January 25, 2016

Choosing Wisely


This month is passing more quickly than January usually does and I feel a little bit like I've lost control of it. It's been brutally cold but there has been much less snow than I prefer. I really like this time of year, although my still healing lungs aren't especially fond of it. It's the perfect time to spend more time at home getting things done as well as snuggling. Apparently I'm not the only one who feels that way.


January is such a good month to get organized, although honestly at some point in the last few years I've come to love organizing and have apparently become unable to so much as open a drawer without feeling an overwhelming desire to paw through it while asking myself if I really love and use each item in it. It's a blessing. And a curse. Right now I'm currently obsessed with capsule wardrobes and have set a deadline for myself to make some hard decisions...you know, like getting rid of clothes that haven't really fit in a couple of years but are so cute you hate to get rid of them! In other news, is there even such thing as a pair of shorts that fits girls with generous thighs, and that doesn't make them feel like they have sausage legs when they sit down? Is it called a skirt?!


I have discovered that my love of organizing feeds my love of containers which is dangerous because quite frankly I probably have more pretty containers than I have stuff. I can't help myself. It's genetic. Just ask my girls. Boxes, baskets and bins...give them all to me!! I often find myself in the unfortunate situation of lying to myself and saying I.WILL.NOT.BUY.ANY.MORE.CONTAINERS. The shame that follows the inevitable cute box purchase is ugly. Ahem, I'm talking to you cute aqua and silver foil box.


This month has seen a lot of nest fluffing and project starting. I'm pretty sure nest fluffing is more a way of life than a mood in these parts. I am trying to behave myself and stay out of the stores as much as possible and only spend money on things I truly need. I am mostly successful at that but it is clearly something I need to practice.


I've been working on being more mindful of my spending lately and that has meant me putting myself back on the envelope system. It can be very eye opening. It's a great way to train yourself to stay on budget. Want a budget tip? Don't even open all of those emails you get trying to convince you that you need the exact thing they are selling. For instance that Anthro tablecloth you've had your eye on that is now on clearance with an extra 40% off. Oops. I guess I figured this one out a bit too late. Life is just easier if you don't know what you are missing. Now if only we could quit loving eating so much because the amount of money we are spending on food each month is borderline criminal.


This month has been much busier than I had anticipated. For a well documented introvert, my calendar has been full of lunches, brunches, dinners and drinks. Every single time I have to push myself out of my cozy little happy place and every single time I end up having more fun than I thought I would. I'm sure there is a lesson in there but I'm not ready to learn it yet. The life of a social introvert is complicated.


For now I feel like I'd like to lock the doors and pull the shades and spend about a month catching up on all of my projects. There is an ottoman to slipcover, a couple of needlework projects to finish, a gallery wall to finish up, photos and recipes to organize and a crochet blanket to start. Oh and books to read. Lots and lots of books.


As much as I love and crave a quiet simple life, the thing I'm realizing is that no matter what you put on your to do list or how you plan, life has a way of just showing up and taking over and you can either fight it or embrace it. One will make you crazy and one will give you peace. These are the choices. Choose wisely.

21 comments:

  1. aahhh yes - downsizing one's wardrobe. take last week for example. searching through my dresser for a sweater - my favorite sweater - and not able to find it and having to choose another less well loved garment, i decided then and there to tackle this situation. one by one i took out the drawers and with brutal reasoning ended up with four grocery bags filled to the gills of clothing i don't absolutely love or truly need. jeez louize. and you know what? i found my beloved sweater - and all was right in the world.

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  2. ...and yes, it is called a SKIRT and i own 7 and wear them all but not at the same time. covers a multitude honey.

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  3. Sounds like so many of us are trying to simplify our lives these days....starting with our wardrobes. I too want to get down to the essentials...easier said than done of course. I tried pulling some things out just the other day for Goodwill, but for some reason I couldn't part with them right then & put them away ugh. Why is this so hard? I don't even wear the jeans...they just take up space. If I actually only kept the things I wore, my closet would be almost bare instead of overfull. I recently did the KonMari method & got rid of tons...guess I need to approach this a few more times ha ha.

