Challenge Update: Week 43

Nine weeks to go!

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

We spent this week “vacationing” in the “South of France”. Why the quotation marks, you ask? Because is it still a “vacation” if it is at one’s in-laws house? And although it is south of where we live, in the cusp of Provence, it is not on the Mediterranean.

We barely budged from this beautiful stone house out in the country, where the weather was sunny and perfect. I needed nothing and coveted nothing. I bought nothing.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

When I packed for our trip, I did so with the intention of it being uncomfortably light. This is a favorite trick of mine when we travel. It makes me feel so much gratitude for all the bounty I have in my closet upon our return.

It’s fun to have to “live off the land” for a few days, too. It’s an important reminder that *no one* is paying as much attention to what I wear as I am.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

Why is this so hard, darn it? Why is it so hard to just take a quick picture when I’ve got a good outfit? Is it the effort of taking a picture? Because honestly. I can write almost every day but I can’t take a quick photo? And it would be so useful. Really, really useful.

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

One of the advantages of travelling super-duper light is that Mise en Place is simplified even more than it is at home. Travelling, going to bed waaaaay later than we would like, waking up waaaaaay earlier than anyone should makes me a tired, tired, grumpy, grumpy girl. Decision reduction is a gift I give myself in these circumstances.

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

Nothing tremendous to report here. I knit a bit in the car, only to undo the whole project because I miscounted my stitches. At least I didn’t lose my mind to those squabbling scalawags in the back seat.


I need to set myself a little last hurrah of a challenge to get this Go-To Catalog thing worked out.

In other news…

Mid-term break lasts another week here in France, and then it’s the final countdown to the end of the year.

My fabulous Life Coach sister is helping me not get overwhelmed by the holidays this year. While I don’t necessarily struggle with the outward, visible, BIG THINGS of the holidays (setting up the tree or planning a concert), I get bogged down in the individual, extremely important details that make a successful holiday (or birthday. Or anniversary. Or wedding): namely, GIFTS.

I get so wrapped up in trying to make it perfect that I set a too-high standard and end up doing nothing at all. They may say “it’s the thought that counts”, but I’m fairly certain my extravagant fantasy gifts do not qualify, since they never materialize even in part.

This year my goal is to lower my expectations and at least get it done, preferably with enough time to enjoy the month of December and concert season.

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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