One of the things that I’ve been doing, 11 days into this three-month project, is making excuses. Like:
- This would be easier in the summer because I wouldn’t need to layer as much.
- Some people get to wear jeans to work, and they don’t need to add so many “professional” options.
- Men have an easier time dressing because society judges male fashion less.
- People who don’t live in Chicago (or similar climates) don’t need the cold-weather clothing that I do.
- 33 items for three months might make me feel (and look) sloppy. I still want to look charming and professional.
:: Rubs thumb and middle finger together :: You hear that? It’s the world’s tiniest violin playing the world’s saddest song. (As a side note, in talking about something or rather a few days ago, I actually said out loud to The Hubbs “HASHTAG. First world problem.” That’s not healthy, it it?)
But there are lots of perks to this. I can’t shop (because I wouldn’t be able to wear any new items until my three months are up) so I should be able to focus any consumer urges into other areas (save, save, save). And I should ultimately be thinking less about my hair, my clothes, what I want to buy — and more time on writing, reading, cooking, playing Words with Friends and enjoying Chicago.
And I’m also thinking about minimizing and cleaning other parts of my life and my home. Example: I’m trying to detox my personal hygiene products after reading some of the No More Dirty Looks series on Good magazine. That means avoiding buying products with mystery ingredients like “fragrance” and realizing that I probably don’t need a new lip balm every other week.
I’m analyzing my food consumption, too. Sometimes I lose the battle with that. See: Sunday morning breakfast.
But the point of this experiment is not to make excuses or feel guilty. Minimizing is about feeling better about the choices I make and valuing how rich my life is, outside of the clothes and chicken-friend steaks and chemical-laced beauty products. This project is about making a conscious effort to focus on non-commodities, like writing a play and submitting stories for publication and joining a yoga class. And planning game nights and cocktail parties with friends. And finishing my master’s degree. Not that I can do all that in three months. But I can focus my energy on some of that now. And hopefully carry those lessons well past three months.