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  4. It is so good to hear that I'm not the only person who loves being a homebody. No apologies. : ) As for the shorts, I stick strictly to capris when the weather gets warmer. So much better than worrying about what the legs look like. : )

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  5. you always inspire me, jen!!! i AM going to conquer my closets and drawers and the big, bad boogieman attic...tomorrow, maybe :)!

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  6. p.s. where did you get those adorable headphones???? my oldest needs those in her easter basket!!

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  7. I almost touched on many of the same things you are writing about in the post I wrote today. I've made some stabs at organizing, paring down and cleaning out those pesky drawers (isn't it funny, we nag at ourselves to do it and when we finally do it takes about 3 minutes!). I love cute boxes and bins but I find the more I have, the more I store items that should simply be tossed out (or pared down and who wants another chore?). But it's almost as if the 'idea' of feeling our lives will be in control with these pretty little containers appeals to us most! If I were big on crafting and needlework, I would definitely have a cute and organized system like yours.

    I'm very much like you when it comes to the socializing, I don't like anything to interfere with my comfortable Saturday night routine of eating popcorn, watching TV or reading, maybe making it all the way through SNL. And then when we go out with friends for dinner or to a party I have a ball! We were going to go to a Mexican restaurant Saturday night with my daughter and her boyfriend and about 5 p.m. when it was getting dark and cold and the fire was just starting to warm the living room, I thought, no way. This is fine. But I know I would probably have had a better and more memorable time out. ;-)

    I've been hesitant to write a list of what I'd like to accomplish during these cold months. I feel sometimes that we put too much pressure on ourselves to have everything in tip top shape. January has always been the month to organize if you notice the magazine articles and the White Sales. I get overwhelmed sometimes just thinking about it. And I agree with you about not opening the emails claiming sales and discounts. My mother's sage advice was, "If you don't want to spend money, stay out of the stores." She's been gone for 15 years now but I can bet my bottom dollar that she would have succumbed to the wily ways of online shopping!! :)

    Take care, Jen, and thanks for your visit. I hope I haven't missed too many of your posts. I so enjoy your writing and take on life and its simple pleasures. It's like talking with an old friend.

    Jane

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  8. Your posts always make me smile...hello there, fellow introvert! I feel the same way about socializing...most of the time, I just want to stay in and putter and do all the things I do around my home and not go anywhere. But then after a social engagement, I'm usually so glad I went. Oh, the push-pull of all those feelings, huh?
    Also, like you, I love to organize. In fact, this weekend I was at my mom's house, helping her clean out and organize her craft room. She said, "It's so much work!" And I said, "Yes, but it's fun!" She looked at me like I was crazy. ;-)
    I have unsubscribed from most store emails. Never bothered to sign up for Anthro in the first place. I can never afford anything there anyway, so I didn't want to tempt myself.
    I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of pleasures...including quiet time to snuggle under a blanket and read!

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    1. Melanie, you'd be surprised at the absolute bargains I get at Anthro. I almost never buy anything full priced there. That tablecloth was no more than one I would have found at HomeGoods!

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  9. Love those little buildings that remind me of Molly Hatch designs. I like baskets too much, and Anthro clearance dishes are tempting. It's a good time of year to organize. I hope you feel better. :)

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  10. Embracing life each day I think should be everyones moto its such a precious gift. I am like you where I crave my time alone and peace. Organizing is great fun when you have lots of pretty baskets and things to do it in :-) dee

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  11. I choose to cuddle up with your kitties - they truly have the life, don't they?

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    1. Ha! I always say that in my next life I want to come back as one of my kitties!

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  12. I love all your pretties and your photos capture Indiana perfectly this time of the year! So funny though I just emailed you to see if you were enjoying the weather!!

