For us – they’ve proved to be “good” changes.
But not ones that have been without tears, doubts or frustrations.
We’ve travelled overseas, moved interstate, started new jobs, left our Southern family and friends, reconnecting with QLD loved ones and struggled a little at the start to meet new people and make friends. Getting to know a new area has been both exciting and frustrating and we’ve been walking around the neighbourhood a lot more than we did around Hawthorn. The warmer weather has been a highlight (winter without a jumper – inconceivable!) and we’ve been spoilt with more time together as couple.
Work wise; having my primary studio at home has been a big change for me. In previous years, while I may have brought work home to work on, my studio space has always been a in a separate location. That scenario changed this year as our house had a little sunroom area that adapted well into a small, yet suitable studio space. Reflecting on my work practices, I tend to work longer hours in this home studio space and find myself doing extra things in there, even after I ‘clocked out’ for the day.
I’ve spent most of my working year rotating the same five outfits (a dress, a skirt, 3 pairs of pants and 3 oversized t-shirts and one singlet) and truth be told, I’m both attracted and repelled by them – drawn to their soft, comfortable, well-worn fabric and the gift of not thinking about what to wear, and yet bored of the same colours and patterns day after day.
So when I read an email about Dressember, I was knew that this was a challenge I wanted to be a part of.
Dressember as an event is in its 5th year. In 2013 it has linked itself with International Justice Mission and aims to raise money to help the company’s efforts in stopping sexual slavery and human trafficking around the world. As a company, IJM works within public justice systems to protect victims of abuse and oppression. They seek victim relief, perpetrator accountability, survivor aftercare and structural transformation across the globe. So far, Dressember 2013 has raised $100K for IJM.
Before December started, I thought this challenge would be an easy one – a month of dresses would be fun, pretty and, quite frankly, easy. But as a popular Dressember hashtag states: #itsbiggerthanadress. I think it was day 5 when my heart started to feel heavy about the challenge. So far it had been very easy to slip on a dress at the start of the day and carry on with my daily tasks. But I started thinking about just how easy it was… just how easily I could wear a dress without really considering why I was wearing it. This month, women are wearing dresses because other women daily wear the veil of oppression, other women wrapped into forced sexual activity and other women clothed by slavery in forms we can’t even imagine.
The freedom I have in choosing what to wear, choosing what to do with my day and choosing whom to have sex with, is a reality that not every women can freely exercise.
So I haven’t actually felt pretty wearing dresses this month.
I have felt broken-hearted.
The phrase – blessed to be a blessing – has rung in my heart all month long. Many thoughts this month have lingered over those men, women and children for whom this Dressember money will free, relieve, care and protect.
I’m convinced that 2013 will be one of those years that I look back upon, declaring: ‘That was brilliant year!” I have loved the challenges inherent in starting up Servant Ceramics and as a result, I am donating 13% from Servant Ceramics sales directly to Dressember. I have been incredibly blessed through this business and want to pass the blessing forward.
So with 8 days left for Dressember, I’m sure that my heavy heart will linger long into the New Year but I can continue to support those who are changing lives for the better. A heavy heart wins over a cold heart.
If you would personally like to donate to Dressember, please click (here) and it will take you to the official Australian IJM fundraising site.
With one more sleep until Christmas morn, I wish you ‘comfort & joy; (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen), ‘light and life’ (Hark the Herald Angels Sing) and the ‘thrill of hope’ (O Holy Night) tomorrow and in the coming year, Rachel.