Challenge Update: Week 4

Buy Nothing/Don’t Covet

I bought nothing this week. This has been easy to get used to. I do not do moderation well. I like a nice firm limit like this, especially one that has a provable consequence.

On the other hand, I struggled all week with my little (not so little) coveting problem. It all started at church when I saw a woman wearing a mustard-colored long-sleeved t-shirt in a shape that I loved. I was reminded of how much I love that color contrasted with a fabulous turquoise necklace I got for my birthday a couple years ago.

That is one little example of a much, much, much bigger problem. This problem is cyclical and I feel helpless to tackle the problem. I wish the limit set by the command “don’t covet” was a simple as “buy nothing.” Unfortunately, it is not.

This all goes back to that bottomless pit in my heart that wants something, but since neither my heart nor my head seem to know what it is, they both seem to want everything. Everything includes mostly things that either I should not have or cannot have.


I made sure a few old faithful stand-bys would not get thrown out at the end of the year, including a pair of trousers I bought in 2004, some red jeans whose fit I don’t love but that make me happy nonetheless and some of my endless variety of black sweaters and t-shirts, which all have a different function and can be worn with different bottoms. Not all black tops are created equal!

Go-To Catalog

I added the two outfits I have worn the most this year. I have now met my goal of three casual Go-To outfits. I’ve met my casual outfit quota for the season. Yay! One goal met!

Plan Ahead and Mise en Place

This has been going well but for one small detail that I need to tweak. On Tuesday of this week I got out two outfits (unsure of what the weather held in store), which both consisted of jeans and a black top. I have yet to put away the unworn outfit. It has been taking up space our relatively small bathroom since Wednesday.

Repair and Mend, Alter When Necessary

I mended a few seams on a sweater and on a little waterproof bed liner. These relatively quick fixes helped me keep to my repairing and mending habit while feeling like I actually accomplished something. The sock darning tends to draw on for days, which can get tiresome. These little successes reminded me that it does feel good to mend little things instead of letting them get worse till they are unusable.

I mentioned those red jeans which got added to the Inventory this week? Well, I thought I would give a go at changing the fit. I had them all pinned and ready to go, but then thought better of it. I think I would rather live with their slightly wonky fit than ruin them.

I spent a nice meditative moment de-fuzzing a scarf while the scalawags listened to Neil Patrick Harris read us Henry Huggins.

I made a cute little green belt from a nightgown that I never had liked. I can’t wait for summer so that I can wear my cute new belts with some of my dresses!

Also a Neil Patrick Harris narrated initiative.

Lastly, I started an upcycling project on an old yellow cardigan. This project will surely be the object of a post in the next week, given the deep well of thoughts on the relationship between creativity and perfectionism it has elicited.


I remember now how important it is to regularly touch-base with myself. All week I had been feeling like such a failure because of my coveting issues that I hadn’t noticed what I was doing right. Failure takes up so much more mental energy than success, that if I don’t actively remember what I accomplish, it will fade into oblivion with only the shadow of failure remaining.

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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