Challenge Update: Week 45

Seven weeks to go!

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

Oooooooooh boy. I walked right into the lion’s den this week: I went to my favorite thrift store

It was for scientific reasons that I went, mind you. I went to the thrift store to look for fabrics for my furoshiki project. So really, if I went to the thrift store, it was to be a hero and save the planet by not using paper wrapping on my gifts this year.

Sort of. I need to be careful with this sort of reasoning, or I will end up convincing myself that going to the thrift store is an act of heroism that I must start doing more often.

After being sent off by my sister, who reminded me that I was not to be shopping for me, I set off. I found fabrics for my projects. (Yay!) I found a few very nice shirts for my indulgent husband’s birthday. I found a few very cute items that I knew could be used for Christmas decorations.

I discovered that my favorite thrift store now has an entire aisle just of vintage. And I nearly lost my nerve when I saw an amazing turquoise print polyester button down blouse, of the kind I have a particular fetish for.

I got out as quickly as possible. That was hard.

Forty-five weeks in and I still have self-control issues when it comes to shopping and coveting. Ugh.

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

I’m not unaware of how sharp the contradiction is between me coveting items at a thrift store, and what I am going to say next:

I have been steadily adding the fabulous hand-me-downs from last week. There were quite a few practical pieces in there, and yet again, I feel like the center of the universe, like the provision of these items happened exactly as I was realizing that my similar items were going to need to be replaced.

Notably, I have been having a pants problem lately. I used to have a very cute pair of color jeans–mine were green–which had been damaged. I also used to have a pair of red ones that had just simply become embarrassingly small. Also, my favorite go-to jeans had been slowly becoming a shell of what they once were. Who would have guessed that in that pile of hand-me-downs were a pair of absolutely perfect-for-me purple jeans, a pair of bright orange jeans and pair of regular old absolutely perfect boyfriend jeans?

The absolute perfect provision is astounding, and yet I can’t stop myself from coveting at a thrift store. I digress.

As I said, I am setting an intention to do the One-in-One-Out method from here on out with my Boudoir. Nothing can come in if I don’t make room for it by removing something from the Pantheon. Knowing that I am a fan of everything currently in my Boudoir, this sets the bar very very high for anything coming in.

I’m thinking of inviting a friend over for coffee and starting a chat about clothes, and then giving her free reign of anything in my closet she might like. It’s in the thought-experiment phase: could I be so detached emotionally from what I own as to let someone have anything they want?

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

Still in the uniform phase: this week I’m loving handknit skirts and petticoats.

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

Since we all know I am a fan of this, let me share a scalawag story:

Whereas my eldest learned the hard way (by wearing his pyjama’s to school one day) that mise en place makes life way easier, my youngest has always rebuffed my suggestions about doing mise en place.

His teacher allows them to bring toys from home to play with at recess. I hate this, because this increase the chances for things breaking and getting lost. While I don’t really care if they break or get lost, what I don’t like dealing with is the emotions of a child whose toy was broken or lost. However, this has become a favorite part of going to school for my littlest one. He and a couple buddies have bonded over Paw Patrol and Playmobil. I love it that he and one little friend named Lucie, who is one of these buddies, exchange voicemails via the schools messaging system, expressing their undying affection, “Je t’aime!” she will say in her message. “Merci Lucie! Merci Lucie!” he will sing back.

Twice this week, there has been absolute panic at the very moment we are supposed to leave for school because he hadn’t picked out his toy yet, and we must not let Lucie down! And I don’t mean just anxiousness. I mean, absolute screaming, crying panic. My youngest, much like me, struggles to make decisions when faced with having too many options and a short time to make that decision in. This only increases the panic.

After one particularly horrible morning, during which little scalawag was screaming because he didn’t know what toy to take, and the eldest screaming because he was afraid we were going to be late, I kinda lost my marbles.

So. I suggested, when things calmed down, he start doing mise en place with the toy he wants to take. After dinner, he would pick the toy he wanted to take the next day and put it in his backpack. He then added, “And I could do my clothes, too!”

This was the first capitulation I have gotten on the subject from my youngest, and there is at least a promise to try.

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

I finished up that Nora Gaughan bolero:

Is it pretty or is it pretty?


I really need to get serious about setting some goals for next year, because after my thrift store adventure this week, I realize that nothing has changed in my heart. I still want all the time. There is such a dichotomy between that incessant wanting and, on the other side, seeing how, beyond anything I could ever hope for, provision is always there.

Nothing will ever be enough for me, and that is what needs to change. It isn’t as simple as forbidding myself to shop for a year.

In other news…

Querying for the novel is being done. I’m glad I have other projects on the stove, because I seem to have settled in for a nice long wait on the publishing front. This, miraculously, doesn’t bother me, as long as I don’t think about it for too long, and as long as I know that I am meeting my goals for researching agents and sending well-considered queries.

I have plenty of projects to keep myself occupied in the meantime!

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.

One thought on “Challenge Update: Week 45

  1. Now I’m coveting purple jeans! lol You are going to hide those jeans, when the friend comes over, right? Gorgeous bolero! What a great lesson, that youngest was able to jump from toy to clothes! God bless Lucie!


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