Well, we’ve had quite the summer. It was longer than usual — the kids got out earlier and don’t go back until Tuesday — yet the summer seemed to fly by. I always have ideas (SO many ideas OMG) of what summer should be…but fast is not one of them. In fact, my ideal summer looks very much like the above picture: lazy days on the beach, happy hours that stretch well into the evening, a boat ride, sitting on the dock (friends and family all bathed in golden light, of course), lots of laughter and ease.
Most of all, my ideal summer is easy.
I struggle with Easy.
We did have those moments of course, the moments with the golden light and the dock-sitting and the happy hours stretching well into the evening. But I felt like I had to fight for them. Mike and I are just so freaking busy (and the Anni Sale in July just about kills me), and neither of us are great at turning things off, scaling back.
And then I remember that Raines is eleven, which means that I have only seven summers left with him at home.
Sometimes I like to torture myself and plan out those seven summers. We take trips every year — where should we go? This boy who has been my partner in crime for the last decade, this boy who SEES me with those old eyes of his, this boy who whispers, “I can’t wait to take you to Paris, Mom”…where do I take him if I have only seven choices left?
But that thought spiral misses the point. I KNOW.
I know that it’s not the planning and the whizzing around or even the doing that’s important. The important part is the connection, the enjoyment of the moment. And for that, the only thing I really need…is space.
I need space in my schedule to not be racing to the next thing (even if the next thing is fun), and space in my head. My head is a buzzy, spinning place most of the time — I am exhausting (just ask Linzi). But I need to find a way to make my everyday life feel more like those summer photos in my head.
This is one of the reasons that travel, for me, is basically like religion. It’s often the only time I can truly focus on the moments. I think part of why this works is because there’s less to focus on: schedules, commitments, people, even stuff. It clears away some of the clutter in my head. And I think, subconsciously, I know it’s a temporary state.
But how do you pull this into real life?
I recently came across a quote by a teacher. She said that it’s important that kids are not over-scheduled, but her rationale was one I hadn’t considered. She said that within the act of scaling back lies a very important lesson: we can’t do it all. We can’t succeed at everything (and it’s pretty miserable to try).
She’s right. And I think her comment probably applies just as much to Mike and I as it does to our kids.
Truthfully, as much as I feel the need to slow things down, to create that space I crave…I’m not sure where to start. Between the kids, our jobs, and working out (something I refuse to give up)…how does one create that space? If this was GOOP, I’d probably start talking about meditation at this point but I am not GP and I DON’T. MEDITATE.
My parents achieved space (as best they could) by sticking to a pretty meticulous schedule. Dear god they loved those schedules. And order — the house was always in order! I’ve resisted that my whole life but now I wonder if they were onto something.
So tell me: do you use order and schedules as a way of keeping the crazy at bay? And does it actually work? Or do you find yourself frustrated because the schedule creates more problems and stress? I’d love to know if any of you have figured out this whole Slow Down, Get Head Space, Enjoy the Moment kind of thing.
But if you tell me to meditate I will FREAK OUT.
That last one, probably. I keep staring longingly at two pairs of cowboy boots. Why?? WHY??? Am I craving ranch life? Do I subconsciously want to move back to Colorado? Do I picture myself, beer in hand, in daisy dukes and cowboy boots and messy hair and smudged eyeliner all carefree and easygoing? Feel free to join in my delusions: Boot one here, boot two here.
What I actually bought on labor day sale. We always get this question, but I’m usually making the final decisions at 11:58PM the last day of the sale. No more!! I have shopped at Frame (extra 25% off sale) and bought this oversized tank in both black and white (Frame does perfectly cut, interesting basics better than anyone)…these high-rise white denim flares (all I want in September is to wear white flares with a white tank, clogs and a basket bag)…and these insanely cool paint-splattered kick bootcuts. Other than the cowboy boots, I think I’m done shopping.
Labor Day Sales: Let’s be picky. The sales are shockingly good right now. I think most of us (on TME) ended up a bit surprised. So. To help weed through the vast amount of sale merchandise…our highly-edited team picks can all be found in our Weekly Sales Report, Labor Day edition. (I’ll be adding mine, soon.) But since we’re also about cost-per-wear and being REALLY PICKY while shopping (this should be especially true during crazy sales — if you wouldn’t pay full price for something then THINK TWICE before buying it on sale)…we’re also covering a few sales based on our most-worn pieces from the summer. Mine are here, Scotti’s are here, and Jess’ are here. And if you missed Linzi’s most-worn pieces article, I suspect many of hers are now on sale, too.
Speaking of being picky…we’ve rounded up 20 pieces worth having. We’re coming out with a guide — SOON — called 20 Pieces To Wear Year-Round. In this guide, we’re listing our favorite 20 pieces that can actually be worn year-round. We strived for current, fresh pieces (it won’t be filled with boring basics like white tee, black blazers, or white button-downs because OBVIOUS #snore), instead we focused on pieces you’ll be excited to wear. The idea is that as we enter this shopping season (oh hey, Fall) we can focus our budgets and energies on pieces that go the distance (and I suspect you already have many of them in your closet). So look forward to some fun styling suggestions. The catch? This guide will only be available to newsletter subscribers. We LOVE our subscribers — it helps reduce our dependance on Facebook and other social media outlets — and we’d love for you to join us. We typically only send emails once per day, and we never share our subscriber emails with anyone. You can subscribe to our newsletter, here.
Need some easy weeknight dinner options? Me too. We threw a (desperate) plea up on Instagram the other day and Our Readers Responded. You guys are amazing. You can see everybody’s responses to our IG post here (@themomedit), and if you haven’t already played along, we’d love to hear your weeknight dinner ideas, too. I’ve saved this post and will be referring back to it…OFTEN.
Two Instagram accounts making me cry. One is artist Ugur Gallenkus (@ugurgallen) who creates thought-provoking images by putting together two photos in the most heartbreaking of ways. One half of the image is a Western kid, living their life (skiing, walking to school, drawing a picture)…and the other half of the photo is a child in Afghanistan amongst bombed-out rubble. Or a child in a hospital in Aleppo. But he makes the photos seamless, so the viewer is left with an overwhelming sense of connection. Powerful and heartbreaking. (This, this and this, for example.)
The other is poet @amyturnsharp.
“my son watches me
open my notebook at
a cafe in the Bowery
and asks me what
makes me stop everything
and write what makes
me go serious
you i say
Happy weekend, everyone.