Hello and here we are at blog posting #89. It is also exactly one month until this challenge finishes for me. I can scarecely believe it! In four short weeks, I’ll be finished with this particular challenge and be free to shop again for clothes and related items. I can’t quite work out what I’m feeling. Am I coming to the end of a marathon? A self-imposed exile? A sentence? Should I be getting ready to celebrate or checking in with my sponsor?
Blog #10 marked one month into the challenge, and also the beginning of this whole blogging business for me. I had no idea what I was doing, on either front – now that I reflect on it.
At that early point in proceedings I was upbeat. Optimistic about the 11 months to come, excited about what the challenge might bring, emotionally buoyant. Perhaps slightly stunned and yet strangely determined would be another way of observing how I was at that time.
Looking back at what I wrote then, it has a “shiny and new” feeling to it, and just a touch of naivete. There’s a “golly gosh”, index-finger-to-the-cheek quality to it, my mood and my writing at that time. Like Anne Hathaway, in almost any of her films, before the makeover sequence.
That was then, this is now. Not just a novel about adolescent angst. So where am I now?
That I won’t be having “no clothes shopping” on my mind on a daily basis. Or if I do, it will be about the membership course (which you can join), not about my own challenge.
Whoa, what’ll that be like? This challenge has featured in so much of my thinking and my activities (everything from where I go to what I read, watch and download has been affected by this challenge). It’s affected how I feel and what I do with those feelings (which was not so eloquently but perhaps expressively discussed in a series of posts I did in July). Will I be itching an amputated limb once the challenge is over?
Quietly pleased that I’ve made it so far and have really only had one falling off the wagon event (which you can read about here – it was way back in March, just over 3 months into the challenge).
And my capacity to justify make sense of that event is almost of politicians quality. But I did own up to it. And I haven’t had another event like it during the remainder of the challenge. Go me!
Yes, it does feel like an achievement. I set myself up to accomplish something, and I’ve done it (well, nearly). I’ve stuck to the spirit and the statute of the challenge (well, apart from that once, but you know about that already, right?)
When I first started blogging, I had a goal of writing 100 posts during the challenge (and I can just see the 100th post on the near horizon).
Back then in December 2009, it seemed like I had so much time … time to write about whatever was happening for me, whatever I was noticing and feeling, reflections on what I was reading about consumption, shopping, fashion. I now know there’s so much to this topic, that I could be writing about it for the rest of my life, and I’d still find new things to say about it. Although I’m not sure I want to be held to that.
And I wonder if I’ve learned as much as I could. I’ve learned a lot, sure. And I’ve faced up to things that I didn’t really want to (the emotional stuff, in short). I’ve felt the fear… worked through frustration and confusion confusion ….and seriously wondered if I was making too much of all this. Anne Leonard and her Story of Stuff would say that, nope, we aren’t making too much of all this.
When I find myself drawn to an alluring window display… when I find myself wandering through a store, admiring this or that… When I find myself humouring an internal negotiation, however brief, about whether those turquoise wedge espadrilles (for only $39!) that I saw in a Carmel boutique could somehow be legitimised (I mean, it’s only 5 weeks til the challenge finishes – doesn’t that mean I’m kinda sorta finished already?)….
…..well it makes me wonder if I’ve truly slain my shopping dragon. Maybe I really do need to consider a “life without shopping” as I so blithely quipped at the end of my very first TV interview (on New Zealand’s Breakfast show, way back in May – our Media page has that interview + the 6 others I’ve done since then. They’re presented in internet Farsi style – the most recent one at the top).
I aim to make 100 posts by December 21 at the latest (I’ve deliberately assigned two post-challenge blog posts to wrap up the challenge. One of them might even include details of my first post-challenge purchase – oooh, oooh, how about a video?).
I’ll keep you posted over the coming month as I countdown to the end of the challenge. That’ll be worth visiting often for. Right?