Goals, Schmoals.

They say not to share your goals. I can see it, though I rather suspect that it has more to do with the advisors being sick of hearing others’ goals all the dang time, but … that’s fine. So I won’t tell you my goals for the year. Instead, I’ll share some of my current interests — and some related questions I hope to answer in the coming months.

Biking! I bought myself a bike for Christmas. Well … sort of — it was a cooperative effort and gifted money, and required not one, not two, but THREE trips to another city to actually acquire. She’s quite cantankerous that way. So that’s her name: Cantankerous. She still needs a cleanup, and … bike-smart people … to give her a once-over, but she’s mine. I love her already.

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  • Question: Can I make it to, and back from, the nearest grocery store (or the second-nearest, the one with the cashew milk the Empress drinks) for milk/diaper runs without:
    • a) getting run over, by accident or on purpose?
    • b) collapsing in a wheezing heap?
    • c) running into anything myself?
    • d) getting my beautiful Cantankerous stolen?
  • Bonus Question: Er … how do you raise the handlebars? And aren’t the brakes supposed to work?

Building and Making and Sewing, oh my!

  • Question: Can I actually build those nightstands I cooked up? Er, can I build even one? And if I can, can I then build the dining room table?And will the table’s waterfall edge really look as snazzy as I hope? And will having a counter bench (oh, right, can I build that, too?) make up for losing that end of seating?
  • More Important Question: If I can build the table, how will it perform vis-à-vis pop-tart goo?
  • Sewing Questions: How do you sew with jersey knits? Do I want to make a dress form? How much sewing would I need to be doing to make that worth the time, money, and space? WHERE THE HECK DO YOU BUY THE PRE-PLEATED KNIT FROM MY FAVORITE SKIRT?! I mean, they had to get it from somewhere.

Fitness! I’m closing in! Well … sort of. I was closing in, until the #%^&$! holidays. I can accept that my progress stalled over the past few weeks, but enough is enough.

  • Question: Is my current plan of soup/salad/soylent for one meal per day, </= 1600 cal. total per day, going to be workable for my whole timeline, which is from now until the start of Spring? Should I lower it (1500? 1400?) or if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it? Will there be anything — anything — in my closet that fits at that point?
  • Bonus question: Are those muddy 5Ks as fun as they look?

Fashion, via Listmaking

It is okay not to give two hoots what you wear. It’s okay to have no emotional or intellectual connection with your clothing apart from its utility (or keeping-you-from-being-arrested-ity, or whatever). There is nothing wrong with not caring about your attire.

I do care about mine. That’s okay, too. I find a great deal of gleeful passion in [… I really am going to rhyme, aren’t I? I’m sorry about this …] fashion. I love wearing beautiful things. I love thinking about and refining my own tastes in clothing and accessories, and what looks most pleasing (in my opinion) on my own silhouette, with my own coloring.

I believe that attire is in itself a language. It is a tool for communication and influence. It’s also a medium of creative self-expression. And the more nuanced a grasp we have of this language and the ways it can be used, the more control we have over what we “say” with it. The better we understand the language, the more effective our expression.

HOWEVER.

This does not mean, in any way, that there is ever any justification for treating someone poorly based on their appearance. It’s great to like what you like, sartorially-speaking. (And otherwise.) To explore and ethically pursue, to shop for and design, what you like. But it’s never okay to hurt or belittle other people because their choices are different from yours, or because they aren’t, or don’t look like, what you like. This is something that bothers me greatly about so much fashion advice and discussion — the notion that to talk about what you like, you have to denigrate what you don’t.

You really don’t.

***

I’m a list maker. Of course I am.

And I’m losing weight rather steadily at the moment, which is a new, surprising, and mostly lovely experience. However, less lovely-ly, that means that fewer and fewer of my clothes actually fit. So I’m slowly losing the wardrobe I’ve spent my entire adult life assembling. This is not a problem — it’s just happening, I’m dealing with it, so I’m sharing it with you. Some of my things can be taken in, if I get around to it (odds are … less-than-favorable on that) but most of them can’t.

What does this mean for me? More lists, of course! And eventual shopping, hopefully. But first, lists!

I’m wanting to rebuild my wardrobe, little by little. I’m not a minimalist, but I do like the idea of keeping my closet relatively streamlined; for me that means having a (flexible) strategy lined out before leaping in, wallet blazing.

Have you ever read Nina Garcia’s lovely little book The One Hundred? It’s a list of the pieces she sees as essential for a stylish wardrobe. And I wondered, of course, what would be my 100 pieces? Or, in some cases, categories — because there is no chance I’d limit myself to a single hat, for instance. Come on.

I also wondered, returning to the real (well, real-ish) world for a teeny moment, what would be the best allocation of funds for those pieces? Where might it make the most impact to spend a bit (a little bit — Nine West, say, not Louboutin) more, and what pieces could be clearance, second-hand, discount store, etc.? I believe that the most visible, durable, and/or outfit-defining pieces should be the ones on which to splurge. Getting my money’s worth, to me, means personal emotional impact each time I wear a piece, being able to wear it often, and being able to wear it for many years.

So I’ve put together a checklist of the essentials for my wardrobe. I’ve broken it into two sections, SPEND and SAVE, because I’m helpful like that and this seemed like a surprisingly logical place to use the poor, overused 80/20 rule.

So, without further ado, here you are! My list:

80-20-pieces