Final 30th Year Challenge Update

Today is my 31st birthday. I’ve completed my 30th year challenge of not buying clothes for one year. It was difficult sometimes, but to be honest, it was a lot easier than I anticipated. Here are a few lessons learned:

Intentionality.  I know I mentioned this before, but it’s the number one lesson I’ve learned this past year. I’ve become much more intentional with how I live. Not that I don’t still enjoy being spontaneous once in a while, I do, but I mean intentional in a broad sense of living with a purpose. I base my consumption more on need, than on want. I make sure it will serve a purpose, sometimes that purpose is simply spending a fun day with my family (we all need to have fun now and then), other times it’s strictly necessity.

Simplicity. I admit that in the past when I had spare time I would sometimes fill it by going shopping. It was a waste of time, truly. This last year, whenever I had spare time it was spent, writing, reading a good book, working in the garden, hiking, exercising or going to the beach with my family etc. All of these simple things brought me much more satisfaction than a new outfit ever did.

Embracing Imperfection.  Since I couldn’t replace damaged clothing, I learned to be okay with a little stain or hole in a few articles of clothing. I learned to not care so much. This attitude overflowed to other aspects of my life as well, like standing up for what I believe in, whether or not it’s popular within my circle of community. We are all imperfect people with different life experiences and opinions and in the end I don’t care how I look, as long as I can extend God’s love to the people around me.  Embracing imperfection has helped me stop comparing myself to others and accept myself  the way I am. It’s incredible the amount of freedom that comes when you don’t care about trends or about making everyone and their mom like you.

Here’s a few of the things I did buy this last year:

  • New sock and undies.
  • I bought myself a red beaded necklace for Easter, because I wanted a pop of color to celebrate the day.
  •  A couple weeks ago I bought a new skirt in preparation for a wedding reception I’ll be attending the day after my birthday. I won’t wear it until then.
  •  A new pair of sandals ($3 on sale!) because our kitten decided my old ones were a good chew toy.
  •  Yesterday, I bought a new pair of shoes because all of my old pairs (except for my boots) are falling apart, literally.

So, that’s it. In the last year I managed to only buy a few pieces of clothing and mainly out of necessity.

Now, it’s another year and I’ve decided to give myself a new challenge. I think it’s important to continue to learn as we age, I never want to become stagnant in life, so this year my challenge is to write everyday. I thought of the things I’m passionate about and where I want to improve and landed on writing. I enjoy it and hate it at the same time. I enjoy the result of writing, i.e. processing my emotions and having a record of things I’ve learned and experienced, but I sometimes hate the actual sitting and writing part. This challenge is about self-discipline and trying to be better at something.  I’m sure there will be days when I only pen a couple lines in my journal, but nonetheless, I’ll be saving a thought or idea for when my creative juices are flowing.


Originally written on 8/30/2012


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