there is much more information available at 350.org. also here.
the COP21 climate talks got off to a promising start. leaders agreed that we need to work toward allowing the temperature to rise no more than 1.5 degrees celcius. when the hard work of figuring out how to make that goal a reality presented itself, resolve seemed to soften. the draft of the agreement circulating now suggests energy transitioning 'over the course of the century'. we can not push this work off any longer. the next 24-48 hours are crucial, as the draft is being finalized. please consider adding your voice to those around the world letting the negotiators in paris know that we "don't have another lifetime to wait".
there is much more information available at 350.org. also here.
listening to: coldplay's new album, a head full of dreams
knitting: quince & co. osprey bare dyed with indigo (hard color to capture)
reading: hundred dollar holiday by bill mckibben
looking forward to: another season of downton abbey
discussing: what we want our holidays to feel like (this. together.)
drinking: a bit of eggnog in my chai
what about you?
i've had a few conversations with friends about the frustrations of having limited funds. we didn't imagine our lives quite like this…and yet, in so many ways, we couldn't have imagined our lives as blessed as they are! there are probably a few of us here who, at one time or another, have felt like we have less money than we would like to have. christmas is one of the times when we can be especially vulnerable to the creeping feelings of not having enough. (this is extremely relative…and painfully ridiculous in this world of refugees, slaves. and truly poor…yet, we are human…and unfortunately our feelings sometimes need more than a different kind of comparison for perspective.)
i've found it quite helpful and empowering to preempt this notion of not enough with the idea of choice. if i decide that i want to live in a smallish home, i find that i am much happier there. if i consciously choose to have a smaller, simpler wardrobe, i find satisfaction in what i have created. if i decide that i want to have a simpler christmas, i can find joy (and encourage it) in the simplest of things.
if i decide that smaller, simpler, and less is what i want…that it is my choice…not what i am stuck with…i am much happier. i find myself writing this today as a reminder to myself. i have not found contentment to be a perpetual state of mind. i am still susceptible to the mind creep of desire, feeling sorry for myself, and comparison…but less so as i practice. when i feel the creep, i can remind myself that i know my choice for simple and less is good. i am blessed. it is enough. it is very, very good.
a new month, a new little collection of clothes to wear. this month there are no new pieces, but i did switch out a pair of jeans and 3 out of 5 tops. my sweaters are out in full winter strength, and i have two pairs of boots in this collection instead of one. the silhouettes will be the pretty much the same as they were november, but the layers will be warmer. i'm looking forward to wrapping up in my red plaid scarf which has been a favorite for a long time now.
this month, i imagine we'll see snowflakes fly, hear jingle bells ring, and smell hot cocoa waft. wool, leather and deep hued plaids sound nice right now.
my chosen silhouettes for december are:
1. soft, faded, worn in denim + top + cozy sweater
2. dress + leggings + warm cardigan + tall boots
3. (maybe) dress + jeans + toasty sweater
here are this month's pieces:
~blue/black plaid shirt
~cream striped tee
~navy striped tee
~faded vintage levis
~tan wool pullover
~grey wool/cashmere cardigan
~marl wool cardigan
~short caramel boots
~tall caramel boots
total: 15 pieces
thoughts of a simple christmas can often be accompanied by thoughts like …won't my kids feel deprived? well, possibly yes…but i really liked what joshua becker said in response to that question in this chat.
joshua tells the story of driving his son and two of his son's buddies to a birthday party. the two other boys come from families with more money than theirs, and they started talking about the cars their dads drive. joshua could tell that the boy whose dad drives a bmw was getting jealous of the boy whose dad drives a corvette. the point is that it is in our nature to want more/ better/something else…no matter what we get or have. we may be some of the few talking about contentment, but i'd rather my girls receive that gift than the latest hot thing…every time.
anyway…i thought i'd plunk a few mentions of simple holidays here…for inspiration and moral support. :) it can be nice to hear about other families doing unconventional things at this time of year, i think.
rubyellen and ben give their girls each one gift + one "community" gift from them and one from santa.
caroline asks her family for gift certificates to a store where she wants something. those gift cards add up, so she can buy the more expensive item she actually wants in her curated wardrobe.
there is nothing under the tree at ann's house, but plenty of gift giving and celebrating.
when my nephews and my girls were younger, my sisters and i agreed to buy only for the kids and not each other. i would usually buy a book and some sort of candy to tie on top for each one, i think…or i'd knit them each a simple hat. simple and inexpensive. one year my sister broke the rule :) and gave each couple the gift of a movie (from their own movie drawer), microwave popcorn, movie-sized candy, and a 2-liter. it was a good gift and not too expensive…and it made us laugh looking at those old movies. we've also done white elephant gifts which worked great as entertainment and produced lots of laughter. most often there was no money spent, and it was funny to see some of those gifts reappear the following year.
rachel uses what she has…beautifully.
last year, bea's family rented out their beautiful home and used the money to fund their own holiday. they have also given their boys the zero-waste gift of a monthly adventure subscription. each month throughout the year they do something fun together…and it doesn't have to be expensive. they may also get some bulk candy on christmas day…and then go for a swim... in hawaii!
bill wrote a book (and an article) about his hundred dollar holiday tradition. it's a good one- check it out at your library!
i love seeing these ideas all together, because it shows a variety of ways do a simple christmas. let's create the holiday we want to have…one full of memories, laughter, and love.
this was never meant to be a recommendation for wardrobe planning. that's truly what i love about all this stuff…it can be exactly what you want it to be…like your style of dressing…one can have a style of wardrobe-ing. :)
courtney likes wearing 33 items for 3 months at a time. caroline likes having 37 items at a time. ariana has 21 items total, including her wedding ring…in paris. leo is wearing the same outfit every day. i'm inspired by all of it!
for now, i'm choosing a small collection of clothing for each month out of my 50 items total. it's somehow exhilarating for me to see that little stack each month and know that i'm going to be just fine wearing those items all month long. i know it's weird to some, but that's ok. i like thinking and reading about minimalism and fashion, so it works for me. :)
i wasn't planning for this expirement to have any great summit of enlightenment, but it has been interesting to note the thoughts that have come from it. i have had a little spark of a thought quite a few times…that it is quieting to realize that this is all i need. i could do well with less really. my 50 total items are now recognizable luxury…functioning mostly to quell my whiney voice of boredom with the same pieces.
why do i get bored so easily? living elsewhere exposed the way my views are so culturally bound. we could recognize a person we knew well from a distance, because that hoody meant ben…or that polo shirt meant eric. jo was asked what she would possibly wear everyday... when she told a girlfriend she was going to be homeschooled…presuming the school uniform would no longer be in daily rotation. how freeing…all this sameness, i say! freedom from the need to constantly reinvent oneself…freedom from the desire to remove boredom from wardrobe…freedom from the expectation of others (in matters of the wardrobe, at least)…freedom from the need to consume…freedom for the wallet, for the mind.
and so…here i am…exercising the freedom to choose what i like from my own edited collection of pieces in my own closet. i've set no hard and fast rules…i can buy something if it is truly spectacular and ethical and worthy of the place something else holds at the moment. i very much try to wear only what was in my initial stack and i stay within my limited budget. i haven't bought any clothing for myself for a few months, and i don't feel deprived. i feel that i have what i need. i like what i have. i enjoy wearing what i have. i guess that was the un-mined goal all along, wasn't it?
have fun with your wardrobe-ing…and may it be educational. :)
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time