Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Saturday Seven - #40

Tangled Up in Blue

Look! I actually got rid of some things this past week. Seven, even. So I'm sure you'll kindly overlook (again) the fact that this Saturday Seven is posted on Tuesday. (Okay, scratch that, it's actually early Wednesday morning now, about 1:00 in the morning. I started this entry first thing Tuesday morning but had to put it on hold while I plowed through a to-do list a mile long....)

Anyway, for weeks now I have had a pile of clothes sitting out in our bedroom waiting for me to determine whether to keep it or pass it on. Given that I haven't worn any of it since I piled it there, or probably in a couple of years or more, you'd think the answer on all of it would be obvious - pass it on. But not for me, nosiree. I have to agonize over every piece. Now that I'm doing the Wardrobe Refashion, it's even harder to get rid of unused clothing - because now I see all of it as a potential refashion.

Last week, we got a postcard from the Easter Seals saying they would be driving through our neighborhood picking up donations from the curb. It doesn't get any easier than this! So I took that as the little shove I needed to find at least seven things to donate. After rummaging through the pile in our bedroom, I came up with one pair of black sandals (have always loved them and love them still, but the elastic has stretched on them to an extent that they are too big for me now); one never-worn brooch that I bought last year to go with a capelet I was knitting that did not turn out well; and five pieces of clothing, all blue: two very nice Ann Taylor tops, two tees, and a pair of pjs. I also started to put some Ann Taylor stretch jeans that are no longer my style, but then I realized I might be able to make a fun skirt out of them.

Just as I was packing the stuff up to put out by the road, I realized there were a couple of small coffee stains on the striped Ann Taylor sweater. This happens to me more times than you would believe - I'm ready to pass something on, only to discover that it needs to be washed (or worse, dry cleaned). The stuff was due out at the road first thing, and there was no time to clean up the sweater, so I took it out of the pile.

It's funny, I've been hemming and hawing over giving that sweater away for months or maybe more than a year. It has stretched out and really doesn't fit me anymore in a flattering way, so I don't end up wearing it. But I loved it so much when I first bought it, and I have good associations with it. Funny that I finally decided to part with it only to discover it needed cleaning.

After I snapped this second pic, I found one more thing for the pile: a cute little maternity dress that a friend passed on to me but I never wore (because it was too small for my late-term multiple pregnancy self). I had tried to sell it in the past with no luck. I kept thinking I'd try again, but now I'm glad I just let it go. I also fished around in my car and found a few books that I had meant to drop off at the church rummage sale (counted weeks ago as a Saturday Seven), and I added those to the bag.

One more funny cleaning-related thing. After the stuff had already been picked up, I was down in the basement doing laundry, and I discovered two more shirts I had meant to add to the pile but had decided they needed washing first. They were clean and dry and ready to go. They were, of course, also blue.

Total this week: 7.
Total so far: 359.

Thanks, all of you, for your really great comments on my last post. I'm definitely going to persist in this and am glad some of y'all are doing it as well. I'm about to leave for vacation, and hope to spend some of my time reflecting on what form this project needs to take for me over the next year. Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I started the Seven Things Project partly in an effort to move towards more sustainability - both economic and environmental - in my personal life, and to be a part of a communal conversation towards that end. Funny then, isn't it, that I cannot seem to sustain either the project itself or the blog that helped me launch it.

I am so grateful for you who read this blog, and for you who comment, and especially for you who are struggling along with me towards similar goals, and most especially towards those of you who have given me such gracious encouragement and support. I feel bad about my almost total failure to respond individually to comments (I'll blame blogger a little bit, for making it difficult). And I feel even worse about my inconsistency with posting. I actually do post all the time - in my head. Getting them typed up and online has been an entirely different story.

At the same time, I realize it's a little ridiculous to live with guilt over a blog. And I also realize it probably gets tiresome to read apologies and excuses.

Still, I feel guilty. And still, I am sorry.

I am an Idea Person. I have big ideas, sometimes good ideas - and I'm pretty sure that the Seven Things Project was - and is - a good idea. It's just when it comes to consistent follow-through, well, suffice it to say that I struggle.

Which could be why my house feels just as full as stuff as it did when I started this project nearly a year ago. The baby diapers I intended to post on eBay? Still here. The antique table I wanted to sell so we could buy something more useful? Still have it. The three recliners that I thought I'd give away? Still here. The new-with-tags Bebe dress, Bebe top, and Ann Taylor formal skirt that were all ill-conceived purchases five and six years ago and should've been returned within 30 days? Got it, got it, got it.

Perhaps I have made a dent, it's hard to tell. I know I have more mindfulness - especially about the stuff I am considering buying. It has been four months now since I bought myself a new piece of clothing (other than shoes and undergarments), and I've signed on for another six months. For me, that's a pretty big deal (but don't ask me how much fabric I've bought in that same amount of time). I have made some small eco-friendly commitments and recommitments that I haven't blogged about, that seem to have come as a result of the focus this project has given me. And, as much as I fail - in getting rid of stuff, in stopping myself from acquiring more stuff, and in blogging about all of it - I am still determined to keep trying to do better. And it's possible I already am, at least a little bit.

Does this sound like a farewell post? It's not, actually. It's just my current musings, and a bit of an apology for not posting any Saturday Sevens in awhile (I suppose I can't really count my last one, since it was ZERO). This project was intended to end on July 7 of this year. I guess this phase of this project will end, but this blog will keep going - though maybe without the weekly pressure of a deadline (I probably already have enough of that kind of pressure in my life right now - also, what was I thinking, making the deadline be a Saturday, when that is nearly always a full and sometimes stressful day because of my work?). I am still considering what incarnation this project will take next.

At any rate, I'm sticking around, and I'm grateful for those of you who might keep on reading. Even when I have no progress to show. Even when I am awful at responding to comments. And even when I am sporadic in my posting. Thanks in advance for understanding. You're all marvelous.