March 30, 2012 § 1 Comment
I started thinking about writing something on the topic of doing too much when I looked down as my ersatz desk yesterday afternoon:
As you can see, in addition to my laptop, I have a blackberry, an iPhone, a diary and a full note pad. For the record, I am not a disorganized person. It just seems that my life has evolved into requiring all these things to do what I feel I need to do.
Hmmm. “Need to do” is such a slippery slope, isn’t’ it? I need to be out of my office right now because I am doing some work on the house that needs to be done. (And some of it is genuinely necessary, but it is possible that the other stuff wasn’t really critical. There, I’ve said it.)
I need the blackberry so that wherever I am, I can reliably be in contact with and direct the people on my team at work. (The iPhone doesn’t really cut it for those long emails I write about contract terms, ad placements, one-off requests and the like.) And of course, I need the iPhone for all manner of personal things, including directing all the work that is currently going on at my house.
The diary is needed to jot down notes because I am 40 and was brought up taking notes. I also love the feeling of the pen crossing off something on one of the three different “To Do” lists that I keep. In my book, it is one of Life’s best feelings.
The note pad is for other notes and sketches that aren’t necessarily archived like things in my diary. And in truth, I can’t function without my laptop, since I can’t really read things as well on any of my other devices — even my iPad. (Yeah…I have one of those, too. But at least that is mostly for entertainment or light computing.)
So, all of these things have become more important to have with me than my keys (lots of people have copies of those!) and almost everything in my wallet. And I can’t help but wonder if maybe I am doing something wrong here.
Am I doing too much? (Are you?)
I think the answer is a resounding “YES!”, but if you are at all Type A (check), have a business or demanding job (check), have children (ok, this I don’t have), like things “a certain way” (check) and are at all goal oriented (check, check), it is hard to avoid the “Too Much” Pickle. But as I round the corner into 41, I am thinking that maybe I should give it a shot.
The other day I was thinking about a list I made six months before I turned 40. It was a plan to achieve various things by that fateful birthday, including (and I am not kidding): learning French, exercising at least 3 times a week, meditating at least three times a week, planning all my evenings with social and deliberate “at home” time, and a whole bunch of other stuff that was going to make me a Better Person. Inside and out.
All I can tell you about that plan is that when I turned 40, I was able to say “pencil”, “the bike is yellow” and “the fish swims” in French. But honestly, what was I expecting? To achieve it all, of course! That is what we all do, right?
Well, a more rational person may suggest that one must accept the fact that you can’t put everything on a schedule or a project plan. (What??) Maybe I will get around to learning more French in the next year or two. I meditate when I can, but try not not stress about it, since that seems illogical, even to me. And somehow in the last three months, I have miraculously become someone who exercises almost every day. It didn’t happen on schedule, but it did happen.
And that is the trick, I guess: knowing that you can achieve a lot in this life, provided you give yourself a break here and there and recognize that, like a garden (I just met with my most excellent landscape designer regarding yet another project, so the process is on my mind), it all takes time to mature and blossom.
So, here’s to our gardens –and to giving ourselves a little break so that they can grow!
(Photo…and I know it is a kind of blurry, but I think that reflects my state of mind at the time it was taken: Some Cozy Night)
March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
So, spring is here and I still maintain that almost anything goes when it comes to fashion these days. Aside from the new-ish Deco trend (which is a pretty option for night, but unclear to me for day) and patterned pants, the only thing fashion editors seem to agree on is that you should be wearing a skirt. Great. I have some, so I am good there.
The one thing all of these trends (Deco aside) seem to have in common is that color is still very “important”. I happen to like color, so this is good news for me. It is also good news for my newest pair of sandals:
I wore them constantly on vacation last month and look forward to things warming up so that I can wear them some more. A lot more. I also fell head-over-heals with a super-intense pink silk top with a very pretty scarf detail at the collar, and am feeling the need for a pair of pants with a colorful stripe down the side. But those might burn out fast. We shall see.
In the meantime, for those of us who live in Weather Challenged areas, there is the matter of being sick of wearing winter clothes, with temperatures too low to bust out anything for spring. I think this is where color comes in especially handy: A brightly colored plain woven sweater and a light colored, but heavier weight pant can help get you from “cuddly” to “chipper” in no time. I must also sing the praises of the blue and white striped T to go under said sweater or even a blazer to brighten things up without turning yourself into a human icicle.
For venturing out-of-doors, may I suggest the trench (liner in, if it has one) and a soft, light-colored scarf? Shoes are tough, but maybe just focusing on not wearing anything that looks too Ski Chalet is a step in the right direction.
