Week 47: Mise en Place saved my life this week

This year, I set myself 22 little goals to pursue throughout the year. I call them the 22 in 22. Once a week (or there abouts), I take a few minutes to check my progress on a few of my goals.

#15 1€ or less CPW for each individual item, less than 0.20€ per item globally

If you remember, I hit the “0.20€ global Cost Per Wear” earlier this fall. This meant that across every item in my closet, those I wear a lot and those I wear less, cheap things, hand-me-downs or full-price items, the global cost per item was twenty cents per wear.

Well, I get a little shot of excitement this week, (in that very specific kind of way this kind of geekery tends to incite) when the global CPW went down to 0.19€.

This is, I guess, mostly because I haven’t bought anything new in a while. It’s easy to whittle away that number when I’m not adding anything new to the Pantheon, now isn’t it?

I find it really hard to believe that this time last year I was heading into the final stretch of my “buy no clothes in 2021 challenge”, excitedly planning the purchase of black socks and cool black boots and a zebra dress, and here we are. Those black socks are well-loved, the black boots are at less than 1€ per wear and my zebra dress is…well, it’s still the cat’s meow.

In the New Year on the podcast, I am going to be talking about closet geekery. I hope I can transmit to my Cinderellas just how exciting it can be to take charge of our personal style, to love everything in our closets and to prove this live in a ruthlessly mathematic way.

#14 Mise en Place and Weekly Planning

I should have started a “Mise en Place saved my life” segment a looooong time ago, but it’s never too late.

This week was…I don’t know how to say this other than the craziest seven days of my life so far. Remember last week when I gave the dubious advice that one way to unhook ourselves from the peg of “tracking our results obsessively” was to have so many things going on that you can’t breathe?

Yes, well, upon reflection: Zero stars, do not recommend.

Without Mise en Place and a habit of referring back to my Poppy Fields inspired planner, I would not have survived.

Just for sec, let’s look at all the unrelated hats I wore this week: I was a mom, I sang at church (with an extra early rehearsal on Sunday morning), I was an in-a-pinch graphic designer, I was a taxi driver for two small children, I was a student in a night class. I was a social media fairy godmother, I was a teacher to sixty some-odd kids in three separate classes about the wonder that is wool, I was an English teacher to a retired judge. I was a guest on a TV show, I was a Thanksgiving reveler, I was a side-hustler looking for boutiques who might be interested in carrying locally sourced, poetically infused handmade wool items, and I was the narrator/soloist for a holiday concert.

And somehow I always knew where I was supposed to be when.

Thank you, Poppy Fields!

I will write a song one day about how Mise en Place saved my life.

#19 Create a workflow for new projects and know how long each part takes realistically

Specifically, this was about how to reproduce a Wool is Cool presentation for elementary students with very little time between sessions.

In order to capture their attention, I wrapped the different props I would be using as adorable little furoshiki packages. (I mean, I’m not Lily Fields for nuthin’. As I like to say, “why do simple when you can do complicated…”)

This added complication also prevented them from being nosy in my stuff, while keeping them guessing about what was in the package.

But when doing back-to-back sessions, I was faced after the first one with what looked like a Christmas Day explosion that needed a hefty dose of fairy dust to get the genie shoved back in the bottle. (If that metaphor was confusing, just try to actually do it in ten minutes flat.)

The secret to this particular workflow was to take a deep breath and sort. Quickly but patiently. Sort out the materials sample books from the baby clothes, gather the magnifying glasses together, roll up the wool samples, line up the knitting needles and crochet hooks and drop spindles.

Then, with samurai-like energy, furoshiki the heck outta that stuff.

I’ll be sharing a round up this adventure over the next few days, but I believe I earned a black belt in furoshiki this week.

Episode 47: Dressing for Your Ideal Life Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: Heartspace and Headspace; the recursive shapes of our life; Mise en Place and decisions.  When we know what we want for our life, it makes all of our decisions easier–including what we wear.  Thank you to Seven Productions in Mulhouse France for the use of the song "La Joie" as the intro and outtro of the show, to Matt Kugler who sang it and Claude Ekwe who wrote it.
  1. Episode 47: Dressing for Your Ideal Life
  2. Episode 46: Closet Inventory
  3. Episode 45: Wardrobe Therapy
  4. Episode 44: Facing Disappointment
  5. Episode 43: Where Are You Going?

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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