One FREAKING year.
Oh yes. One fuh-ruh-zeaking YEAR.
It has been one year since I have bought any clothes whatsoever.
One year of no new things.
One year of no new underwear.
One year. 12 months. 366 days.
How does it feel?
Strange, at times. Today I was at Ryl's house for brunch, and I commented on how much I liked Honda's top. And Honda said she bought it at Target, and I responded, I guess, in a tone of surprise.
"Wow, you must have not been to Target recently if you're surprised they have cute clothes," Annie said.
"Am I THAT out of it?" I wondered. And I thought a little, and realized that I haven't even stepped foot in a Target since December. In fact, I have a $5 gift card to Target that I received on that trip, and normally that gift card would be long gone, right? I mean, it's Target! And it's $5. But ... the card is still sitting in my purse, waiting to be used. Waiting for me to set forth in Target again.
I would like to take this time to say something profound about this year. What it's taught me. How I've grown. And yet ... I seem incapable of coming up with something really eloquent. I learned there are few things you can't do without. I learned that you can manage okay with neither a fan nor air conditioning in the summer as long as you keep your windows open. I learned that if you take the cushions off a papasan, the frame serves as a decent drying rack.
There were a few cheats, including the most recent one: orthodic insoles for my shoes. (Does it count if insurance pays for it? I'm not sure.) But aside from about five incidents, I stuck to my rules.
I did allow myself to buy stuff used, and I think 85% of the things I bought used were books. Books are something I'd never be able to give up buying, but luckily you can find almost every book used very easily these days. But other than books and CDs, I really didn't buy much used stuff either.
So what did I do? I did my fair share of borrowing. Cookie sheets from Honda. Books from the library. A scooter from Mouse. A Playstation from a co-worker.
And I did a LOT of making do. Making a heating pad from rice and an old sock. Using a paper template to cut gingerbread men. Using old tupperware as mixing bowls. Making my own scrapbooks from old binders and leftover paper.
And on occasion, my dear friends and family bought me new stuff that I really appreciate. Honda bought me a Klean Kanteen and a messenger bag made of recycled plastic bottles. Miss V and Annie bought me novelty tees.
So what now?
Now, life begins! For real. No rules. No restrictions. Just my own memories of this amazing year, and my newfound understanding about what really matters.
What really matters?
People. Friends and family. Our health. Experiences. Food. Art. Music. Security. Education.
What doesn't really matter?
Cars. Cell phones. Expensive sheets. Purses. Matching plates.
Thank you all for following me on this adventure. Thank you to everyone who has read my blog, and cheered me on. Thanks to everyone who's stood in a store and wondered "What Would Arduous Do?" Thanks especially to my mom, Honda and Miss V who bore the brunt of my insanity. It's been quite a journey, but don't despair. This is only the beginning, my friends. Only the beginning.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have underwear to buy.
5 months ago