sinking in…

It’s starting to sink in. I’m single. For some people that may sound like the kiss of death. For me, I’m starting to breathe for the first time. I’ve spent most of my adult life married or in relationships that were smothering me. I went from my parents home to my first marriage home. When I removed myself and my children from that situation I moved back in with my family. It was where we (me and my children) needed to be, surrounded by people who loved us. I bought my first home and moved there in 2009. I was single for the first time and made the decision to not date for a year minimum. I thought I would take the time and get to know myself. I didn’t. I at the end of the year through Facebook I found and married #2. It lasted 18 months. On the heel of that divorce I met #3. He was charming and waited out the post break up rebound and claimed me as his. I didn’t want to marry again but I did. He swept me off my feet and made me feel good about myself. What I didn’t see, was he was obsessed with me. He loved controlling me. It’s all good when you are on the same page. When you are so in love you can easily turn a blind eye to the obvious. I certainly did.

So, moving on, I am seeing that I have an opportunity now to reframe my life. As a three-time loser in the marriage arena I am not looking for a date or even thinking along those lines. I still love men. Don’t get me wrong, as Dorothy said in Jerry Macguire, “Maybe,Men are the enemy but I still love the enemy.” I’m just not up for the battle right now. I am up for focusing on that  “getting to know myself” thing. I have discovered finally at age 43 I actually like my own company. I like my down time, no TV, no mindless lying about sleeping the day away. I haven’t been spending my weekends alone wearing pjs and not brushing my teeth until Sunday. (Yes, I have done that. No, I’m not proud of it.)  I am writing, reading, planning, and keeping up with my chores. Once upon a time I was organized, ok semi-organized. I lost that somewhere along the way, but I’m slowly getting it back.

There’s so many wonderful books out there from authors of blogs. I’ve read two books by life style blogger Jennifer Scott of the Daily Connoisseur. She embraces all things French and has written Lessons From Madame Chic. In it she shares stylish secrets she learned while living abroad in Paris while she was an exchange student in college. Madame Chic was the inspiration for these lessons which range from eating well, cultivating the arts, living with and using the best things we have instead of saving them for only special occasions.  I have adopted some of the lessons including those on cultivating a capsule wardrobe. While the idea of a pared down closet didn’t appeal to me at first, the idea of actually having a few nice quality pieces of clothing did. I have always said I would rather have a few nice things than a bunch of junk but I have never followed through on it. The premise in the book is to have 10 core items in your seasonal wardrobe. These items can be supplemented with accessories, t-shirts, cardigans, blazers and shoes along with special occasion items. I couldn’t do just ten items. There are a few reasons why I couldn’t get it down to just 10, the main one boiled down to I’m not able to do laundry often enough to keep that minimal of a wardrobe clean and ready to go. Still, I am pretty pleased with my results. Here are the before and after pictures of my closet.

I promise the floor is under there. I found it.

I promise the floor is under there. I found it.


It was a mess.


I was so proud of the empty closet!


Finally…. the almost finished project. I am still working on storing shoes and purging accessories.


a plan….

Wow, decision made. Now what to do? Just getting to this point has been daunting in the decision-making process, liberating because I’m feel free in a sense and honestly a bit scary. In the back of my mind, “What if I suck at this?” Failure in anything is scary to me. It always has been. What if my ‘epic’ is an epic fail? When I work I have focus, a schedule and regular(ish) hours to keep. I’m accountable to my work, boss, patients and to the hospital.  Now it won’t be that way. Well it won’t unless I reframe my mind-set and make it so. Structure is key. So I need a plan.

These areas I believe are key to helping me stay focused and stay on track with my day and not end up vegged out in front of the TV eating ice-cream daily. cream

aww…ice cream

Regular hours especially during the week. I kept them while employed full-time. Besides my kids will need to be dropped off at school and my husband is up early daily anyway making his trek to the car lot. This isn’t a vacay for moi. It’s just a change in work locale and in my focus.

Continuing to present myself as I always have. I have heard and read about women who no longer bother to get ready to meet the day since there’s no one to get ready for. They take the kids to school in pjs or sweats. I’m not talking about VS cute sweats either. I’m talking hole in the knee I wouldn’t be caught dead in them kind of sweats. I have ranted on FB about pajama pants are not to be worn in public for years! Also leggings are not pants! That’s a topic for another day. FOCUS. First I believe we have ourself to get ready for. It is a shame to think I did all my primping to go to the office just for someone else. It is as if we don’t value our appearance for the sake of looking nice. Someone else has to see me for me to value my appearance? NO! This mind-set simply won’t cut it.This is my stance.  I believe how I present myself says everything about how I feel about my self. I have value and I will continue to put my best face forward and have a workable stay at home wardrobe that will not look as if I’m running to the gym, well unless I really am running to Zumba or something.

I will revise my wardrobe. I don’t need to be quite so formal at home. My heels and suits aren’t really what I envision for my attire going forward. This revision is going to consist of some heavy editing. I’ll donate, resale and eBay the items I no longer need and keep those that will work. I need to look presentable and my wardrobe will reflect my sense of style.

old work uniform inspiration

old work uniform inspiration

new work wardrobe  inspiration

new work wardrobe inspiration

A schedule for the week will help keep me on track. This needs to include: cleaning, errands, laundry, writing time, creative time and reading time from my Bible. Food shopping and planning will need to be included along with workout schedule too. Something along the lines of a daily plan will help this along. I’ve looked on Pinterest for ideas from other stay at home moms. There are plenty of great organized women who blog and share their tips to borrow from. (And, I thank them!)

An example of downloads available on Etsy to help get you organized.

An example of downloads available on Etsy to help get you organized.

I love my husband and kids so much. I pray my staying at home will benefit them and our lives will have a greater sense of order and peace. Yes I said peace. Chaos doesn’t breed peace and for a long time I have felt my life has been lived at a low-level of chaos. I believe a mom is the center of her family. My level of peace and calm and  how I handle our everyday lives are felt my every member of my house. Being the go to rattled person doesn’t cut it. And since I’m the go to girl not only in my immediate family but in my extended family as well I have some reframing to do.  I’m cool with this. I welcome peace. I welcome the work ahead of me to bring order from my chaos. I welcome balance. Bring on my planning session.