Challenge Update: Week 35

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

Did I covet this week? No. Did I break a mostly unwritten rule, though? Yeah. Maybe.

Remember last week, when I confessed to coveting pink high top Converse All Stars? Well, this week, my husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I told him I wanted high top Converse All Stars.

I didn’t even give it a second thought at the moment he asked. The words just slithered out of my mouth. And then I remembered that part of my challenge this year was to not ask for anything either.

I caught him going through my shoes looking for my size. So apparently he heard me and is in the wings trying to make it happen. I hope they won’t be pink, though. I don’t love pink.

So…my coveting from last week morphed into subconscious conniving this week. I need to be more careful with my thoughts and my words.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

In a rather brutal move, I went through my closet and removed a rather large bagful of clothes I have not worn all summer. They will be rehomed this week, making space for the eventual return of the winter clothes I had removed when I did my first ever seasonal changeover a few months ago. Will I regret this? Possibly. Am I happier when I have fewer choices? Definitely yes.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

Several months ago, I accidentally threw together a wildly colorful outfit. At the time, I thought it was too much. It was too much. Tomato red dress and turquoise petticoat. Seriously. Too much.

And yet, with the chillier weather, and, for the first time in a long time, an actual event (a picnic with my musician friends) to attend, what I did I want to wear? I wanted to wear that.

So yes, that was why I wore my obnoxiously loud red patterned dress with my turquoise petticoat and peacock bliss sweater. I wanted to be colorful. And now, that is a definite Go-To outfit…at least for when I am feeling bold.

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

As we transition to a back-to-school rhythm, everything seems off. Although the boys are getting to bed earlier, somehow my Mise en Place time is getting relegated to after they go to bed and I forget to do it until the last minute before I brush my teeth. Thus I panic a little because by then I am pooped.

New season, new habits to form. As we always say, “It takes the whole month of September to get things figured out.”

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

I did a round of little boy panic-mending this week…a pile of play pants that have stacked up all summer. Knee patches galore, with one very special mend on a nice pair of pants for my littlest scalawag. The knee patches were messy but adorable (my boys call them “Mama’s Secrets” when I put a contrasting material on the inside of the hole and then stitch furiously over it.)

The other mend I am particularly proud of–the pants were so nice and the hole was not from overuse but a little accident. So the tear was clean. I had just the right color material to reinforce the hole, and just the right color thread. The mend is nearly invisible!


Back to school. New habits. New routines. New irritations. New conflicts.

In other news…

Next week will be my first week with our new school-time schedule, built around the drop-off and pick-up times of my scalawags. This will be the first time in six years that I will have reliable morning and afternoon work time, instead of half-days during the school year, or duking it out with my indulgent husband half-days during vacations, or working early early early mornings and during naps.

I have to remember that being available to our children was a choice we made. It seemed like a win-win: the boys never had to go to daycare, and we didn’t have to pay for childcare. For now, my creative projects are not bringing in a salary. If I want to be a full-time creative person, then I can’t also go back into the traditional workforce.

This choice seems like a burden, though, sometimes. Sometimes I forget that I chose this and I get resentful. I was a bit resentful this week.

Since this week was mostly transition, I have very little to report in other news. But next week…next week. Next week I hope to have tons to report!

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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