Challenge Update: Week 33

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

I bought no clothes this week, nor did I covet anything belonging anyone else. This was a very scalawag-centric week, so there is not much coveting to be found at a theme park or even a very cool park we found in a nearby village.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

That Cost Per Wear challenge is steadily steadily doing its work. I can see all four of my dresses be at 1€ per wear by the start of Fall.

I happened upon the diary entry from a long time ago, in which I decided to start a closet inventory. I so badly needed to have a feeling of control over something, and this seemed like the most accessible way for me to get it. I do not envy that woman whose life was so out-of-control that writing down every item in her closet seemed like a good idea. On the other hand, I do envy her drive and stamina.

Putting aside whether or not doing a closet inventory is a good use of one’s time, it took a lot of determination. Wrestling control back of one’s life by setting a goal, no matter how flighty that goal is, is no easy task. Being able to see how far I’ve come from that place of absolute overwhelm to this more surface-level, stomach ulcerish overwhelm is encouraging.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

Panic has set in a few times as I have stood in the Boudoir, considering what I am going wear now that I have relaxed the rules. Panic, like, there is just too much choice in my closet.

If I had more time these days, and if it were important enough to me to use the few minutes I have to think about these things, I would probably start using the Suitcase Method I invented a few years ago to help with the overwhelm. The Suitcase Method was the idea of selecting only enough clothes to go on a two week trip, and wearing only those for a month, thus giving myself a limited number of choices and sidestepping overwhelm.

I’ll see if I get a few moments to waste on such an endeavor or not. It seems though, that avoiding panic should be a sufficient impetus.

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

Love, love, love Mise en Place. The aforementioned panic is better experienced alone, at night, before I go to bed, than in the morning while trying to get everyone else ready to go, too.

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

Although I’ve not repaired or mended, I have worked a little bit on my pretty peacock-colored sweater. Knitting and long car rides go hand-in-hand for me, and we have had a few long car rides this week. The sweater has fabulous feather and fan lace sleeves (a nod to the peacock-color) and, at the insistence of my scalawags, will have pockets. Apparently all my complaints about women’s clothing not having pockets have not fallen on deaf ears. They caught me doing a sketch of the sweater before I cast it onto the needles, the concern was real: You must make pockets.

So, we’ll see how this works. For right now, there are just big holes where the pockets should be until I figure out how to actually make a pocket.


Summer is drawing to a close! Finally! Only two more weeks of all this togetherness and maybe I will be able to start relativizing again. For now, many priorities all seem mish-moshed in my thoughts, without the time or inclination to put them in order. I am eagerly looking forward to gaining a little perspective, both professionally and personally.

Vive la rentrée! (Long live back-to-school)

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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