Out with the Horse; In with the Goat...or Sheep?

2014. Year of the Horse. Bad luck. I'm not sure what to blame it on but the previous 12 months really really sucked. It started off with putting my 15 year-old cat to sleep on New Year's Eve of 2013. Then getting 2 flus thanks to traveling for family holiday and work stuff, which eventually kicked off horrible health issues, rendering me pretty helpless in even daily life.  [Apparently I had post-flu idiopathic gastroparesis, which took 4 months to fully manifest and then took 6 months to gradually fix with little help from western medicine interventions. Turns out I was lucky - it can stick around for up to 3 years, if resolved at all.]  I'm glad to be done with 2014 and I'm glad to almost be done with Year of the Horse.  I know that seems arbitrary but I feel like I need some closure so I'll take it where I can get it.

What do I plan to do in the Year of the Goat? Back in 2014, I came up with 12 ethical fashion goals for myself and only touched on 6 of them so far. I would like to hit all of them so I will just continue them for 2015 (without attaching them to any month). I'm also planning on finishing the 20 Days of Sustainable Style prompts in January...I swear. The holidays sort of took over but I have been doing some continuous Day 4 work, which was about culling your wardrobe.

goat barn, Farm Sanctuary

Why is Day 4 taking me so long? I eventually realized that I had culled my wardrobe based on my old size (culling what I no longer wanted) and not based on what actually fit.  Thanks to being gravely ill, I went down to 98 pounds and then up another 22 pounds, at least 10 pounds over my heaviest. I expected get back to my regular weight when my metabolism kicked back in, but it still hasn't happened. I've finally come to terms with needing to cull my wardrobe for things that fit now. I can save what I hope to fit into and check into it 6 months from now. (I really thought I'd be back to my old "normal" by now but I gave myself runner's knee and haven't been able to run in a while.) So I stalled because I thought I would be back to "normal" -- and it took me a long time to realize that it's entirely possible that my new size might be "normal" or at least it will be my "normal" for some time longer. Now I just have to go through everything again.

What did being sick teach me about how I consume? When I was really sick, I didn't buy anything because I couldn't even leave the house unescorted. Then when I was a different size, I needed things and I didn't have the time to look through resale shops constantly to cobble together a new wardrobe so I bought a lot of new stuff. And now I'm finally at a point where I can take the time and energy to look through resale shops again. That made me realize how you need to be privileged with time and energy to shop that way (especially when you need something specific). For the time-poor or chronic pain- or fatigue-havers, you're probably not able to opt-in to shopping that way.


  1. Glad you're alright now, and sending you all my finest vibes for a wildly better year.

    Can you even imagine being that sick for THREE YEARS? Your bout sounded hellacious enough.

    1. It really was! I think some people are hospitalized on and off from it and I had the kind that was relatively curable...a lot of people get that from diabetes and it's permanent. One of the hardest things was the mood swings due to serotonin!

  2. Yikes, I can't even imagine being sick like that for three years. Wow, I guess you were lucky!

    I totally agree re: privilege when it comes to buying in a more sustainable way. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but there is a system in place that leads us towards "easy shopping". It takes a lot of energy to get away from that system to make different types of choices, and if you are sick, work 60 hours a week, have five kids or what have you... it's a whole different ball game. And it's not just clothes, it's also things like nutrition. I've never really thought about food-related shopping all that much (except that I buy organic whenever I can), but I'm trying out a gluten-free diet due to random stomach symptoms and constant fatigue that I've been suffering from. Not only is it a lot more time-consuming to buy the right stuff, but it's also very expensive. One must be somewhat privileged to first be aware of how and what to consume, and to then actually do it...

  3. Wow--post-flu idiopathic gastroparesis? Horrible. I bet it felt like three years. I'm so glad you had a proper diagnosis and are feeling better. I'm looking forward to your ethical fashion posts.

  4. Your illness sounded awful but that is good that you have a diagnosis and that you are doing loads better. I think I only managed 5 or 6 of the ethical fashion challenges I set myself (yet to write that up) and I was okay health wise last year so I am giving you are huge round of applause. Also means I am in to complete all the remaining challenges this year too. Go us!
    Also I think that is interesting about the idea of priviledge, I would wholeheartedly agree and also agree with the comments from the other commenter above.
    Hope you have a happy, healthy 2015!


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