Breakthrough – Relief!

Posted by Jill Chivers in My Story

Purring PJs

Greetings and welcome to blog #58. I had a breakthrough recently. Don’t you just love it when people have breakthroughs? I do. A breakthrough implies that someone has come through adversity. That they’ve been in the mire, prone, prostrate, miserable, stuck, eating worms. It’s been HORRIBLE for them. And now – ahhh – the sun has come out, they’ve gotten to their feet, wiped the dust off their clothes and the mud out their eye.

Breakthroughs imply battling. Some form of struggle has taken place. We weren’t sure who would win — good or evil. There were times we were sure that the good guy wouldn’t win – he was down on his luck, down in the dumps, down on the dollar. Aussies love a good battler story. I don’t think that we are culturally unique in that regard, but we do like to think that the battler is something we invented, don’t we?

Anyway, I’ve been battling. As you know, if you’ve been reading thiseehere blog. Which of course I know you are, dear reader. Remember blog #51? (it’s sure to become a classic). All bent out of shape with nowhere to go and nothing to buy.

Well, on the weekend, I had a breakthrough! (this is worse than an episode of LOST, isn’t it? All this bloody build-up! Ok, I’m getting to it, promise. Next sentence. Well, paragraph at least.)

I was in Peter Alexander, my favourite pyjama store (doesn’t everyone have a favourite jammie store? Ha! Can you imagine women of our mother’s and grandmother’s era, having a favourite PJ store? Unheard of! Pajama’s aren’t fashion items! They’re practical things! How things have changed..). I happened to have my camera with me and snuck the above photograph of their current winter range (yep, still “winter” here in Queensland).

Animal print! And what do you notice? Lotsa animal print, right? Waaaay back, in blog #9, I talked about my love of all things animal print. Whenever I see it, I’m sure some synaptic nerve goes bananas in my brain. So what they had in this store was:

  1. zebra print brushed cotton pj sets + just long bottoms
  2. giraffe print brushed cotton pj sets + just long bottoms. Giraffe is an unusual print – you don’t see it so much
  3. cheetah print polished cotton (so a shinier look & feel fabric) in pj sets + just bottoms

Lovely stuff. Right up my alley. I looked longingly at items #2 and #3. I picked out my size (M) and held it up. I ran my hands over the fabrics. I had a few moments of “oooh, lovely, I wish….” (those damn seagulls from Finding Nemo and their “mine! mine!” chants haven’t quite gone away, but they are receding. Which is a relief – I’d hate to have a Pixar character take up permanent residence in my head. I blogged about them at the Halfway Point most recently).

And then…. something magical happened. I remembered the challenge (yes, brief amnesia is one of the side effects of going into shops, which is why staying out of them is such a good idea) and my commitment to not going clothes shopping for one year. I want to feel proud of myself at the end of this challenge – that I achieved what I set out to do.

I remembered that there are always lovely things to be purchased – they wont go away on December 16 2010 (when the challenge finishes for me). I told myself that if I desperately needed a new pair of PJs next year, I’d find something lovely then.

Wait for it….And I hung up the item in my hand. And here’s what was so amazing. I felt relief. Yes, relief. You read that right, clothes fans. For the first time ever on this challenge, I had an item in my hand that I really liked, that was at a price I was happy to pay, that would be worn (pay its rent in my wardrobe), that had practical value…. and when I let it go, I felt something other than a twinge of regret, a shiver of misgiving, an agitation that I might be “missing out”.

I felt relief that I didn’t have to buy this item. The challenge is the fence that’s keeping me in, sure, and that wont last forever (well, it finishes on December 16 2010). But I hope that I can simulate the same emotional braking mechanism that kicked in on Sunday.

Ahem (cough), excuse me…..Now, if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself: ok, this bird is saying she feels some kind of regret that she didn’t buy pyjama bottoms – am I reading this right? I getcha. I’m writing the damn thing and thinking that. But I’m also thinking: thank god I’m getting a handle on this now. That I’m waking up, tuning in, and letting the entire internet-reading world to witness my struggle.

This is what’s real for me right now, warts and all (well, probably more than just warts – I could keep a dermatologist busy for a month with all my ‘blemishes’). I just hope you won’t cross the street to avoid me if you see me out in public one day.

So, there it is. My breakthrough in 9 easy-to-read-paragraphs. It’s not exactly the Kokoda Track, but it’s real for me. I feel lighter somehow, and stronger too. And it only took until nearly Month 8 for it to happen.

See – this stuff doesn’t happen overnight, I knew it! Who knows what the remaining 4 months of the challenge will bring? More television appearances, perhaps. And more insights and breakthroughs, too. Although possibly not in that particular order.

But for now, I feel like I’m in a good place. It can’t all be stones. Right?

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