In favor of enough

fridaythursdaysaturday

The last photo was taken today. I put on the pants just for this photo and then took them off and put on the jeans I had been wearing beforehand and put my shoe/boot back on. I simply wanted to take a photo to show the pants I got from Uniqlo today before I wash them.

I also wanted to show the jacket I’m wearing as well. I’ve not worn this jacket in over a year (maybe even closer to two years), but I never got rid of it. For some reason, it escaped many of my KonMari purges since we’ve moved into this house. I’ve had this jacket for nearly 10 years. It’s from Old Navy and for many years I lived in it. It was the only in-between weather jacket I had that worked for spring/autumn weather. It was warm enough to wear on 50-ish days and provided just enough protection from light rain/drizzle despite being entirely cotton (canvas on the outside – not weather proof – flannel plaid inside). This jacket made sense for wearing today. It’s drizzling with a few heavy rain storms. Although the jacket is old and faded a little, it still works great and I do think it looks nice.

This jacket made me glad I didn’t purge it even though I’ve not worn it in a long time. As I drove to the mall I thought about other clothes I’d gotten rid of and somehow kinda wished I hadn’t. There was a big, black sweater I had and I still think about it. I’m really not sure why I got rid of it, but I know I was in the thick of the whole “less is more” minimalist mantra at the time. I’d read the KonMari book and we were getting ready to move and I was so proud of myself for giving away/donating/trashing so many bags of stuff we didn’t need… or did we?

Now, I really hate that “less is more” mantra. It pisses me off because I fell into it’s gimmicky trap. I got rid of things I still think about, but at the time convinced myself I could do without. I wasn’t really listening to myself – I was listening to how cool it sounded to say I could get rid of so much stuff. The reality is: less is less.

4 years ago I had 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of pants. Currently, I have

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 pairs of black pants
  • 2 pairs of navy pants
  • 1 pair of brown pants
  • and 2 pairs of denim pants.

Today I bought a pair of olive pants. And I still intend on buying more pants. Why?  My circumstances are a lot different now than they were 4 years ago. I’m in a job where I need to wear nicer clothes and having a variety to choose from helps me greatly. With my old job, I could wear whatever I wanted so I didn’t think about wearing more than what I had simply because I didn’t care about how I looked. Now I do care and now I want more options to choose from. It doesn’t mean I’m going to buy ALL THE PANTS, but simply enough pants to cover all seasons and allow me a variety for each.

That’s another thing I realized. I remember writing here how I wanted to have a small wardrobe that had pieces I could layer throughout the year. Um…. yeah, let’s face reality a bit. I live on the east coast and summers here get up to 100F and winters get down to -12F. I need a wardrobe big enough to accommodate those extremes. A few layers won’t cut it. I need clothes that are meant to be worn in extreme weather conditions. Sure those clothes may only get worn a few months out of the year, but they are worth it because they protect me and are necessary for this environment. Do I still have more clothes than I may actually need? Probably, but I’m tired of feeling like I shouldn’t have as much as I do. It’s like I’ve felt some sort of guilt over…. nothing. I do wear all of my clothes, so why should I feel bad for buying a little more I know I’ll add into the rotation? I don’t intend on buying clothes for the sake of buying clothes, I’m buying them because they fill a gap.

[This is really sounding like I’m writing all of this to justify today’s purchase and future purchases to myself – huh? So let’s just call it what it is – justification and writing therapy to get these thoughts out of my head. Here is the 4th wall moment. Now let’s continue….]

So, I bought a pair of pants today. I was thinking a lot about the Pas de Calais pants that are really expensive. I decided to look around at places where I’d bought clothes before and saw Uniqlo came out with a new kind of pant: a cotton/linen blend. They looked good online, but their sizing can be a bit weird for me so I drove out to the mall to try them on. They fit perfectly and the beige kind were opaque enough for me as well. Part of the reason why I don’t have light colored pants is because I wear black underwear 99.999% of the time. But the Uniqlo ones had the perfect amount of coverage and they are incredibly comfortable. I’d been looking for an in-between weather kind of pants and these fit the bill perfectly. I also like the length and I can roll them up when it gets warmer and make them look a little better with different shoe combinations. I was shocked at how much I really liked these pants. When I saw these in the olive color I knew I’d want them because in the back of my head I’ve been coveting a good pair of olive pants for at least 6 months now. I can wear these with plenty of shirts already in my wardrobe. I considered this purchase a major score for myself. I almost bought the beige ones as well to call it a day, but then I stopped and put them back.

I planned on buying the beige ones as a way of passing on the Pas de Calais pants.  However, I realized I do in fact want those Pas de Calais pants. I’m allowed to have pants that cost $29.90 and pants that cost $320.00 in my wardrobe. I found their online shop and they have them in beige. They look really nice and I don’t need yet another pair of black pants. They are expensive and if need be, I can return them. I haven’t decided when I’ll buy them, but I do plan on it. Maybe when the weather gets a little bit warmer (and to see if they go on sale anytime soon). Eventually, there will be yet another pair of pants in my collection and then I think I will have enough.

