Partial Cave-in.

I don’t really know what category to put this in. It’s not a failure, but it’s also not progress. So, both for now.

I did shop, but not at the sale that was tempting me. Let me explain, though I think I’ve mentioned this before and am not trying to gloat about it. I’m down five sizes from last spring/summer and could not make any of my existing things work for me this year. I choose not to wear ill-fitting clothes, but would do it if there was a bit of wiggle room (as I did last summer… I made do with slightly too-big shorts). No, this time it was way more than wiggle room, it was a problem of ankle pants. As in, pants (crops and shorts) that ended up down by my ankles.

I’ve been freaking out about this ever since the warm weather started. I bought a couple of pairs of shorter shorts early on that are still in my drawer, but what I really wanted was cropped pants, as I tend to live in those in May and June and then again in the fall. I also wanted dressier longer shorts that I can wear to work.

I know, want.

And, I know want.

This was not the second of those two. No rush of feelings, no gotta-have-it, no lets-just-take-a-look-and-see-what-they-have (and end up buying what I don’t need). No want just for the sake of fulfilling the urge to shop.

It wasn’t really an emergency, because I do have full-length pants and jeans to wear. But I’ve been looking for the above items for a couple of months with no luck. It struck me to try a local store that is closing its doors. Not for the bargains, but because I’d already exhausted my usual resources. It was a 20-minute mission to stock up on basics, and was successful.

And a failure to hold out just a bit longer. Time to restart the count.

A Smile is Not Happiness.

Assume the worst when there is an absence of posts. Yes, I have been stuck in a maelstrom of shopping. Justified, and not. I need new spring clothing. But goodness, does any one person really need to spend so much time researching a pair of cropped pants?

I had a great thought this week, and wanted to write about it so that I don’t forget.

I keep saying (yes, out loud) that if I could just find the perfect-fitting trench for the spring, I’ll be happy. If I could just get that bright pink bag for the summer, I’ll be happy. If I could just find… Well, the list goes on and on, and it ends with me being happy.

A few days ago, I realized that was all wrong. What I’ve been meaning to say is, “If I could just find [item 1,567], it would make me smile.”

Oh, there it is! Finally I’ve put into words that all this stuff does not make me happy just because it puts a smile on my face. I’m having fun buying a new wardrobe out of necessity, and I’m finding some pretty great things. I look at my outfits each day and really feel great… for a moment or two. Everything that I’m adding to my wardrobe is the best item I think I can find, fits me and/or my lifestyle about as perfectly as I would hope, and makes me feel confident and put-together.


Happiness doesn’t even factor in.  I am quite broken, actually.  I must’ve sprung a leak some time ago because I have no substance left. I’ve become a clothing hanger.

(That was today’s epiphany.)

My stuff looks great on. It looked good on the hanger at Nordstrom, too. Is there anything more to ME? Do I have any interests left other than clothing? Does anything else motivate me? What am I living this life for?

My older son needs a supportive mom who can help him control his impulses, not someone who has no time for him because she needs to check the new arrivals at ten different online stores. He needs a mom who will listen to his current interests, not someone who shushes him away so she can check her wishlist to see if anything’s gone on sale so she can pounce on it. He needs a mom who will listen to his side of the story, not someone who immediately punishes the screaming and crying because it disrupted figuring out who has the latest 20% off sale.

My younger son needs a loving mom who can teach him to be strong, not someone who tells him to go cry alone until he can be quiet. He needs a nurturing mom to match his gentleness, not someone who takes advantage of his obedient nature by sending him away to play by himself. He needs a mom who can “fill up his hugs and kisses when they are red” (empty), not someone who constantly asks for more space so she can type faster and browse the web easier.

My husband needs a wife who can fill his life with love, laughter, and memories, not someone who heads to the stores every weekend.

I need to redevelop the spiritual depth that carried me all my life until recently. I seem to have squashed it with my credit card.

So, here I am. I looked at my (awesome) pants today, and acknowledged that they make me smile, but they do not make me whole. It’s OK that they make me smile. It’s OK that my new jacket makes me giddy when I get to wear it. As long as I know that that’s not IT. There’s more work to do, and it doesn’t involve TJ Maxx.