Only two days till the end of my one year challenge and I’m starting to reflect on what I’ve learned this year. If I could boil down this year into a one sentence tweetable lesson, what would it be?
One thing I’ve learned is that the longer you go without shopping, the less important fashion and clothes become. It’s not like I go to work in a burlap sack and cardboard on my feet, but I don’t care if the boots I have on are scuffed at the toe a little bit. (Which they are in case you’re wondering.)
I recently read an amazing article by Ann Patchett who is a bookstore owner and has just finished her own year of not shopping. Her description on how buying stuff blurs our vision of the world is spot on:
“The things we buy and buy and buy are like a thick coat of Vaseline smeared on glass: We can see some shapes out there, light and dark, but in our constant craving for what we may still want, we miss life’s details.”
Has seeking after my own constant cravings of “want” caused me to miss the details of my own life? When first confronted with that question, I responded like most of you would, with a simple “Nah, not possible.” But I have learned more about myself this year than any other year of my life. Was that possible because my vision cleared and I could see more clearly?
I’m not sure how different this year would have been if I had been shopping the whole time, but some amazing personal growth did happen. For example, I learned this year that I have a talent for painting.
In July, I picked up a paint brush to paint rocks with my sister April, and six months later I have raised over $800 from selling painted rocks. I never knew I could paint or how much joy it would bring me, but here I am at 41 painting for the first time in my life. And if giving up shopping allowed me the time to discover this talent, then I should have stopped shopping YEARS ago! (If you’re interested in seeing some of the rocks, check out my Instagram. Search for daytwin_rocks.)
Another lesson I learned this year is knowing the true difference between a want and a need, and not just my OWN needs but the needs of OTHERS. In the article by Ann Patchett, she explains that most of us are buried in our possessions and yet we still desire for more. I believe that when we stop shopping, our desire for “more” transfers to other parts of our lives.
This could mean different things to different people. To some it’s more time with your children, and for others it’s more time invested in your personal health. For me it meant investing more time and money into charities and causes.
This year I was able to donate more money and time to charity then I ever have. Not shopping not only freed up my bank account but also my personal time, and since I wasn’t focusing on my own wants I started to focus more on the needs of others.
So, what’s my one sentence tweetable lesson? I guess it’s this:
Your life is more than what’s hanging in your closet.
Thank you for spending this year with me! I know some of you have been reading this blog since day one and it’s because of your accountability that I was able to finish this challenge.
I am going to continue my “no shopping” life style at 60 day intervals like I mentioned before, (read my last blog for details) and I encourage you to join me. Follow my Instagram account myyearofhandmedowns for daily and weekly encouragement, tips, and more.
My name is Misty Day (yeah, that really is my name) and I'm a normal every day person. I'm a twin, I work as an analyst, I take my daughter to Girl Scouts and swim team, I play bass guitar in a band, I love food and wine, I like new clothes, and I'm trying to be a better person.