More about novelty

This week on Sing With Your Feet, we are talking about Novelty. Now, don’t get bored reading this first section while I talk about clothes again for a second. If that happens, skip to the second part.

I shared in the episode that after completing my seasonal changeover, ie, getting out my summer clothes and putting away my winter clothes, I experienced a rush of excitement in re-discovering my summer things.

Last year, that is 2022, was only the second time in my life that I did a seasonal changeover, something I did for the first time during my Buy No Clothes in 2021 Challenge.

When I did my changeover last year, I had a series of items that I was not convinced that I wanted to keep, for the pure and simple reason that I hadn’t worn them one single time in 2022, and had kept them out of pure nostalgia. I wasn’t ready to part with them, but I knew for a fact that I hadn’t been in the mood to wear them for a whole year, either.

Usually, this would prompt me to want to question the why: Why didn’t I want to wear this item? But life is not all about staring into our closet and asking deep philosophical questions. Instead, I kicked the can down the road, put hem into the drawer with other things that I wasn’t sure to wear again (a stack of fancy underwear and an embarrassingly large collection of pre-pregnancy sized black tights that have survived everything single culling of my closet by hiding in a box of sewing notions!)

And I decided to let time decide. Who knew? Maybe moths might come in and make the decision for me (although, let’s really hope they won’t.)

This year, when I opened up that drawer again, and started removing my seasonal stuff, I got a little jolt of delight when I found this top again:

Do you remember this top? I made it by hand in 2021 from a baby swaddle we used for my youngest when he was a newborn. I loved the motif–a kind of wink and a nod to the circus, which you may remember, is my secret obsession. So I suffered through the printing of a free blouse pattern, then modifying said pattern so that I would get the sleeves I wanted, and then I put the thing together.

I finished it, took cute photos of it and promptly never wore it again.

But it was time to do my seasonal changeover this year, I pulled it out this year, my heart went “kabooey.” Yes. Yes. Yes.

I put it on the instant I found it again, pairing it with a navy blue maxi-skirt my sister Poppy donated to the cause last year, and I felt like that cat’s-freaking-meow.

We went to our favorite little theme park that day, and I sat at some picnic tables while my boys bounced on a bouncy castle. And then I did this:

What is this, you may ask? This is me deciding that I want to do a primary color + one theme this spring. This is me falling back in love with my closet.

Not just for the closet

If you skipped the first part of this article where I was talking about the closet and just came down here, hi! Good to see you again.

This is where I want to give a big gigantic shout-out to my indulgent husband.

He is the virtuous man who inherently understands the power of novelty and how it impacts our children…and has figured out how to use the power of novelty to keep our children happy, without buying new toys all the time.

First off, our children have several “universes” into which their toys can be broadly divided: Legos, Playmobil, Bruder. Then, they have other proclivities which they enjoy cyclically: drawing comic books, painting and playing dress-up using our costume box (ninja and mountain climber are two favorite themes in their iteration of dress-up.)

My husband, the saint that he is, is very sensitive to when one of the toy universes falls out of favor, and he will scoop it up and immediately get it out of sight. Upon mention of another universe, he will dutifully go to his hiding spot (our basement, which is a place I am loathe to ever set foot in again), get out the toys and bring them upstairs.

Not to say that our children never ask for new toys, because believe me, they do. But the regular experience of re-discovering what they already own seems to be an unthinkably cost-effective way to deal with them.

Part of the fun is doing an inventory, to make sure everything is there. And while they are inventorying, one of them almost always says, “Oh!!! I forgot about this!” and off they are to the races with a brand new fervor for play.

My husband has the virtues of attentiveness (sensitivity to the interests and pleasures of the people we love) and initiative (doing what needs to be done without prompting) in abundance when it comes to those two scalawags, and those two virtues have saved us a small fortune during the last nearly eight years.

See? Virtue really is its own reward.

Episode 64: The Golden Rule Rules Sing With Your Feet

In this last episode before the summer hiatus, Lily talks about this year's challenge to live out the Golden Rule and some of the hiccups that have appeared along the way.
  1. Episode 64: The Golden Rule Rules
  2. Episode 63: Foresight
  3. Episode 62: Memory
  4. Episode 61: Novelty
  5. Episode 60: How to Have Great Sex

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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