Moderation is key and always has been, even if it takes us a damn long time to get there. It’s not about buying too much or showing off how little we have. It’s all about having enough and my enough is going to be very different from everyone elses’ enough.

 

Mini summer

wednesday

Today was 76F outside.

During lunch, people pulled the picnic table out on the front lawn into the sun and away from the shade of the building. On my drive home, several people were out running. In the neighborhood, lots of people were walking their dogs.

It honestly felt like a summer day. It was not only warm, but humid as well.

At first, I was going to wear my  beige cardigan with this outfit, but I’m really glad I went with the open button down instead. I feel like it made this outfit much nicer looking. I figured I needed something to make a plain cotton tank top look a little more business-ish.

Today was supposed to be a workout day for both Z and I. I got home from work a little late and he left work early so we got home at the same time and just looked at each other then looked outside. I told him we should be sitting out there with drinks. Screw exercise for the day! We need to be at a bar with good food and a patio STAT. So we drove to a nearby town with lots of good restaurants we knew had outside seating. Unfortunately, the one we wanted to try was already packed so we ended up inside, but the waiter opened a huge window next to our table. We had a nice breeze on us the whole time. We were hoping to maybe walk to an ice cream place afterwards, but the rain started.

Z went to go get the car and I sat on the front porch of the restaurant with other people sitting outside under the porch roof*. As I sat there a guy sitting at a table near me asked how long I’d been wearing my boot. His wife had worn one as well. I get this all the time now – so many people know someone or have actually been in a boot themselves. This boot has turned into a huge conversational piece for me in general. So many people who probably never would’ve said a word have come up and openly started talking to me. It made me think of how aloof so many people seem, but if you give them any tiny thing at all to relate to they end up opening up their personal story books.

Even our waiter this evening had torn his Achilles, but not gotten it taken care of and he showed me the huge lump on his ankle. It made me cringe a little and reinforced my resolve to properly take care of my own situation. For the past week I’ve been internally whining about how I’m so done with wearing the boot. I told myself 4 months, but meh it’s been three so maybe I can start tapering off? I’ve even been doing the pinch test at night to see if it hurts anywhere. But after seeing the waiter’s lump and remembering mine (which was really small compared to his) I am now resigned to do a full 4 months before tapering.

*The restaurant was inside an old house with a covered front porch.

Brain melt

Mondaytuesday

It’s a little scary how warm it was today. I had a sweater, but hardly needed it.

Yesterday was a crap shoot for productivity. I sent out Very Important Emails to a client for information we needed ASAP and got it – after work hours (of course). Today was more of me frantically trying to get information and things done, but everyone else not doing anything because they were too distracted by the giant bright orb in the sky. We’ve not seen it in a while. I had a few meetings this afternoon, which left me dizzy with information and no way of dealing with any of it because – oh look – it’s already 5:30 and what happened to today (as I finally hit “send” on my report)? I have a sinking feeling it’ll be like this all week.

Part of me wonders if I’m taking it all too seriously or if I’m hitting the Corporate Wall where Things Take Time for the simple reason others don’t take their jobs as seriously, thereby slowing down the process. I don’t want to be complacent about it because that’s not helping me nor the company.

Is anyone else on the east coast kinda freaked out by the weather this winter? We’ve had a ton of rain, which should have all been snow. On top of that, we’ve had crazy warm days peppered in to a weirdly cold and dry winter season in general.  During any week we’d have freezing temps and then a chance of snow, but the temperature would shoot up to 60 and we’d get rain for two days, which would’ve equated to 4 feet of snow otherwise, and then we get freezing weather again a day later. It was 70 today and going to be warmer tomorrow – in February. What?

My skin is itchy now no matter what due to this winter being so dry. I keep looking at sweaters, but my skin crawls at the thought of having to wear them. I think I’m ready for linen season.

 

 

Defining expenses

friday

This was Friday’s outfit. It was a bit warm and this polyester shirt works really well for that in-between weather temperature range. I need a jacket for going outside, but inside I’m fine with just this. It’s another reminder that not all of my fast-fashion buys are bad things as long as I keep using them and this shirt has stood the test of time. I’ve had it for round 7 years I think.

I looked at the purchases I’ve made thus far this month and the amount is shocking. I’m nearly at $300, which is the limit I set for myself per month of discretionary shopping. What have I bought?

