Greetings! It is a gorgeous autumn day here in Queensland. And today is officially the 4 month mark of the challenge. Howzat - one third of the way through, and only a few scratches and bruises as markers of the journey thus far!
This is blog #31 and that really is me (left) inside my closet. That photo was taken yesterday by Jules who had me climb inside my hanging space (which as you can see is double decker) and attempt to look nifty. I felt like a bit of a goose doing it but it does illustrate the whole Woman Vs Clothing (who cares about Man Vs Wild when there are silk shirts and tailored jackets to be considered??!) thing quite well, don't you reckon?
I've had people ask me if I feel bad that I own so much clothing. I feel great! Some people collect tea spoons, or miniatures of the worlds great iconic structures, or men, or photographs, or memories, or bad habits. I have collected clothing. And in general, I have enjoyed it immensely! Stopping to take stock of where this collecting was taking me has also been an important part of the journey. Which brings us full circle to the focus of today's post.
Review! What I'd like to do today, is a review of the past four months as chronicled by this blog. It seems appropriate to place a marker in time, since a lot of water has passed under the blogging bridge in the last 16 weeks. Blogging is a funny ole business, and the "blososphere" is full of very interesting (and some shady) characters). I still have no particular idea if this blog is going to "take" me anywhere, beyond the emotional expression that it provides twice a week. Which, since you've asked, is valuable in and of itself.
In the hot spot. Blogs can be quite powerful. Julie (from the movie Julie & Julia) proved that. Someone else doing fabulous things is Annabel Candy, a friend here on the Sunshine Coast. Her blogging has just won her a free trip to Shanghai, courtesy of Coca Cola. To read that fabulous story, and receive the treat of her blog writing on a regular basis, you can check her out here (hi Annabel!) So, inspired by Annabel, plus my own desire for completion, I am going to continue blogging away here and hope that you continue to read me. At least some of the time.
So, standing here by the side of the road with the signpost above us saying Four Months Along, where exactly have we come from?
Month One. I really had no idea what I was doing. I felt slightly terrorised and amazed that I'd made this seemingly massive decision to not do something that I immensely enjoyed and am, in fact, quite good at. My head knew that it was a good idea -- financially it was a no brainer. Emotionally and psychologically, I knew that I needed to do this challenge, although I wasn't quite sure why (and am only marginally clearer now, four months along). I blogged about the Gruen Transfer, the nature of wanting, what I bought overseas last year, leading a creative life (Mafia Stew), that hotdinger of a post on Rick Rack, why I love animal print so much, and passing observations from a visit to the Sunshine Plaza.
And in case you are wondering, the answer is No, I do not have a particular blogging plan or 'workflow' for my posts. How I'm doing it is like this:
- I collect ideas on blog posts that might be interesting... these come from a variety of sources including comments friends make to me, media I'm reading/watching/listening to, an idea that I was going to write about but the post took a different turn, passing comments by strangers on the bus.... that kind of thing. I file these in a Word document and refer to them from time to time. Sometimes I even write about those things and then I get to (haaa) cross them off my list. List crossings off - what joy!
- I sit down twice a week and put my fingers on the keyboard and see what comes out. Often I start with one idea in mind about what the post will be about, and it ends up going in a completely different direction. Because this is a personal journey, and a personal blog, and I'm wanting to live more in a consciously creative state, I don't try to manipulate the direction of a post... I let it have its own life. In this way, it's kind of like a mature teenager -- it gets some say, but I don't let it run riot.
- I do not offer any endorsement or warranty that the above approach has any merit whatsoever and can bear no responsibility that if you try it, it will work for you. I'm not even sure it's working for me.
Month Two. I got into the swing of it a little more, and felt like I might just be able to stick with this whole blogging thing. We were in the grip of a sweltering summer here in Australia and I spent some quality hours in our front office, sweating and typing. My blog posts in month two were honoured by three 'guest' pieces of content - one from Julie who was living The Torture in Sydney, one from Judy (aka the Diva) who made us laugh, and the final piece which included that dry wit of the Masked Man Greg. I also blogged about the TV show Shopping is My Life, Australia Day and thongs, my new found skill in jewellery making, feeling flat and how shopping is connected with that, and my big 4-bag clean out.
Month Three. Summer had gripped us like a vice and I only mention this again because unrelenting heat like that can have a cumulative effect. You are not only cranky because today is hot, but you have built up crankiness from the entire last week when it was 35+ degrees every day. Like sleep deprivation, heat over-stimulation is not good for you or those close to you (who have to put up with you). We battled through and I visited Sydney and Melbourne for some relief (if not in temperature, then at least in locale). I blogged about temptation, the 3 kinds of shoppers I've observed in malls, International Women's Day, the allure of pre-loved stores, the power of colour, and the TV show Toddlers & Tiaras. And yes, I still hold that 6 year olds should not be wearing more makeup than Dolly Parton.
By this stage of the game, I'd started to see how I could "chunk up" up to posit a viewpoint on topics bigger than just me and my personal experiences and feelings about being on this challenge, and other me-related topics. Sure lots of learned scholars have written thorough, well-researched, in depth and far reaching works on these topics. But that's no reason for me not to expound poorly thought out, shallow, superficial, one-dimensional viewpoints here in this blog, right?
Month Four. We'd seen hints that autumn may be lurking around the edges of our weather patterns, and I'd started to wrap my head around the fact that time does not stand still for any woman, and April 17 could not be avoided forever. Or at all, actually. Turning 30 had not even registered on my radar, but the next decade milestone seemed to be throwing up all kinds of challenges for me to stumble over. How fascinating (yawn). I blogged on those timeless topics such as resisting & avoiding (ways to divert temptation's attention), the nature of desire, travelling and how shopping has been such a theme in mine, the fabulous Kasey Chambers and Lyle Lovett experience, the TV show Damages, and the fashion industry's block & tackle they call this season's "must haves".
So, rodeo lovers, that's the round up of the last 4 months. To those who visit and read regularly - I love you! I may not know who you are, but you're a friend for life. I don't label myself a writer (it just seems too swish a term for what I'm doing), but as a person who writes, to know that someone is reading what you've written is pure gold.
Finding me easily. Oh! Here's something else. I have put up a post on my other website about this 12 month non-shopping personal challenge. If you forget the URL for this blog (which some folks have said is long and they do sometimes forget it), no worries! Just go to www.imlisteningnow.com/blog and under the Topic: Personal 12 month challenge you'll find the link to THIS blog post. Gotta love technology. Right?