Sunday, December 25, 2011
Calendar, by Daphne Cholet on Flickr
Merry Christmas and Happy Everything!
It is hard for me to believe that it's almost one full year since I set out to do this no-shopping thing. What's even harder to believe is that after the first few months, it really wasn't as formidable as I thought it would be. What I didn't expect to have such a hard time with was paring down my closet. There's so much stuff in there, some of it was just stuff. I must have taken four bags of clothing to the local shelter this fall, including my favorite Aran cardigan that I accidentally shrunk in the wash (right after I started this clothing diet).
Shopping for gifts over the past month has been full of challenges. There were many trips to the mall under the auspices of finding a shirt for my husband or a present for my mom... which would somehow lead me to take a peek at my department "just to see what's there". There were shiny tops for holiday parties, beautiful boots without nary a scuff, and snuggly sweaters. On more than one occasion, I thought, "It's December. Close enough."
But I'm a person who believes in the power of symbolism. The time and energy I've diverted away from shopping during the past twelve months has been tremendously fruitful for me -- in my career, in my spiritual life, and in my sense of self. I honestly don't think I would be the person I am today without this experience of separating myself from my clothing. And I want to see this thing to completion.
Having said that, I am also somewhat of a shabbier person than I was back in January. The right knee of one of my favorite jeans is being held together by a web of threads. I have gained more weight than I'd like to admit.
I almost put a trench coat in my shopping cart (electronically) today. Actually, I put it in. I just didn't proceed to checkout. I'd be lying if I said I'm not looking forward to New Year's Day like a starving person anticipating a buffet. But I've been to a few buffets in my day, and I've learned a few things about them. The anticipation is always better than the eating. You know, the rows and rows of roast beef, crab legs, sushi, dim sum. You can get bloated and sick in a hurry. I've decided that when I find myself at a buffet, I have to ask myself, "What do I feel like eating today?" or "What really, really looks like it's well made here?" Sometimes, I mentally pick a theme, such as Italian or Chinese, and choose a few things that complement each other. And while I used to skip the salad and fruit (more room for fried chicken!), I now try to pick the same balance of foods I would during a normal meal.
So what I'm getting at is that I'm trying to pace myself as I prepare for re-entry. There are so many darn things I want: a new trench coat, a sweater that's not black, red or earth-toned, black skinny pants, a new pair of boots. Not to mention fresh socks and underwear! There will be some purchases coming up. Perhaps not everything on my list, but hopefully the right things.