Challenge Update: Week 50

Two more weeks to go!

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

I bought nothing. Yay me. Can I take a pass on that coveting question? Just this once?

Challenge Rule 2: The Inventory

Well, the deed is done. everything in my closet, including my evening gowns, has been worn at least once this year. The deal had been, everything gets worn once or it gets decluttered.

I’m surprised to find that I was almost hoping that I would get to have a late December decluttering festival, and that I would get to spend a weekend afternoon going through my closet removing the items I did not wear. What should feel like a teeny tiny accomplishment actually leaves me feeling empty, like I robbed myself of an opportunity to do something (decluttering) that makes me feel like I have a modicum of control over my life.

Maybe I need a new rule that makes me examine everything I only wore once–and then declutter half of those things. But that would be cheating and changing the rules at the last minute. Maybe I can just declutter for fun and feel like I have a bit of control back.

We’ll see.

Challenge Rule 3: Go-To Catalogue:

I relied on this a few times this week…well…wait, I relied on it when I attempted to do my mise en place way in advance (which was a much bigger struggle than I would have expected–more to come on that.)

I’ve got ideas for the new year, how to make this little habit right here one that I can use to simplify my life even further. It goes back to my homegrown version of the “capsule” concept, which I call the Suitcase Method, in which a very limited amount of clothes are available for a specific period of time.

Challenge Rule 4: Mise en Place/Plan Ahead:

So, I believe I mentioned the other day that I am hoping, in 2022, to find a way to make all this wardrobe stuff something I think less about. Not that there is anything quantifiable about “thinking less about something” unless I actually knew how much I was thinking about it in the first place, but I digress.

I know that Mise en Place and its brilliant sister Planning Way Ahead are the secrets to less stress and more satisfaction. But I’ll be darned: this week I had a dickens of time getting myself to sit down and plan this ahead.

With barely a moment of reflection, I understood why, and it is the same reason my mother-in-law cannot help but, over the phone, even up to a week before we arrive at her house for a visit, tell me everything that we will be eating during our stay, down to the slightest detail.

It’s about anticipation and projecting ourselves into the future–notably, a future we are looking forward to and kinda excited about.

I blew my “anticipation” wad last weekend, and this week, I just didn’t feel like I had much left to look forward to in the time period covered by my Planning Way Ahead. This is okay. This is normal, and I am not going to start berating myself for it when, I did, at least, manage to do my Mise en Place every night.

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

Oooh. I started a little refashioning project. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, and I have a certain amount of guilt about it, because the piece I decided to dissect is a rather lovely men’s jacket. It is something that was handed down to us and was too big for my indulgent husband. I had ideas; ideas that have been percolating all year but for which I was missing the raw material.

I’ll have to see if I have to courage to finish it, and I will hopefully have a rollicking refashioning romp to share with you in the New Year.

Oh–and just for good measure: I destroyed two pairs of socks belonging to my children because I will never mend another sock again as long as I live.


We’re just two weeks away from a whole new adventure. I better get down to business figuring out what that adventure is!

In other news…

I have cover art for my podcast! The podcast is not, at least in its initial form, going to be nearly as much giggling Fields Girls happiness as I would like… When I can afford to pay someone to edit the podcast for me, then I will be able to drag my sister into the fray. As it stands, simply adding one additional track into the editing software, with my less-than-novice editing skillset meant I was constantly starting over. I thought this was supposed to be like Legos, Éric. (It’s nothing like Legos, Éric!)

It looks good enough to listen to!

The first season, which will be six episodes long, is going to be about the “Ideal Life” exercise: the why, the how, the in my Ideal Life I am a person who statements, and all the tralalalala that accompanies it. You can bet I’ll let you know where and when you can find it on your podcatchers!

In the meantime, my gents are all on vacation now, so I can expect a lot more of this kind of stealth photo taking to be happening:

My eldest, messing around with a tablet taking selfies of his recently acquired Santa beard, and me getting caught in the crosshairs, so to speak.

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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