Monday, September 24, 2012

Mom Moments, or Packing for New York

My eldest son turns 14 today.  I am overwhelmed.  I feel like I am running out of time with him.  My favorite book about caring for children, The Baby Whisperer, which I have mentioned before, describes the day with a newborn this way:  E - eat, A - activity, S- sleep, Y - you.  The Y is when you take time for You, doing whatever it is to help yourself stay rejuvenated and energized to get ready for the next EAS.  The activity she suggested back in the day may only consist of a diaper change or a lullaby. Those sleep-pajamas-all-day days are long gone.  I used to sleep or make tea or watch tv or refinish furniture (Yes, really) during my Y time.  Between all of our kids, the household still functions on those basic steps.  Eat, activity, sleep, school, sports.  But if we do sit down to relax for a Y minute, inevitably someone realizes that their uniform isn't clean, or they have a spelling test tomorrow, or there is an urgent need for making cupcakes, or something else that forces the bubble to break and we are set in motion again.  Usually it requires some work, however small, on my part, and I am distracted from the hypnotic state of laying on the couch.  I am on the job.  So when JJ calls to me, I have to force myself to look up from what I'm doing to make eye contact with him, (and I now have to gaze UP to see his eyes) because before I know it he is on to his next thing, too.  At this point I think the Y should stand for "You will never have this MOMent again." 

So I was hoping today, with all the kids in school, to take a minute with an old book I found while readying for the Yard Sale (another major project I probably shouldn't take on right now.) It is called Simple Abundance and a good friend gave it to me back when I was teaching 15 years ago.  I was hoping to turn to a page about getting You ready.  I seemed to remember that the author, Sarah Ban Breathnach, spent all of September talking about back to school and back to school supplies and clearing out and loading up for the winter, or for autumn.   I thought I would enjoy a refresher on cleaning the closets, hosting a yard sale, and making things new for Yourself.  But that's not what I found.  It's about a new career, which kind of really threw me into a tailspin.  The last thing I need right now is to start thinking about that.  I just need to get my closet cleaned out.  So I carefully put the book back on its shelf.  But if you're up for it, I encourage you to check out the website.  It seems she has some great new motivational stuff out there. 

Back to the closet.  I know that with our busy lives I'm going to need to keep my clothes straight.  I need to have things in order even if I don't have very much mom time.  Here is what I did:
This was the before.

I cleared it out and GLUED, with a simple glue stick, this drawer liner paper on the walls as a fun border.  (Honestly this takes about ten minutes and transforms your life!  My whole closet smells like lavender now and it's fun to open the door!)

I stacked a few old boxes, you could go out and get cute coordinating baskets too, and this old picture on top of the dresser.   (I have to tell you that this picture was in W magazine in the summer of 1990.  It was my dream - the mom and kids have just come off the beach and the boys are sitting on the little step, the younger one obviously getting talked to - I think of my Matt everytime I see it.  It was one of those Cotton - The Fabric of Our Lives ads!  It's probably time for it to go to the yard sale, but I can't.)  I love this dresser in my closet for scarves, negligees, and even flip flops that often get lost.

Then hung the clothes I think I will still wear...

Sorted the bags on top...

Stuck on these fun mirrors...
(These are from a friend, and I can't find them on line.  I have to ask where she got them!)

And my husband hung these matching mirrors on our closet doors. 

I wish I had the before picture to show you what a transformation this made.
I'm far from done.  I still have to bring down fall clothes and we are planning to go shopping for fall on our day off this week.  I have to work harder at purging.  Jamie Lee Curtis suggests that to decide what to keep in your closet, you should pretend you are packing for New York for two weeks in the fall.  Put all those clothes on the bed, give away everything else, and reload your closet with the clothes you packed.  I keep this in mind, but haven't really done it yet.  Then a friend gave me this great wool suit that I love and want to keep, but I have to think if I would take it to New York.   Hmmm.  What would I wear in New York?  It's fun once you start fantasizing.  JJ has his fantasy football - we need a fantasy football for moms. It will be called Fantasy New York.  Where would we go?  What would we do?  Where would we eat?  Who would watch the kids?   Maybe I'll have to actually go for some Y time after all!   

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