Archive for August, 2017


I’ve spent the last couple of years attempting to make my life easier.  In some areas, I’ve been successful.  In other areas, I’m still a work in progress (I almost typed “failure” – but what is failure?  Just an idea that didn’t work.)

One of the areas I looked at was my wardrobe.  I researched capsule wardrobes and was initially intrigued, and then overwhelmed, and then stifled.

Making my life simpler does not include rotating cloths for the seasons.

Making my life simpler does not include mono-toned colors and patterns and accessorizing with scarves, purses and shoes.

Making my life simpler does not include checklists to make sure my wardrobe is “complete”.

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Don’t get me wrong – I am aware that capsule wardrobes are huge and people seem to love the idea.  I personally don’t know anyone who uses one – but that doesn’t mean the idea is wrong.

It’s just wrong for me.  I live in a location that doesn’t require rotating cloths for seasons (in Texas we have chilly, cool, just perfect, hot, sticky hot, and hot as hades weather – sometimes in the same day!).  I love color and sparkles.  I loathe scarves (I have no idea how to wear them, and with my extra-large girls hanging out on my chest, I don’t need any help accentuating them), I have just a couple of purses that I love and my shoes must be comfortable, yet cute.

I love checklists – so much so that Hun groans whenever I talk about one.  But one for clothes?  Come on!  There is a thing as too much of a good thing (if it works for you – great!  I’m not knocking that or you – it just isn’t necessary for me).

So…I didn’t do anything with my wardrobe except clean it out when Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” stormed the world.  I actually bought her book about a month before it really took off.  I felt like I was on the cutting edge!

Everything that I didn’t love left my closet.  There were a couple of pieces of clothing I had to keep due to work requirements, but everything else that I didn’t love – gone!

Three large trash bags of cloths were donated to charity.  I was left with about 20 shirts, 7-9 pairs of pants/skirts, 4 sweaters/jackets and 2 dresses hanging in my closet.  I could move my hangers freely.  My clothes could “breathe”!

At the point that I cleaned out my closet, I worked in a position that required uniforms – but before that I worked in an office that was business casual.  I kept everything that I could still wear as a weekend/after-hours outfit.

When I switched jobs about a year later, the business casual outfits were once again in use full-time.  I started to panic that I didn’t have enough work cloths.  It bothers me to wear the same thing every week to the office.  It depresses me and affects my mood.  But since I was only working part-time, I could not justify the added expense of new cloths.

One day, after about 6 months at my new position, a coworker asked me, “Is that a new outfit?”

Me – “No, it’s not.”

Her – “Then it’s a new shirt?”

Me – “No, I’ve worn this at least 3 times since I started working here.”

Her – “Huh, well…it looks different.”

I thought nothing of her comment at the time other than to realize – people really don’t pay much attention!

But…then something else happened recently.

I’m part of a group that recently issued a challenge – “Lay your cloths out the night before to help you be more productive in the morning.”

I commented, “Hmmm…I already have a system in place for this, but it doesn’t involve “laying clothes out the night before”.  All of my clothes (except for a very few, event specific items) are worn on a 4-5 week cycle.  Does that count?”

An astonished poster commented on my post, “You mean you have a plan on what you’ll wear each day for the next month?”

Not exactly – the closet and my system “plans” the outfits for me.

And that is when I realized that my “capsule wardrobe failure” is actually a success.

Most of my shirts will pair with most of my pants/skirts.  Most of my sweaters/jackets will pair with most of my outfits.

My shirts are my accessories with the colors, patterns and bling/sparkles.

All of my clothes can be dressed up or dressed down – depending on the occasion.

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My solid royal purple shirt goes well with my grey pants, black pants, white pants, jeans, shorts and black and while patterned skirt.  Each time I pair it with a different bottom, it is a new outfit.

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My tie-dyed inspired pink, brown, orange and white shirt goes well with jeans, shorts and either my brown or white pants.  Paired with a brown sweater, it’s a whole new look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wear the clothes that are “closest to the back” today, each day.  By doing this – each item is worn on a regular basis.

Why don’t I just pull from the front?  Because that’s where I hang the clothes that I just washed – pushing the older clothes to the back of the racks.  Isn’t that what most people do with their freshly washed clothes?  If I pulled from the front – I’ll be wearing the same items I just wore this week – and I abhor wearing the same thing over and over again!

Why don’t I just put the freshly washed clothes in the back?  Because doing that would cause my “special occasion” clothes to eventually make their way to the front – where I don’t want to see them when I first walk in the closet every morning (I know…I know…picky picky picky!).  Do you want to see your ski pants or ugly holiday sweater in July?  Besides – I’m usually rushing to hang clothes up just to be done with laundry – I don’t want to think about how to hang the cloths up any more than I want to spend time thinking about what I’m going to wear each morning.

So…how long does it take me to pick out my clothing each morning?  Depends on the day.  I spend more time thinking about what I want to wear on the weekends and my days off than I do on work days.

