navigating the closet

I’ve made a discovery.

Background: I used to work out every day, sometimes more than once a day. I had a gym at work where I was allowed to take an hour for lunch (because I was a consistent top performer for years in a row) and go down to the gym for classes. The guys at that gym are fantastic people and taught great classes. Then, ALMIGHTY METRICS, LORD OF PRODUCTIVITY rained fire and death on our heads, killing my long lunch in pursuit of more money for the company. The installed DPA on every desktop – Desktop Process Analytics. What’s that, you ask? Why, it’s a sneaky little program that sees and registers every window you have open and for how long, as well as every keystroke and mouse click. It tracks when your desktop is active, when idle, and when locked, and for how long, and mouse movements don’t count after a couple of seconds so you can’t just sit there twiddling your mouse.

Even if there’s no work to do, if you’re not looking busy and productive based on DPA, you could still get in trouble. Even if there’s no work. Did I say that?

No, Big Brother isn’t watching you at all.

Anyway. Back to my story. So I used to work out. Then I got divorced, moved, got a boyfriend, moved again, got a new job in a new office where they have a gym but it kind of sucks, and after this past round of holidays, I’m about 20 lbs over the weight where I’m comfortable. Normally a number on the scale doesn’t bother me, but when my clothes start not to fit, THAT’S a problem. I’ve made the decision to get myself back in gear, but it took time to gain these pounds and it’ll take time to lose them, so in the meantime I have to figure out how to look put together without spending a fortune on a temporary fat girl* wardrobe.

So this morning, navigating the closet, I tried to find something that I’d look okay in for work. I settled on wide-leg khakis and a navy blue sweater with white polka dots. As I stood in front of the mirror, I thought – ugh, this sweater would really go better with jeans, but I can’t wear jeans to work. And then I looked some more, and realized – dude. You know you can wash that sweater and wear it again right?

I seem to have a problem with the “perfect outfit.” Like if I put something on and I think it would look better with something else, I take it off and put it away – but then I don’t wear it with the something else because by that point my mood has shifted and I’m on to different outfits. I think a lot of my closet gets ignored because of that. I save clothes for a special occasion. And I’m not talking dresses and fancy shoes, I’m talking sweaters and t-shirts and pairs of pants here. I used to do the same thing with food. I wouldn’t want to eat it right away because then there would be no more, so I’d save it. For a special occasion. For the perfect moment. Until it went bad and I had to throw it out.

And I’m starting to realize – “special occasion” my ass. Getting out of bed every day to write a piece of a novel, shower, drive a car to work, come home, run errands, cook, read, dance, sing, play with my pets, spend time with my boyfriend and with my family – to have all these things and be able to do them without assistance every day – THAT’S a goddamn special occasion. Gotta keep reminding myself of that.

I will say that I organized my wardrobe last night, and at least that feels really good. Also, bonus, by rearranging the OrganizeIt (or whatever they are) modular shelves in there (I got the long ones for shoes and the 3-shelf ones for sweaters and pajamas), I eliminated the places the cat used to climb into. She seems confused. I’m just glad I won’t find any more cat hair on clean clothes hanging in my closet.

So, baby steps. Organizing always makes me feel better, so the closet is a good start. For today, I’m wearing the polka dot sweater, and trying to remind myself to be a little more grateful, and a little more patient. Day by day, with patience and willpower, I’ll get to where I want to be.

*I know that at 5’6″ and 146 lbs I’m not truly fat. I’m just heavier than where I’m comfortable, and who doesn’t feel fat when their jeans make a muffin top that didn’t used to be there? Come on.

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