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  13. Ahh just love your cat..
    You know I have been trying to downsize my closet as well. I find myself standing looking into it wondering what I should donate...it is such a nice feeling.
    Oh I am the same way I would much rather stay home than go out. :)
    Hope you are having a cozy winter day.

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  14. It's funny... I took a break from all social activity for about 4 months and when I went to an event recently, everyone acted like I had been gone a year. It was nice to be missed, but I really enjoyed my alone time and I'm not quite ready to embrace my social life just yet. Like you, I want to curl up with a good book and be warm and cozy. Spring will be here soon enough, so there's plenty of time for life "out there" later :)

    xo,
    rue

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  15. Januaury has gone so fast, and I just don't feel like I have achieved ANYTHING! It has taken longer to pack away all the christmas stuff and try and get the house back in order. I sort of feel a bit like I don't know where to start! I want to be creative, but I know that my head isn't in that mode at the moment. I cannot concentrate on anything if the place I'm sitting in to do it, isn't making me feel restful. Alas, achieving nothing this month to make it so, means no creative juices have been flowing! Urgh, the skies are wet and grey too. As much as I am TRYING to love this month, I'm pretty happy to say goodbye to it! Add to it all, a strict diet and fitness regime, when all I want is pie and lattes.....you get my drift! ahhhhhhhhh......so I come here......to calm me.......to sooth me......for you to tell me it's all going to be okay in your posts. And I feel calm, and settled.........and inspired. Thank you my lovely xxxxx

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  16. I really loved this post, Jen. So much of it resonated with me. It is insane to me how quickly this month has passed. We've had all of maybe three inches of snow in total here in my neck of New York and it's been pretty mild for the most part. I feel like this just isn't really winter. These last couple of days have felt more like the end of March than the end of January. There are projects that I wanted to complete, mainly painting some rooms in our new house, that just haven't even been started yet. I wouldn't consider myself an introvert but I am definitely a "hibernator" in the winter. Nothing more that I like to do then stay home and work in my studio or read a magazine in front of the fireplace. Life definitely does get in the way of that, for sure!! : ) Have a beautiful weekend!! xo

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/























































































































































































































































































































































































































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  17. Hi Jen,
    I agree with you, January has flown by at lightening speed...and it's not that I am wishing time away but I am looking forward to Spring! I bought cut daffodils at Trader Joe's yesterday and love seeing them open up!
    I have been purging my clothes the last few months...ever since we went to Florida at Christmas and I had to dig out some summer clothes...and go through the ugh moment every time I tried on shorts...skirts are soooo much better! ;) It's hard to let go of things...but donating them makes the letting go easier for me.
    OMGosh containers...sigh...I think it is an issue that most of us have! I love them all! ;)
    And yes, the life of a social introvert is complicated...I prefer to stay in my comfort zone too...but when I do go out I am always happy that I did...it just takes a whole lot of coaxing! ;)
    Wishing you a cozy weekend! Hugs, Kimberley

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  18. Hello there.. I'm new to your blog and have really enjoyed reading your most recent post and your last few posts. Many of your thoughts are mine exactly! so I've subscribed and will I'm sure, thoroughly enjoy each new post! I'm quite the introvert too and love my "nest" and home... such a homebody and some people just can't understand it... those who like to go out every day. Not that I don't enjoy an occasional lunch out or a little shopping trip to browse and ooh and aah and all the pretty things.. but I'm always glad to get back home and putter. I love all of my "to do" projects and never tire of starting new ones. I don't let the undone things bug me.. I'm just happy that I am creative and enjoy it so much.. and I cherish my quiet times in my craft room! And yes... January and now February... are going way too fast! I hate wishing my life away for better weather, or for summer, or for some time in the future.. I try to enjoy each day as it comes to me.

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  19. January did fly by and now February is zooming past too. I spent the end of January and beginning of February recuperating from surgery and am feeling so much better. The sunshine and warmer temps have been so appreciated and such a mood brightener! Hope you are doing well!

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.