I couldn’t wait to fly over and stand for hours in a queue just to buy their Spice Lip liner – I bought into all the hype!
I lived for labels. I pined for Prada! It was an on-going, expensive obsession and I could never get enough.

And then a few years ago, my circumstances changed and I had to learn to live on a tight budget – not a situation I’d ever been familiar with. Shopping for luxuries was the last thing on my mind.
I had to learn to survive – on my own for the first time in my life, and with limited funds. And during this time, I had a complete shift in awareness. I no longer gave a hoot about ‘stuff’. I completely lost interest in it.

I needed to make sense of Life, especially my own life, and slaving after the latest fashion no longer held any appeal.
I needed true soul nurturing and comfort and I instinctively knew I wouldn’t find it in shopping.
In fact I couldn’t stand to be in a shopping mall – I started to find the noise, artificial lights and the rows and rows of stuff overwhelming.

So much for the marathon shopper. She went into retirement. The last time I happened to be in Europe was during the winter sales – and I got as far as the front entrance of Zara, before turning around and getting out of there as quickly as I could.

Of course I still love beautiful things – fine fabrics, beautiful design, pretty clothes and luxurious body products. I’m still a girl who loves luxury and style!
But I no longer agitate and angst about having more stuff than I could ever need. And I’m no longer manipulated by trends or glossy magazines telling me what I “must have”.

Now I find fulfillment in expressing my creativity, sharing my work, laughter, good food and good times with friends, time spent with family, being out in nature, sunshine and sitting quietly on my own enjoying my sea view.

I’m relieved to be off the hamster wheel of an industry that’s designed to keep one wanting more. Of course there are still gorgeous things that I want to buy – but they’re not the main focus of my life.

New, shiny stuff is definitely a nice-to-have, but it can’t replace Love, Laughter, Good Health and wonderful experiences to help me stay tuned to the Good Stuff and Get My Glow On!

With Love, 


  1. Fabulous post Bets... I chuckled all the way through.. but I'm glad the pain of wanting labels has eased so well :).
    Lotsa love,

  2. Cheers Di! Just gotta laugh.. ;)
    With Love and Smiles,
    Bets Xx