Shannon Bardwell: The not-buying-it resolution


Shannon Bardwell



People need revelation and then they need resolution.


-- Damien Lewis, British actor




Last year's New Year's resolution didn't turn out as well as I had hoped or maybe it did in the long run.


The 2016 resolution was not to purchase any wearable apparel for a whole year. I made it 184 days, 6 hours, and 34 minutes. During which time, I came up with every conceivable occasion for which I should receive a gift of wearable apparel from family members. I would not recommend committing to so drastic a resolution for such a long period of time because in my experience, it was doomed to fail and make everyone around me miserable.


My resolution began with Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." I loved the book and embraced it immediately and whole-heartedly which was maybe a bit hasty. Then I read Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project," that generally supported the same ideas but with less haste and more forgiveness. That's when at six months I ended my deprivation and became more reasonable. However, I was still not entirely satisfied with where I was in my organizational skills and more particularly my closet.


Then I discovered Jennifer L. Scott's blog "The Daily Connoisseur," videos, and her three-book set, "The Madame Chic Collection." Mais qui, I've got it now. I'm a person who needs detailed instructions. I understood how to get rid of what I wasn't using but needed help in putting together what I was using. For me it took a blog, videos, and a three-book set.


Here's some particulars. By the time, I got through Kondo and Rubin's books I had cleared out a lot of stuff. I still had things in my closet that I liked but was not wearing along with items that were a bit beyond their prime. The items were serviceable but the three pair of Italian leather boots infrequently worn were maybe 20 years old. I took the boots along with other items to the consignment store. The youthful attendant sorted through, kept most, but gave me the boots back.


"These are of an older style." She tactfully said, "We can't accept them."


My head said, "What? These are classic Italian leather boots!"


O.K. my worse fear happened. My stuff was rejected and I survived. I continued to work through my closet. If it didn't fit right, if it had nothing to go with it, if I owned it for years, if it was the wrong color, it had to go no matter how expensive or "classic."


The fun part was now that all my boots were gone, I shopped for fashionable "booties." I was accomplishing my goals and having a good time doing it. Today my closet is quite spare, all items fit, match, and are in good condition. I sold items and donated some thus benefiting others and myself.


That's a lot to accomplish in a year so I guess in the long run, my 2016 resolution was a positive experience and in that light, it was extremely successful. This week I'm contemplating my 2017 resolutions.



Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.


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