Falling into Fall - My Weekly Check-in

Tomorrow, whether we are ready for it or not, the Autumn season officially arrives! I hate to see the summer end, but I do love almost everything about the Fall season. I enjoy the hues of gold and red that appear as mother nature paints the landscape. The amber and russet foliage provides a sense of comfort to me like a soft blanket around my world. Each year, I am once again surprised how eager and ready I am to shed my flip flops and put on a cozy sweater and light scarf. I especially appreciate the return of pumpkin spice - there’s pumpkin spice cereals (I love the frosted mini wheats), pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin candles…everything pumpkin! As I drive around the neighborhood, I spot all the houses adorned with painted pumpkins, colorful mums, cornstalks, and scarecrows. Also, all my favorite TV shows return for their new seasons (This Is Us fans, you know how excited we are!). My birthday is even in the Fall! In fact, the only thing I don’t like about Autumn is that WINTER is coming next!

My Fall clothing capsule is all ready to go. I tried wearing a few outfits from it this past week, but it was still pretty warm here and I couldn’t layer any cardigans yet. I did decide to add a pair of black open toe booties and also a burgundy cardigan to the capsule. Both items are from my existing closet, and I just felt they would be useful to use, and complimented the other pieces well. I’d love to say that I haven’t had any shopping urges since putting together the capsule, but that wouldn’t be honest. Thoughts of purchasing a few “better pieces” for the capsule (such as a nicer burgundy bag, new long sleeved t-shirts, and a shorter beige cardigan) have been gathering in my head. The urge has been simmering, but I have not given in. I’ve used my “urge strikes” app which has helped (at least to force me to pause). Each time, the app reminds me to weigh my negative and positive consequences. The negative consequences (of spending money that I don’t have right now) far outweigh the positive (something new that I don’t truly need). So far so good, but still I wonder,

“Can a week go by when I don’t have an urge to shop?”

Each day there seems to always be something new I see (or think of) that I now want, and must fight the urge to purchase. A grey suede boot, a navy faux fur coat, a black tote bag…always something and something and then something more. Even though I haven’t purchased any of these new wishes, I feel discouraged that my mind is never satisfied and certainly never free from shopping thoughts! I’d like to replace these shopping thoughts with more purposeful ones, but I’m not sure how to do this. I have a few non-shopping interests that I am thinking of pursuing and hopefully this may occupy more of my brain space.

I like to say that all the “around the house” projects I need to accomplish would occupy my brain and my time, but I haven’t yet been very productive with these tasks! This of course makes me feel down on myself. After all, if I can find the time to browse Nordstroms, then why haven’t I found the time to clean out the pantry? I also need to start planning my annual Halloween kid’s party! This will be the fourth year I am throwing a Halloween party for my youngest son. Each year I feel the need to outdo the previous year, and now the self-imposed pressure is certainly on. I enjoy being creative for the kids and they look so forward to it! If we are going to go deep here, I also think when I throw these great parties my inner child is still searching for the esteem of others. I love that the kids (and parents) have a great time and form lifelong memories. I'd like to believe that when they are adults, they will reminisce happily of their childhood days at my house! If any of you have unique Halloween party ideas and games for fourth grade boys, please, please send them my way!

As you may recall, before I left for my trip last weekend, I was very, very, very stressed about what to pack. So I did what came naturally for me…I overpacked….and then I stressed about overpacking! I’m sure you are not surprised to hear that all that stressing was for naught and I wore about two thirds of what I packed (not a shocker). Personally, I don’t think that not wearing only one third is too bad, considering I didn’t have a clear cut itinerary. If I had to do it all again, I would have ignored my husband and just upgraded to the bigger sized suitcase to begin with!

At one point during my trip, we were socializing with a few couples and somehow the conversation turned to shopping in France. The other two couples began discussing their large shopping excursions overseas and the customs process. They wouldn’t have known that the closest thing I’ve ever had to a European shopping binge was at Walt Disney’s EPCOT World Showcase gift shops. I simply listened to the couples talk, laughing and nodding when appropriate. But the truth is, I felt like I didn’t belong. I also felt jealous and deprived. I was jealous that I couldn’t just go and shop freely like these women did. When I shop, I must be mindful…careful….plan…think…pause. I have to worry about going over my budget, worry about disappointing my husband. I just wanted to go shopping in Paris, buy a lot of beautiful clothes, shoes and a Hermes bag…and then laugh about it too! After feeling sorry for myself for a bit, I realized I was acting like a spoiled child. I was forgetting about all the wonderful things I DO HAVE, and the best of what I have in my life are the things that money can’t buy.

I have a wonderful husband who is my best friend and the definition of soulmate. I have four terrific kids that make me proud everyday. I have true friends who I not only can laugh with, but who I trust and rely on. Sure, I also have many nice material things, but when you really start to count your blessings, you don’t include how many Jimmy Choos you might own. When I pray at night and thank God for the day given, I do not say “Thanks for the new Lous Vuitton”. No, I thank God for all the things in my life that did not come from money. Because, that is what truly fuels our soul and our happiness.

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