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Five Things to Remember When You Feel Like You’re Failing at Adulting

I’ve listened to many podcasts and read blog posts recently that have really struck a chord with me. Though their messages were a little different, they essentially boil down to the same thing: As busy adults we have the right to claim time for ourselves, to be unproductive and unplugged, to pursue creative talents, to dabble in a hobby, to unburden ourselves from side-hustling, and stop worrying about the state of our homes. But how do we square this with the messages about “adulting”? Whether you use the word ironically or detest it, adulting still aptly describes the way adults spend most of their waking hours—working and performing other essential responsibilities. I say most, because there are those little stolen minutes or hours that we may use doing something shameful according to society/your parents/journalists/the media/politicians/you fill in the blank. The shameful stuff I’m talking about are the unproductive hours consuming media, engaging in hobbies or skills we can’t or don’t want to monetize, performing self-care, or just generally not engaging with culture the same way previous generations did (gambling in Las Vegas, eating at chain restaurants, golf, the list goes on).

I’m not making the argument that using the term adulting means I’m looking for affirmation for being a grown up, and I don’t want to rule out my dream of being a mermaid either, but I do want to address the guilt people feel, particularly women, when they spend any amount of time not attending to their careers, family obligations, and homes—all in the domain of adulting.

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Design Your Summer

Last week we took a family trip to Santa Barbara. Nick had to do some work at his office, and we wanted a getaway and a chance to catch up with family and friends. We ate well, laughed a lot, and spent quality time with loved ones. In short, it was awesome. I want to bottle up the feeling of vacation and bring it home with me, which is why I’ve been mulling over the idea of creating a bucket list of summer activities.

Vacation day at the zoo.

Part of me hates the idea of committing to yet another list. I’ve been listening to the Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft for a bit, and Gretchen’s idea of designing your summer really spoke to me. You can listen to her talk about it here and here. Rather than create a list of things I have to do, I’m making a plan to do some things I can’t wait to do.

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It’s Going to be Okay

I meant to write in for The Mom Hour’s Mother’s Day Challenge, but like a lot of things in my life right now, I dropped the ball. I thought I’d take the opportunity to post something here.

Dear mom in line at the grocery who left her wallet in the car,

Dear mom who is awaiting a child via adoption,

Dear mom who commutes long distances every day,

Dear single mom juggling it all,

Dear mom with kids who’ve flown the coop,

Dear mom with grown kid(s) that have returned home,

Dear mom who is grieving the loss of a child,

Dear mom in school,

Dear mom with serious health problems,

Dear mom who everyone thinks has it all,

Dear woman, sister, grandma, aunt, cousin, friend, anyone that mothers,

Dear new mom, young mom, older mom, mom to-be, mom in heart and spirit, pet mom,

Dear anyone with or without a mother,

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Mid-Century Modern Bohemian Contemporary House

I already shared the design plans I had for a 1980s ranch style home, but today I’m back to talk about the other home we offered on and didn’t get. It was a 1973 contemporary ranch house with a stone exterior. Visually, the house just needed a lot more curb appeal. I know that a faux stone exterior might scare off a lot of buyers, but when I saw the low rectangular shape of the home, the big windows, and then the inside—I knew the house had so much potential. Here is a mood board I pulled together for a Mid-Mod Bohemian Contemporary House, and below the cut I’ll go into more detail room by room.

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Rustic Modern Ranch House

I am very excited about where we will end up in just about a week’s time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t mourn for the homes I almost got but didn’t. I thought I’d walk you through some of the ideas I had about two different homes we made offers on to buy. Today I’ll be sharing my interior inspiration for a 1986 ranch style home. Here is a mood board I pulled together for a Rustic Modern Ranch House, and below the cut I’ll go into more detail room by room.

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A True Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Recently I wrote about my dress dilemma, and it really helped me clarify some of my insecurities about myself and my wardrobe. I can happily report that I did wear my boho shirt dress to Rory’s party, and for the most part I did feel confident about the look. The weather was all over the place that day—it started out hot and humid and then later was very overcast and cool—it was the perfect outfit. I did get compliments, and it made me acknowledge that it’s okay to have insecurities about my legs and still wear things that show them off anyway.

I’ve been living with my spring capsule since the beginning of the month, and it hasn’t really changed too much in structure, but it has grown a bit. I started off with less and realized that I was pulling quite a few items from storage because of weather issues, activities, and for practicality. I think we are experiencing a true spring in northern California, and to be honest, I find it a little jarring after so many years of drought.

I really like using the Unfancy capsule wardrobe planning worksheet because it reminds me to plan my wardrobe with specific events in mind. So far I’ve celebrated Rory’s birthday, Easter, had a girls only wine tasting trip to Healdsburg, and gone on a day trip to Yosemite. In May we have Mother’s Day, my husband’s birthday, and mine. I really need my wardrobe to do a lot.

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I Have Nothing to Wear vs. Minimalism

I have been struggling with the worry about my clothes again. I have lots to choose from, and yet I feel like I just can’t re-wear certain things. I suspect this is just a problematic mind frame in need of shift and not an actual problem with my closet. It’s the battle between the I Have Nothing to Wear Syndrome versus Maintaining My Capsule Wardrobe.

I’ll break it all down for you. Continue reading I Have Nothing to Wear vs. Minimalism

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You Are Here

Life has been moving quickly. We’ve been doing the house hunt for over two months, and we finally have an accepted contract!

The whole process has been nothing but a series of ups and downs. There is nothing like the high of finding a house that could be your home if only you can get it.  There’s also nothing like the low of making a solid offer and finding out yours hasn’t been selected. It’s easy to get discouraged, but along the way there were also little blips of excitement. We were back-up offers on two houses, and both houses were slated to fall out of escrow. We crossed our fingers and prayed. The first time it didn’t pan out, but the second time it did.

I was reveling this morning about how far we’ve come, and I got so overwhelmed. My heart started pounding and my vision started to narrow. I thought, did I drink to much coffee? And maybe I had, but I knew that what I was feeling was anxiety. When I’m anxious I can’t think straight. I might have a list of ten things to do, but I can’t figure out how to prioritize them and I lack the motivation to start. When I’m anxious I want to escape, but I don’t have anywhere to go for privacy in this (currently three generational) house. When I’m anxious I feel lost, and I start to question all of my life decisions.

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