Yet another year goes by, and I’m left evaluating the month of October. Every time I tell someone about the October Dress Project, they ask me two questions: “do you wash the dress?” and “why do you do it?” Normally, I give my standard “pro simplicity, anti consumerism, creativity booster” response, but something tells me there has to be more than that. What is it about this project that keeps me putting on the same exact dress every day for an entire month? I don’t consider myself to be materialistic, I’m a pretty creative person in general, and simplicity isn’t really my cup of tea. After thinking about it, I’ve come up with three things that make me stick with it. The first is commitment. When I start something, I finish it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a terrible movie or a craft project. When I decide to do something, almost nothing can stand in the way of me finishing. The second is the challenge. I really enjoy trying to make each year’s dress look different every day. It excites me to search through my closet to find obscure matches. I like seeing how many people don’t notice (especially this year and last year, when I wore patterned dresses). Not everyone who participates in the project makes it look different every day, and that is perfect for them. This leads to the last thing, which is the community. The group of women who participate in this project year after year are amazing. Reading their posts and seeing their pictures encourages me to continue, inspires me to try new things, and reminds me of the things that truly matter. Because it’s ok if you skip days when your kids are sick or your house is flooded. It’s ok if some days you wear the dress over sweat pants and slippers. The building up that occurs on the ODP Facebook page, which is full of women from all over the world, many of whom have never even met, showcases the community that Christ desires for us. These are the women that reel me in every September as I begin sifting through thrift stores for the next October dress. These are the women that read this blog and write encouraging comments. These women are friends, although I have only met a few, who I can count on for kind words and affirmation. You are the women who make me do this project, and I love you all.