  • 1 gift for a friend
  • 3 items from Sephora (replenishment hair pomade, replenishment blush, new eye brow brush/razor – all of these were things I needed to replace/replenish because I use them regularly)
  • 1 affogato
  • another affogato and bag of coffee so I can make some at home
  • 1 Nintendo amiibo (another gift – for Z – not necessary but fun) to use for playing Zelda
  • 2 bags of hot chocolate (these were expensive, but so worth it – it’s like drinking molten dark chocolate bars)
  • haircut
  • Saturday brunch with Z

So here is where I’m starting to get fuzzy with what I need to consider an “expense”.

Do I count the haircut, the gift for my friend, and the Sephora items as discretionary spending? If not, then I’m still well within my range. However, it is extra spending I hadn’t anticipated because it happens infrequently and isn’t budgeted into my monthly expenses. Does that mean I need to up my monthly expenses by another $100 or so to include all these “oh yeah, I forgot I need to get that” sort of spending. It’s stuff I need and use, but not all the time. With beauty products, it’s a total crap shoot because I only buy that sort of stuff maybe every 3 or 6 months (or longer), depending on the item.

I suppose looking at that list and seeing that it all only cost $300 really isn’t that bad, but again adding up all those little things made me realize how quickly I can spend money without thinking about it.

How do you treat those random-but-necessary purchases in your spending? Chalk it up to extra spending that month? Be conscious of that spending so you spend less discretionary? Throw it into your budget and that gives you more of a buffer each month you don’t buy those items? Take the total cost of what you need (roughly) and then divide it out by 12 so you have that amount “counted for” in your monthly budgeting (or however you do it)?

I also got my raise this month, so my budget needs to be re-assessed for figuring out how much more I can save each month.

flowers

These were my Valentine Day flowers I found on my desk when I got home. I don’t like red roses so Z has always gotten me ones in the colors I like for roses: orange, lavender or some mix of orange-yellow or pink-white.

I’ve been lusting over these two pairs of pants. Both are expensive. The first is navy wool pants from La Garconne. I don’t need another pair of wool navy pants, but these look so nice and casual-ish. The second pair is linen by Pas de Calais (sold at La Garconne) and they are twice as much as the first pair. I want the linen pair more. I feel like they would be a great alternative (dependent upon weather) to jeans for a regular pair of pants to wear. I’m still kinda considering the ES Clyde work pant as well.

Since the very end of December I’ve been doing much better with keeping my workout routine. I’ve not been perfect, but definitely a lot better. As a result, I’ve started to see quite a bit of muscle development in areas I had no idea I could have such strong muscles. Due to the boot, I’m restricted to mostly upper body and core strength. My arms feel…. meaty now. They are much more muscular than they used to be. Even my forearms are stronger.

As of January 1st I could do 8 chin ups and 3 pull ups. As of Friday, February 16th, I am up to 5 pull ups and 13 chin ups. My bench press weight has gone up by 20 lbs (was 30, now at 50 and stalling bad there) and my overhead press has gone up 10 lbs (stalling badly there too). I can’t seem to get many more in than 4 on overhead press and 5 on bench press, but I can do a few more reps at that amount than I used to. I still hate body rows and haven’t made much improvement there. My push ups have gotten a lot better as well.

It’s very strange for me to have so much upper body strength now. My legs were always the strongest part of my body due to running and strength training. I feel slightly unbalanced now because my legs are so weak and my arms so strong.

 

Not enough time

WednesdayThursday

Wednesday was full of anxiety and stress. At 9 am in the morning I realized I was overwhelmed at work and felt as though I was drowning under the weight of what I had to do. Then something interesting happened.

A guy walked in while I was on the phone. He leaned up on the counter and when I got to him he asked for me. I affirmed I was the person he was looking for and he handed me a white paper bag. At first, I thought it was someone’s lunch being delivered, but then  wait… why would he ask for me? And why is the bag so small? I looked at him confused and he said, “scary, huh?” and walked out of the building.

WHAT?!

I opened the bag and inside was one cupcake.

My husband had used Uber Eats to ask a nearby bakery to deliver me a cupcake for Valentine’s. The hilarity of the whole situation hit me and I burst out laughing and ate the cupcake and realized I could get through the day.

A project I was supposed to be working on and had zero to show for it because I was having trouble getting help was due to a client for general information later in the day. Luckily, we exhausted the client trying to set up new delivery dates that he didn’t even want to talk about the project, but I gave him an update of “we’re still working on it”, which is true! I also finished another large project for another director and felt a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders.

Today I got a lot done and made much more headway on several projects I needed to update. I came home and had a drink because my boss and I affirmed what’s to happen in the next couple months with my position and transitioning to the new role, which meant getting someone to take on the admin responsibilities I have yesterday ASAP. This makes me very happy to finally be moving out of that realm and into something much more substantial.

I started dinner after I made my drink and totally forgot to take my photo until my husband got home so Z took it for me. He said I had to hold my drink. He tried to get Yuki in the photo but she jumped down just as he snapped it. Typical cats for you.

Tonight, we are going to see Black Panther with several friends and I will be exhausted, but happy tomorrow.