On work days, it takes me about 30 seconds to go to the back of my closet, skip the “special occasion” tops, grab the first top that was worn the longest ago, pair it with a bottom and decide if I want a sweater or jacket or not (usually yes – our office is FREEZING!).

On weekends, I consider what I’m doing that day, who I might see, where I might go, what I might do, what kind of mood I’m in, what the weather is going to be like where I’ll be, and if there is anything “special” about the above.  Will I need a change of clothes, should I layer, did I wear this to that event last time, and on and on and on.

I’ve spent more time than I care to admit attempting to figure out what I plan on wearing to Walmart than what I wear to work.  There’s something not quite right about me apparently…

So there you have it – my solution to my capsule wardrobe failure…uh…I mean…success!

 

Special Projects

My Mantra for the year is “Accomplish”.

What can I accomplish?

What have I accomplished?

What should I accomplish?

What will I accomplish?

I have attempted to be mindful of this mantra all year.

Whenever I am feeling down, I am attempting to redirect my thoughts to everything that I have accomplished so far and what I will continue to accomplish in the upcoming months.

There are some situations that this process does not work well with.  I’m dealing with one of those situations now at work.

I’ve accomplished a great deal at work in the last 7 months.  Special projects that were assigned to me that were in complete disarray when I first glimpsed them.

Most of the projects are still “works in progress” – they will not be solved overnight – or even within months.  The fact that progress is being made – that is the accomplishment that I’m most proud of.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither will these special projects be completed in a month (or even, in some cases, a year or more).

So, why am I feeling a sense of failure?

That’s easy to answer – on the surface – I have a coworker who constantly questions my method and ability to complete these projects.  She has no interest in taking these projects over – it appears she just wants to nit-pick my methods and point out every mistake she thinks I have made.

That leads me to doubt my process.  I’ve made several mistakes in the implementing of my processes – some pointed out by others; some discovered as a result of just following through steps that I thought would work one way, but reality showed a different outcome.  Weeding out what does and doesn’t work is part of the process as well.  I welcome the process of improving my processes – that helps everyone.

So…why is her involvement in my projects causing this sense of failure?

I’m searching for answers on this and not finding them – at least not an easy answer.

In the past, I have been told that I need to “let go of my perfectionism”.  I don’t believe I am perfect – I do want criticism and constructive feedback on how to make a process better.

I do not appreciate being told “you are wrong – because I said so”; which is what I’m hearing from my coworker.

So – how do I change what I’m hearing from a place of negativity to a view of positivity?

Telling myself, “She’s trying to tell you your process needs improvement – she just doesn’t know how to say that in a constructive way” helps, but falls short of the mark for me.

Trying to read between her lines is tiring and exhausting.  I like to tell people, “I failed mind-reading class.”  Attempting to clarify what she is saying has backfired in the past as she responded as though I was attacking her and I’m hesitant to try again.

I cannot change her, I can only change myself.  So…how can I accomplish this?  Something new to add to my list of special projects.

I Am Learning

It’s been three months since I posted last.  I’m not even sure what I posted – just that it’s been that long ago.

I’ve had a lot going on these past few months.  I joined, and have now completed, a twelve week mastermind group.  I’ve completed several projects and goals – both personal and professional.  And I’m continuing on my journey to figuring out who I am.

There’s a lot to be said about looking inward and figuring out who you are.  Plenty of people with more verbal wisdom than myself have been able to express it more eloquently than I have.  I know that for myself, digging deeper into who I truly am versus who I actually show to the world, has been eye-opening and transformational.

I am learning to say no when I need to.

I am learning to say yes when I want to.

And I am learning that the only person who should care about my answers is me.

I said no to my boss at work recently.  She was suggesting I volunteer for a project that has no direct impact on my job and one that I have no interest in (and gave me the opportunity to decline the project).  I thought about it for several days before giving her an answer.  I considered all sorts of angles – political, organizational, networking, potential knowledge gain and experience.  None of the angles had any benefit to myself that I could discern.  At least, not enough benefit to outweigh the fact that I had no desire to do the project at all.

My working world didn’t end when I told her no.

When I said yes to the mastermind – I had no idea what I was in for.  I compare it to a group therapy session where you’re putting your personal problems out there and listening to possible solutions to those problems.  The problems our group had were both professional and personal – help with email organization, how to make time for ourselves, how to say no without sounding like a witch, how to leverage our strengths while still working on our weaknesses.

I learned that I love to create.

I learned that I love to help others think through their problems.

I learned that I need to love myself for who I am – regardless of what others think of me.

I learned that I have a lot to offer the world just by being me – imperfections and all.

When someone tells me “quit trying to be so perfect” – I now have a new response of “I’m being me, nothing more, nothing less.”  They’re the one who is intimidated by my “perfectionism” – not me.  Being self-assured is not the same as being arrogant – although I understand why people confuse the two.

I know who I am and I know I’m a work in progress.  I’m not going to dim my light because someone else doesn’t want me shining a light on their own darkness.

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