Challenge Update: Week 30

Oh my goodness, week thirty.

Challenge Rule 1: Buy No Clothes/Don’t Covet

I bought no clothes, I coveted nothing. This was a welcome sigh of relief after a few weeks of feeling like I was questioning everything. Clearly, I still need to steer clear of stores, and for as long as it takes. That’s all it took: that one visit to a store I don’t even really like to send my coveting proprioceptors into high gear. So…stay out of stores. Period.

But…but…but…I visited with a friend who passed on to me two very very very very very cute tops from her collection, which I cannot wait to figure out how to wear. More forthcoming on this.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

I am not sure that this update goes under “Inventory”, but I have decided to relax the rules of my 4-dresses-all-summer challenge. I was genuinely starting to feel a little bored with my options (apparently I can go a little more than one month before that happens), and I did not want to end up hating the dresses that I had set out to love. So I have relaxed (slightly) the rules: I still must wear each of the dresses once a week, but those other three days I can mess around and wear something else.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

Now that I have access to more of my closet, I feel a little bit lost. A dress is easy to wear: it’s just one piece. But now, skirts, tops…it’s all messing a little with my brain a bit and I am having the overwhelm of too many options. A Go-To Catalogue would have been a welcome thing to have for this season of many choices!

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

In my sister Poppy’s article about Mise en Place, she wrote about doing her planning for a full week in advance. This week, in response to my closet overwhelm, I decided to take a page from her playbook and do a theoretical outfit calendar for the week which I could decide to change the night before if I wanted to (I ended up not wanting to).

When I wrote about how developing habits and routines helps alleviate the “urgent feeling” decisions, I wrote from some experience. I found even further confirmation of this benefit through the exercise of making that little theoretical outfit calendar. All I needed to do was assemble the necessary items before bedtime. No thought needed. Just rote obedience to my plan.

The investment of time to make the little calendar resulted in a sense of calm each night this week. Calm is worth its weight in gold.

Challenge Rule 5: Repair and Mend, Alter when Necessary:

Did I mention that I am down to two pairs of summer socks? This is comical. I had a dream the other night that I was walking in a field and found my missing sock clothes-pinned to a tree. It’s a good thing I have little boys who get very very messy and for whom I have to do a load, however small, of laundry each day. Otherwise this sock thing would be unbearable.

That said, it is mercifully also sandal season, so if the going gets tough, the tough can wear sandals. When one of these pairs of three-thousand times mended socks springs a new leak, I think I will cry.


Being able to relax the rules (however slightly) on my little summer challenge has provided a little renewed enthusiasm for my wardrobe, which, after all, is what I want in the end. Sure, my initial summer goal was to see if anyone would even notice if I wore the same thing every day all summer. Lesson learned: no one noticed except me, and I got bored! Now I need to find the happy medium between having too few choices and too many choices.

In Other News:

Not a whole heck of a lot to report: summertime is not propitious to working on my novels, especially considering my little boys have now officially dropped their naps. I have a few ideas swirling which are keeping my thoughts occupied while I do the dishes (which I seem to do constantly), but this is not helping to get them down on paper.

Neither have I been able to edit the next episodes of the podcast, because, like I said before, little boys are omnipresent and editing a podcast while reading Les Petites Poules is just not possible. Actually, editing a podcast while little boys are playing Playmobil is equally impossible.

On the other hand, I had challenged myself to publish one article every day for 100 days, and I hit that goal this week. This was one of those “let’s see if you still have things to say after 100 days,” kinda things, and apparently, I do still have things to say.

So…thank you for putting up with my regular, if sometimes mediocre, musings. Next up: we are going to be taking a look at that most unsexy of topics: Virtue. Go get your pocket protector and your nerd glasses. We’ve got some geeking-out to do.

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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