Stay warm and bright!
(Photo of the sandals I will be wearing all summer long: Some Cozy Night)
March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Oh, I am sure everyone is blogging about springtime right now, but I can’t help it. Even though the winter here was rather mild, I am always happy to see signs of all the green that is to come just beginning to pop up outside…
The first teeny bits of leaf on some of our hydrangeas.
Classic late-blooming daffodils all lined up like little soldiers.
And earlier blooming daffodils already making an appearance.
Snowdrops taking their final bows for the year.
I also like try to to keep things a little green indoors year-round. So when the temperature start dropping, I try my best to keep my herbs alive by taking them inside. It isn’t always a slam dunk, but I did have a few successes…
Fresh sage after a ruthless mid-winter prune. (Aphids. It had to be done.)
The prettiest thyme. Perfect for use in tomato sauce (and a zillion other things) when the basil up and leaves.
And some mint, because the stuff is very good in many cocktails. And salads. (Fruit and otherwise.)
And in case you aren’t seeing enough green in nature, there is always a little green around if you look for it…
A favorite hankie.
One of my most beloved cuffs. It goes with everything.
And one of Life’s most essential greens…for when all the other lovely things don’t quite do the trick.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
March 18, 2012 § Leave a comment
Except he thinks that the trend is ballet flats, not just lower heels…
God, I love Bill Cunningham. In fact, one of my best New York sitings ever was him cycling down Park Avenue in his trademark blue windbreaker, camera across his chest. Classic.
And what can I say about the ballet flat except that whenever I am looking to be comfy and stylish, you will find me in a pair. I suppose they are classic as well.
My brand of choice is Lanvin, since they build in a little one-inch heel on the inside, so the look is completely flat, but you get a little lift. And who doesn’t need one of those now and again?
(Photo of the ballet flats I walked all of Versailles while wearing: Some Cozy Night)
March 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
So, it is a beautiful day here by the beach and I did manage to make some delicious four grain pancakes for breakfast and take a ton of photos of the real signs of spring’s arrival, but I haven’t felt like doing much else. This is a good thing, as I have a nice pile of books to get through…
And some willing participants in General Loafing.
Hope your Saturday is a relaxing one. And I promise a proper post soon.
(Photos of my book pile and A+O at rest: Some Cozy Night)
March 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
If there are any holiday greens left in or around your home, I would like to remind you that you should probably take them down. Now. Please??
Spring is starting to show, which makes all those dried out wreaths and weather-beaten bows look especially dreary. So it is time to clear out the old and let nature put on its newest production…
See…there are BUDS on the trees!
And daffodils everywhere. Aren’t they cheery? And to think: More blossoms to come! Yay.
Next up: Transitions from Winter into Spring clothing, knowing full well that in many places, it will still be cold.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night, about five minutes before she fell flat on her face, while in white pants, in front of three New Yorkers who didn’t even ask her if she was ok. No, I am not bitter.)
March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
Or is all packaging becoming more and more impossible to open? I am unaware of any decline in my fine motor skills, but they are no match for the way everything from vitamins to chopsticks seems to be packaged today. Graceful unwrapping by hand has given way to clawing, biting, puncturing and finally resorting to scissors or equivalent to get something open. Extremely undignified and I am pretty sure that any child could still open anything with relative ease.
OK, done ranting. Have a lovely day.
March 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
Any woman who has been buying shoes over the last four years or so must be aware of the ever-increasing heights our shoes have reached. As a Wee Person, this has been a wonderful trend since I could almost be tall when wearing my Tallest Tall Shoes. But after several years of near-falls, small back twinges and the inability to walk as fast as I need to sometimes, I have decided that I need to go back to being Wee and not worrying about it so much. And I think Fashion is also warming up to coming down. I am seeing more kitten heels and pumps well under the four inch mark just about everywhere.
The thing is, I think it is going to take a while for our collective eyes to adjust:
I mean, these are some very serious declines in heel height*, and almost every photo you see of a woman these days (excluding those in National Geographic and their ilk) shows a woman who is wearing some pretty fierce heels. So, what is it going to look like when we are all (slightly) back down to earth? I don’t know, but I suspect I won’t be happy about it until my eyes adjust. In the meantime, I think I’ll just go slowly and alternate: Tall some days…Less So on others. But that sentiment can probably be applied to lots of things, so perhaps it won’t be too terrible after all.
*Except maybe those cream ones and the nude ones…the more I look at them, the more they appear to be the same height. But the nude ones feel way lower, I swear.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)