Sunday, July 05, 2015

halfway home and finding fruit.

I remember, back in my upper elementary days, a friend of mine who would wear the same outfit to school for two consecutive days before changing to a new one.  Then she would wear those clothes for two school days. Even as a 10 year old, this was curious to me.  I don't remember if I asked her, or if she just flat out told me something like:

"my mom wants me to do this so we don't have as much laundry"

Honestly. That mom was a practical genius!  But I wonder too...maybe her mother was also teaching her something I still grapple with 28 years later.

That flashback from 1987 came to mind after I read this really timely article: 

(if you get a chance, check it out, it's a quick read)

I have learned a lot as I've been in conversation with people about this no new clothes challenge I've taken on.  Some think it's crazy,  some would never entertain the thought,  some think, what's the big deal? -- I could do that forever and without even trying!   I have learned about personality types, behavior patterns, motivations, personal history, and self-identity.  I have learned these things about myself and also others.

In the article referenced above the author who wore the same 5 articles of clothing all week states:

"The most important thing I’ve discovered in this experiment is 
that self-evaluation cannot be the goal; the fruit of it is."

I agree. I can self-evaluate all the day long and this blog has been a handy place to wax introspective.


If nothing changes it's just a bunch of thought bubbles and keyboard strokes.   If I go through this year desperately counting the days until I can again buy floral dresses with reckless abandon I am not producing the fruit this challenge was meant for.   Choosing new actions and shifting my thoughts to collectively result in change is what I hope the last 6 months has planted and the next 6 months will grow.  

So,  where's the fruit?

I'll be honest, this challenge is really irritating at times! My patient, dear husband most often has to hear the dramatic reasons why.  However, if I think in terms of fruit,  this whole thing has forced me to feel less about my clothes and understand more that the outfit does not make the woman.  I believe this is something I've always known but didn't personally practice. I may have let my exterior speak louder than my interior.   

I am reminded that I could absolutely care less what anyone I know wears or what fashion trend they do or do not follow. I love the people in my life for so many other things. Their hearts & humor, their passions & quirks, their struggles, their talents, their steadfastness, their honesty, their faith.  All things interior.  

There is something strangely liberating and simple in knowing there's nothing new under the sun in my closet.   What was grueling is now just methodical.  
Enter closet.  
Choose something. 
Get on with the day. 
So, still a work in progress.  Good(?) thing I have 6 months left.  I would dare guess there's more to learn.  For today I reflect on my grade school friend and what I can learn from her experience.  I can't suppose she was as bothered by her clothing rule as I would have been.    Perhaps she was wise beyond her years and knew that clothing was just an exterior expression and we loved her all the same.   Maybe she believed in the practicality.   I think she was just an obedient soul.  All good things.   

Here's to more fruit!

A word of thanks.  I realize this challenge is a small and sometimes silly thing in the big scheme of complicated life,  but I've been encouraged and held accountable along the way by many of you and for that I am grateful.   

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