Clothes.

clothes

I know, I know. This has taken me entirely too long. I’ve had all of my 7 stuff saved as drafts forever, but I keep having new thoughts and ideas and aaaaah! I have a lot to say, ok?

Anyway.

Recap: The girls in my Community Group took Jen Hatmaker’s book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and did our own experiment. No, not the one she orchestrated with another book on making your own experiment, because apparently none of us though to check that. So we did the extra work and made our own. Do we get bonus points for that? No? Ok. Sorry for all the links.

Clothes was the second chapter that we tackled in our 7 experiment. I didn’t necessarily think it would be hard, I just thought it would be annoying and a giant hassle. Let’s look at her rules:

  • 7 articles of clothing total, for 1 month
  • Undergarments do not count.
  • 2 pairs of shoes count as 1 item of clothing (leaving you with 6 more to choose)

Our rules:

  • The exact same, but for 2 weeks instead of 4.

Thaaaaaat’s right people! We got brave on this one and played by the rules. I should clarify. When I say “We,” I mean the majority of us. There were exceptions to the rules in some cases. For instance, Jen Hatmaker is a writer and speaker, but otherwise, a mom who works from home. She had the freedom to wear the same thing over and over without worrying about having to look (too) professional. Heather is a counselor and Raven is a graphic designer, so they still limited themselves, but had to expand their wardrobe a bit for work-times.

This happened to be the same week when my kidneys decided that growing E Coli might be fun times, so they gave it a whirl. I was home sick with pyelonephritis for half of the first week and in the hospital for the other half. I tried very hard to wear the 7-sanctioned casual clothes while I was at the hospital, but clothes get dirty (weird huh?) and the idea of trying to explain in my drugged up mind what I could and couldn’t wear to someone else seemed cruel for both of us, so I gave in. I rocked it the second week though!

So remember when I said I thought it would be annoying and burdensome? It wasn’t (aside from the *minor* hiccup there at the beginning) AT ALL! It was actually pretty awesome.

No having to decide what to wear.

No pressure of accessories.

No feeling like my clothes didn’t look good on me.

Best of all: No one asking me “Didn’t you just wear that yesterday?”

Wait, Whaaaat? I’m serious! I thought that people would notice and tease me about wearing the same clothes over and over, but my ego was forced to take it down a notch because NO ONE CARED. Even at work. No one even seemed to notice.

I think that was the biggest lesson for me. I get so concerned with what other people think of me, and that binds me to a lot of my materialistic tendencies. I want people to think I’m cool. I want people to think I’ve got great style. As much as I don’t want to admit it, I want people to be jealous of me and what I have sometimes, as if that will make my insecurities magically go away.

I realized that if I were to sell all of my clothes and keep only my favorite ones, no one would give a tiny rat’s you-know-what. That is so freeing. It’s also so humbling. This realization kind of forces you to get off your high horse and pay attention more to things that matter and less to things that–try as we might–will not last.

Next up: Stress.

Have any of you done the 7 experiment? Or just sold a bunch of clothes and had a panic attack about it? Tell me Tell me!

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Money Money Money Mooonay (Mooonay!!)

So as I talked about in my last post, the ladies in my small group (Becca, Heather, Raven, and Dia-these names will come up a lot, there will be a quiz later) and I – and two of our husbands… kind of – decided to do an experiment based off the one found in “7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker. We did things sloppily and out-of-order, and we changed some of the rules, but learned so incredibly much.

So it begins. This one is a little embarrassing to start off with, as it was our trial run, our practice round, if you will. We didn’t really know what we were getting into and had not read the entire book yet. We at first thought we’d do each experiment in the course of a week, so that is how long this one (sort of) lasted.

Her rules:

  •  She and her family would only spend money in 7 places total for a whole month. Let’s first establish how wonderfully crazy this chick is. Her places were:
    A farmer’s market
    Gas station (just one!)
    Online bills
    Stuff for her kid’s school
    A limited travel fund (she is a speaker as well)
    Emergency medical stuff
    Target (which she severely limited herself to using only in emergencies )

Notice there are no restaurants, movie theaters, or any other type of entertainment, which if you know anything about me, is such a buzz kill. Since we were only doing it for a week, we decided that free reign of 7 places in 7 days was a little on the lenient side, so we decided to change it up.

Our Rules:

  • 7 transactions ONLY in 7 days.

Yeah, I know. That’s not a lot. This is especially true when it’s your mom’s birthday and you have agreed to dinner, a manicure, and a movie. Bam! 3 transactions. 2 hours.

This was my downfall, people. Right out the gate. This is a pathetic way to start off the telling of my experience, but it was the first one we did. And as you know I am both a rule follower and extremely type-A, so to do things out-of-order would have me twitching. Ask Bryan how it goes for him when he suggests we watch a show or a movie in a series out of said series, I dare you.

Raven stuck it out for 2 weeks and didn’t cheat, and for that, we celebrate. If only this were a relay where when Becca, Dia, Heather and I failed, we could have passed a proverbial torch to Raven and celebrated the group win. C’est la vie.

You’ll just have to trust me that it gets better from here. The funny stories, the complaining anecdotes, the accidental lessons learned, all still to come. While bated breath won’t be necessary, I know the edge of your seat will be worn down by the next blog post, amiright?

Anyway, I did learn stuff. Just from reading and failing, I learned how much we Americans spend on crap. I am only tiptoeing into bleeding heart mode when I say that there are soooo many other things we should be focusing on.

Her statistics are eye-opening, saddening, and, if I’m being honest, embarrassing. We are turning a blind eye to so much suffering and heartache in the world while we buy our 15th scarf, $50 moisturizer, and newest pair of shoes. I know what I’m saying is controversial, but read the book and learn what I’ve learned and try not to feel convicted.
This is still overwhelming to think about, and I’m on the home stretch of the experiment! So yeah, hang in there with me. The stories get funnier and the truths get stronger. Sorry I failed on this first one, but in keeping with my first post  I’m not going to beat myself up over it. 🙂

What do you think so far? Ready to try it for yourself yet?