So Christmas has come and gone (it was lovely, thanks for asking!), and it’s the start of another New Year, so my Facebook feed is stuffed with folk starting some sort of ‘denial challenge’ in January. Some are doing veganuary (vegan for a month), some are running every day, a few are swearing off alcohol. Some are doing all three (madness! Imagine getting home from your run without a beer to welcome you back, or the promise of a slap up cheese on toast feast if you put in the miles). Congratulations if you have that sort of resolve. I don’t.
And to be honest I can’t get behind starting any privation in January: it’s the middle of winter, cold, dark and frequently wet, Christmas cheer is behind and the next holiday (Easter?) is still months away. I do understand the impulse to change, god knows. With a swelling belly and a sore head, stiff from hours relaxed under a box of Quality Street on the sofa, us northern European puritan types are seeking some sort of mortification of our too too indulgent flesh. Bring on the torture to chase out the guilt.
But we all know that New Years resolutions break as easily as the brittle ice on January puddles, and bingo, we can add the pain of failure to our many sins.
As the two month veteran of a self imposed pledge (in my case not buying clothes, shoes, bags, or – sob -yarn for a whole year), I feel a bit smug about this rush to self-flagellation. Ha, two months in and I’m still happily not buying stuff. Or at least not buying the sort of stuff that I used to. Over the Christmas period I bought presents of course, and it seemed that most nights featured a run down to Tesco to buy yet more festive ‘must haves’, but I also made a gift for everyone I care about, re-fashioned a couple of Cinderella outfits from my wardrobe, did a bit more mending and sorted out a few more wardrobe ‘archives’. I visited shopping centres, hit the streets of Manchester, and visited some ‘catnip’ stores (Whitestuff …. I still love you) and didn’t buy clothes, bags, shoes or yarn, and more importantly didn’t really want to. Only ten months to go….
I think that I am still happy to proceed with #Nobuyzone until the bitter end, because I’d had years of preparation, instead of 2 short weeks. As trips to charity stores multiplied and the piles of grey t-shirts regenerated themselves, as I read about the inequities of the fashion trade and my boxes of unworn, but too good to throw away ‘things’ grew like topsy in the loft, it became imperative that I stopped. Just stopped.
I’m enjoying getting re-aquainted with my archived clothing (a wool jacket from Gap, warm and cosy, that I just quit wearing, sometime in 2014 from a receipt in the pocket, boots that I got bored with, sweaters that I ‘lost’ in the loft), I’m getting through my yarn stash and making use of random bits and bobs that I accumulated: patchwork is on the agenda to use up fabric scraps, some embroidery silk has awakened an odd passion for embroidery (last seen in these parts when I was a nipper making gym bags in primary school).
I am very lucky to have a lot of lovely things to ‘play’ with and the gift of time (thanks arthritis, and bugger you) to appreciate . I accept that I am very fortunate to have accumulated too many things, many – many – people don’t have that luxury.
I hope to make my year long pledge an enjoyable journey of self-discovery and change; not a bitter trudge to the end of a ‘denial challenge’!
Happy New Year!