A Resolution: Buy No Clothes in 2021

Something has to give. I don’t want my treasure to be found in my closet. This cycle of wanting-seeking-owning-loathing also has to end. I feel like it has ruled me for as long as I can remember and I want to find a way out from underneath it.

I have lived in this cycle for so long that I honestly can’t imagine what life would look like for me if I didn’t live in it. I want out.

What’s more, if living in our little space depends, in any small way, on me, then I need to do something to stop adding to what is here.

Apartment circa 2012, pre-Scalawags and pre-Stuff

So this gauntlet that I am throwing down looks like this: I am not to purchase any new clothes in 2021.

When I write it like that, it seems like such a small thing. But heavens to Betsy, it doesn’t seem like a small thing when I think about what that means.

That means darning holes in my socks. It means learning how to mend my jeans that are coming apart at the back pockets. It means making my pretty underthings last for a whole year.

It means coming face to face with the urge (because that is what it is, right?) to accumulate stuff. It means examining my own heart when I think that some new thing will make me feel complete.

Given that I have been unrelenting in my tracking of expenditures on clothing for the last year, I know exactly how much money out of pocket I could save if I could stem the bleeding. So there is an upside to this: I could save our family money instead of costing our family money.

I am going to keep this our little secret. First of all, if I fail, then you can be my confessor and my indulgent husband won’t have to know.

Second, I expect this to be emotionally complicated. I mean, I am going to try to undo several decades of trying to fill my soul with things instead of whatever is supposed to go in there. I don’t want or need my family to deal with the junk that is in my soul.

I will establish the rules of my challenge shortly, but the long of the short of it is: I am not to spend money for any new clothes in 2021.

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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