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February 11, 2011 / Danielle

Weeks 3 and 4: A Summary

Forgive me for the condensation; what with last week being so busy that I didn’t get around to a summary until I’m basically on the heels of the next, I figured I’ll kill two birds with one stone and hopefully return you to regularly scheduled recapping next week.

A lot of my good friends are aware of the blog and have been asking me what it’s been like for the past few weeks, now that not-shopping has actually begun to set in. My stock answer has been (because it’s true) “well, for the first two weeks I couldn’t stop eating”. 

 You know how when you’re dieting, you look at that cookie, or bag of pretzels, or ice cream or latte, and think “Hmm, is it worth it to fit that into my plan/add an extra twenty minutes on the treadmill/cut back tomorrow to have that today?”  Beyond that – when you’re eating regularly, there’s that little “well, I’m kind of full, I’ll have the one or maaaaaaaaybe, two cookies?”

Yeah, I didn’t have any thoughts of that sort in my head. I ate five cookies and I had absolutely no little voice to tell me not to.

After two weeks, though, that fell away somehow; I just stopped craving everything as much (she said as she surreptitiously snuck salt-and-vinegar potato chips from the drawer of her filing cabinet), and I’ve returned to marginally healthier habits. (I have eaten three different kinds of veggies today.) (My jeans are very, very grateful.)

After that, I fell heavily into my busy busy artistic week.  I cut out drinking and started getting myself to bed early with an eye towards a solid eight hours of sleep a night. (I don’t know about most of you, but I”m shocked at how little I actually sleep on a regular basis, once I make time to study my schedule. How do we function on a weekly seven-to-twelve hour deficit?)

I also postponed all of my engagements that looked like they might be emotionally complicating or taxing (no dates, serious conversations with ex-boyfriends, etc), and I focussed solely forward on the work to come.

And – guys? It felt great.

I ran through my closet reasonably to find an outfit (perhaps slightly nervous, given my cookie habit, that nothing would fit . . .)  It was easy; I pulled out five or six dresses I felt were a good fit, and simple, I tried on three, I settled on a Diane on Furstenberg* cocoa wrap dress I bought in 2007 (subtle color, super-flattering, and not distracting), and paired it with brown tights and my butterfly-wing shoes (cause I need a leeeeetle bit of bling. Far from my face.)

But it was easy. I didn’t need to go shopping; I got dressed just fine as I was.

And I didn’t miss it at all.

I was busy. I barely got home before I had to go to bed; I had coachings to go to, clothes to pick, psychically important lounging-and-watching-loads-of-TV-to-do (concentrated creativity needs time/relaxed stimulation to regenerate itself . . . . is my excuse). It was a lonely and not-entirely sustainable lifestyle (this girl needs her nights to stay up and drink bubbly and celebrate life passing by), but I was captivated by the short-term goal and everything went swimmingly.

And then I came back to earth after it was all over, twitchy, a little overtired, giddy with relief and slightly hysterical in the aftermath. (It was a great couple of days, but even the Mighty Ducks took a night to sit around the campfire and sing “We are the Champions” before they headed off the private school to do hockey-battle with those preppie thugs.)(My point is, feeling positive about your efforts is almost as exhausting as feeling disappointed, and that I really didn’t pay attention during D3.)

And since I’ve come back to regularly scheduled life, I’ve been noticing gorgeous clothes everywhere. I skipped across Ouma Clothing’s etsy shop yesterday by mistake, and lord how I craved one of those dresses pre-stop-shop (and sadly, just ran out of money – perhaps I’ll treat myself to one when the year is out. It seems like the kind of thing to wear to a summer wedding before I turn 30.) Anthropologie’s new BHLDN line of nuptial-themed and special occasion dresses and accessories has me drooling (the yellow-and-white shoes with the giant jeweled bow! Eh! Eh! )(Check out Kim the anthroholic’s exclusive previews here and here – and prepare to die a la Rachel Zoe.)

how I coveted thee. sigh. oh, ouma.

I miss my shopping hobby.  I’m gonna admit that. I miss the rush of checking what went on sale. I miss the giddy joy of thrifting, finding something ridiculous and awesome and marvelous for $10.  I miss rushing to three different Anthropologies after a flurry of second-or-third markdowns to see if any of them have that elusive thing I missed out on when it was $50 but would absolutely throw down on for $20. ( . . . . . I never did that, by the way^.)

I miss the glee and the fun of the find.

I miss how easy it was to get dressed because I’d just throw on my most recent purchase.

One of the battles of this year, once I get to my whittled-down working closet (which may involve some rules-adjustment – don’t worry, not shopping!), will be to re-learn how to buy clothes. To shop for necessities/versatilities . . . and then, to negotiate what it means to get something just because it’s beautiful. (The yellow shoes. Sigh. Echkart Tolle, can I just have them to put on a shelf on my wall and wear twice in my life? That’s appreciating them, isn’t it? Hmm? Oprah? Yes?)

(I feel like the issue with my working closet theory is that I’m gonna have to have one closet for every day . . . .and another for special occasions. (Gold 70s vintage sequin dress, turquoise-and-black velvet maribou-trimmed wrap, tweed pencil skirt with appliqued forest and pheasants . . .  .those shoes!))

All of this nonwithstanding – I’m proud of making it four weeks. (It’s been . . . . this is embarrassing but true . . . probably six months, minimum, since I went such a long time without buying any clothing at all.) And though I had such a terrible time getting dressed this morning, I’m pleased with myself for knowing that I can handle it.  I’m just going to have to go back, revamp the closet, dig through the unfamilar and unremembered, and continue to build with what I got.

I got this. Four weeks down. Two months ago, I’d have never thought I could make it this far.

48 to go.

*She should get a Congressional Medal of Honor for Services to American Women (In Making Them Feel Beautiful**)

**Or in the words of Liz Phair (and just how I like to feel for most auditions), “Cool, tall, vulnerable and luscious”.

^Lies. Made of lies.

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