As the New Year turned for 2014, I wrote a post on what felt important to me—more than a list of resolutions, it designated what mattered to me as we entered 2014.
As the second half of the year swept in, I’ve wondered how much that list has guided my actions and choices. Some of them feel strongly influential even now, but others have been bulldozed over by unforeseen transformations in private and business life.
This is the first of two more-meditative posts. I’m going through a roller-coaster of transformation right now professionally. Day to day and month to month, I’m being pushed to grow, expand, and otherwise transform. This is exciting, as well as unsettling. So I find myself wanting to look back to see what, if all or any, apply. That’s the task for today.
We really do change, and often a lot more quickly than one-year cycles foster.
Let’s see. What did I write all those months ago?
Sleep is important to me. Hallelujah. I’ve done better in this area in 2014. Or, let’s rephrase: I’ve learned how to be less sleepy. I often have double the coffee plus green tea. I try once a week to really sleep, either going to bed early or sleeping “until I want to get up,” as I tell MP. When I do this, it throws off my whole day, but it also feels like vacation, so that’s nice. Upshot: To sleep a full night feels like a vacation. Sigh.
Exercise is more important to me. This I’ve been good about. Now that I’m heading to Central Park most mornings (this is why sleep doesn’t fully happen), I do about 7-8 miles of fast walking. Door to door, we’re talking about some time. I haven’t kept up with yoga or weights, and my ideal working out time would be 3 hours every day so to include them. That would make me happy. That would bring me peace. Every single body is different (as is the maniacal release of frustration/angst/creative stewing/etc.), but as I grow older and more sedentary, this time just keeps me connected to me. Funny enough, this means most of my time out in the city is spent in exercise gear and sneakers. Go figure.
Soft skin and hair are important to me. I’ve had one hell of a spring and summer on this front, but at least I’ve been dealing with it. After long, long months of work with my dermatologist, here’s the thing: I have extremely sensitive skin set off by anything anymore. Through the patch test, we discovered a set of allergies, but one that likely don’t have much to do with what’s going on (gold sodium thiosulfate—which in addition to comprising gold jewelry, also comprises a lot of photographic chemicals I work with). My face isn’t the whole problem; I buy tubes of hydrocortisone for other parts of my body. He’s decided I’m the most extreme outlier of sensitivity that he’s seen in decades of practice and cosmetic industry research. I don’t wear any makeup at all (I break this for networking, etc.), I wash with only water, and baking soda is my best friend (shampoo, toothpaste). All this will likely pass (my pores need a break to stop reacting to everything). Guess what? My skin and hair are soft now. Removing silicones was a good thing.
Footwear is important me. Oh happiness! I love my summer shoes now. Winter is easy—boots are fab. But for summer, I’m in love with cheap espadrilles and the reasonably priced Freed’s of London ballet flats. I just bought my second and third pair of their ballerinas (pink and black). I now walk without worry. Thick padding of moleskin helps. Let me invent a new hashtag: #mostdelicatefeetonearth
Beautiful separates are important to a balanced wardrobe. Done. I no longer have a uniform; I open the wardrobe and play. Yes, this feels incredible—a wholly new approach to dressing that’s simply fun. Mixing and matching also makes it easier to dress for a range of events and activities in the city, no matter the weather, the compatriots, or the purpose.
My task now for the rest of 2014 is to strategize the fullest use possible of all these pieces. How easy it is to rely on favorite combinations… like those H&M tussar silk pants with whatever white shirt is still clean…
Beautiful foundational garments and lingerie are important to me. You have no idea—I now need two extra sets of boobs so I can use it all. I am set. The French are right—starting off the day by choosing which beautiful pair of undergarments to slip into changes how you view and experience your body.
Playing with and celebrating the beautiful handbags, jewelry, and silks already in the cupboards is important to me. That sounds good, but let’s look more closely at that. I wrote: 2013 was a grandly luxurious year in the accessories department. I can slow down. I can savor. For a while, this played out truthfully. And even now, after a grand expansion of everyday bags and crystal jewelry (my Baccarat and Lalique SA is the little devil on my shoulder), this is true. I play, enjoy, and as far as bags go, have a hard time seeing any “holes.”
That said, the indulgences keep piling up, literally.
List-making is important to me. For example: The Enough List.
Cue roaring laughter. Let me revise: The Enough List for now. I’ve been good at acquiring no new dresses. Recently I said no new clothes until I see Uniqlo’s collaboration with Inès for fall, and I stayed with that until yesterday in the West Village when it appeared: a beautiful navy mid-length skirt with perfectly tailored high waist, classic in proportions but with fresh detailing. The sales associates even convinced me to order up a similar style skirt in black with white stripes down the side. To be fair, these were two pieces I was studiously looking for and despaired to find.
But the second half of 2014 is going to be All About The Scarf. I’ve had a running head start this past month, and Hermès FW 2014-2015 is going to crush any last resistance whimpering, Enough…savor... To that end, I’ve happily made a friend at Bergdorf’s, as I worry about missing out at Hermès proper. This Hermès season is the best since 2008, IMHO.
Discipline is important to me. Discipline has been a good thing to think about, and it might have organized my year so far more than anything else. I’ve been disciplining my body through both diet and exercise—nothing restrictive, just far more fruits and veggies, and oatmeal has become my favorite breakfast dish. Also, I’ve been disciplining my mind and general work ethic by accepting not only more work than ever before but also studying and strategizing growth into new service sectors. But more on that in the second of these posts…
So what about new observations? What’s important now that didn’t command my attention in January?
This is surprising to me. My business mentoring, developing, and launching authors is important to me. For the past few years, I’ve been announcing as a resolution: I’ll work less. This never, ever happens, so I didn’t even say it aloud this year. Eleven years ago, I started my work and, then, business as a way to be creative and make money while pursuing the much poorer work of being an artist. I didn’t realize I’d started a career. This summer, I embraced it. My business is one of the absolute most important things in my life. It is not only a way to be financially strong or to work creatively with imaginative people (both of which are incredible on their own) but also a way to push myself creatively, artistically, and professionally. I’m developing new services for authors, networking with professional women, locating mentors, and attending workshops to push skills.
What about you? Have you had an opportunity lately to reflect on your 2014 plans and reflections? Has life or serendipity been pulling you onto other paths?
What’s important to you right now?