The Best Reason to Get Gussied Up

By August 13, 2008 culture No Comments

I’ve heard several times recently the adage that your life is not a dress rehearsal. And it’s got me thinking. This comment is typically said in exasperated tone to shake people into living their lives a different way.

At least once this has been how Stacy and Clinton (on What Not to Wear) have tried to encourage people to stop wearing ratty sweats to run their errands. Most often, the ratty sweats are donned out of comfort.  Ease. Security. Laziness. Whatever the reason, the WNTW hosts are adamant that errands are part of life; you do not pause life to run errands then start it up again afterward. Therefore, care should be taken to be presentable in the midst of life.

Taking this concept further, I realize that, metaphorically speaking, I tend to dress in my ratty sweats most days waiting for real life to kick in. My ratty sweats are not actual, tangible clothing. Rather, these are the easy, comfortable ways that I sit about in life because I think that real life is going to kick-in sometime in the perpetual tomorrow.

What am I waiting for?

I’m not sure really. Somehow I have become one of those gals in her mid-30s who is on hold, waiting for something earth shattering to occur as the sign that now life is happening.

<Lest you think I am a complete melancholic drip (some days I am quite chipper, I swear!), this post really is going somewhere positive and encouraging! Stick with me.>

All this reflective thought kicked in the other day when I read Chelsey’s post (at grace, grammar & good eats) outlining 101 things she wants to do in 1001 days. [This movement started here; you can post your list to the site and download a counter widget for your own site as a reminder that your life is in action. Anyhow . . . ]

Back in 2000, I made a list of the top 25 things I would like to do in my life. Then I promptly forgot all about it. But Chelsey’s post reminded me of my ancient list, so I did a computer search—voila! a blast from the past.

The list is like stumbling across your youthful journals—so familiar, but in a detached way. A few entries on the old list have come to pass and some are still on my mental list. Several others I would now remove—let’s just chalk those up to my youthful, naïve, pre-30-year-old self.

That list was concocted eight years ago. That’s 2,920 days. And I can only cross eight things off the list. (And I can hardly take credit for some of those things because I had little influence over the outcome!) What have I been doing all this time?!

Back in January and February, I posted often about 2008 resolutions (see posts: one | two | three | four). It is now Day 226 of 2008. Sixty-two percent of 2008 is now behind me. [sigh.] Can’t say I’ve been diligent to change out of my ratty sweats.

But now I am thinking of resolutions and change and transformation (my favorite!), and I would like to recommit. Or commit, because I really didn’t develop true resolutions for 2008. Maybe I could develop resolutions for the last part of 2008. With 139 days remaining, certainly I could get something done!

The 101 things in 1001 days movement has some interest. I like the action-oriented nature—my eight-year-old top 25 list had no implementation schedule, so it’s no wonder that few of those things have happened in the 2,920 days since.

So if I am going to make progress in living my life for real, I need some goals; a vision. Scripture says it best, in Psalm 29:18 NAS, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.”

Unless I keep my vision fixed (on God, first and foremost), I will be unrestrained. I won’t have reason or motivation to change or live fully. Basically, I will keep wearing what I have on because it’s comfortable. And I’ll keep waiting for real life to kick-in.

The King James Version of Psalm 29:18 says that without vision, people “perish.” Sitting around waiting for life is no life at all—that’s a death before bodily death.

All I know is that I don’t want to die in my ratty sweats. I’d rather go out in style, as one who is alive and kicking.

More to come.

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