Monday, 22 October 2012

A Privilege
The third week of the ODP is, in my opinion, the hardest. The first week, it's all shiny and fun. The second week, you're settling in, enjoying complaining to each other, and figuring out the foibles of the dress. The fourth week is the home stretch; you're starting to feel excited about getting your closet back, and maybe even having a pang or two of nostalgia.

But the third week.

It's the doldrums. The Facebook chatter always dies down somewhat in the third week. You're bored of your dress (or I am, anyways).

People come away with lots of different lessons from the ODP each year. This year, I was discussing with another old hand how we feel like we've "learned our lesson" after four years of ODP-ing. But I've been thinking about that since, and ironically, I think that's turning out to be my lesson-- that I haven't learned my lesson, because it's not just a lesson.

Yes, in the first years I learned lessons about how little people notice what I wear, how little I can actually do with, and the benefits that simplicity brings into my life, among other things. But this year, the lesson is this: I'm in this for the long haul. I'm not going to "learn my lesson" and stop practicing this yearly discipline (not to say that everyone else needs to commit to lifelong October-dressing), because the exercise teaches, but it also reminds. It reminds me to stop and rethink the way I live, a sort of 'Reset' button for my life. It reminds me that for most of history and for most of the present-day world, mass-produced, ready-to-wear clothing is not available. It reminds me that living sustainably, frugally, and simply is not always fun, but it's always rewarding. It reminds me that I need less than I think. And it reminds me that saying, "I'm sick of this dress now, after 31 days," is a tremendous privilege, because I do have a closet full of lovely clothes to come back to at the end, unlike so many people.

It reminds me that I am blessed.

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