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Posts from the ‘Moving’ Category

Transitioning to the Land of Less

My closet has recently undergone a transition. In fact, it’s ongoing.

This is not just about changing from Summer to Winter, white linens to camel corduroy. This is about the year-long flux my closet has been in, ever since deciding to move to the city and to a life with less stuff.

Now, by normal standards (certainly by Steve’s standards…!), I have a lot of clothes. And shoes. And decorative accessories, and whatnots. I probably always will. But I have a lot less than I used to.

It’s not just about moving from a three-story suburban house with endless storage to a pied a terre less than half that size. It’s not about my weight (for once!). A lot of it is about realizing that the kind of life  we want requires less stuff and is indeed made easier–facilitated by, even–having less stuff.

We want smaller space, a central location, less time at home, more “better” stuff and less “meh” stuff, and the ease to pick it all up and move if we want to. Having one hundred and twenty five pairs of shoes makes that hard. Having a mere sixty or seventy? Do-able.

Being in a city has changed things, too. No car? No elaborate wardrobe, just-so hair, sky high heels, long sweeping coat, massive purse. Relying on–and preferring–the Metro, bus, and good ole’ walking has resulted in a necessary shift to classic, clean, and interesting outfits, simple hair that can be fixed once you arrive, practical stylish outerwear (…inevitable rain), a larger tote bag into which a small crossbody purse lives (along with my lunch), and commuter shoes. Hideous commuter shoes. But still. I am now one of those people who I never understood before: one of those people with like four pairs of shoes in her office.

No longer needing a suit one-two times a week, I’m now happily in the land of dresses and separates. So the eighteen suits I moved down here, not knowing where I’d be working or what I’d need to wear, have slowly been culled to ten. And they’ll probably get whittled to five or seven.

I was never, ever a sweats person, and I still am not! But I am even less so now. Running tights/leggings are my go-to lounge around pants, paired with a stylish tee or tunic or oversized but nice sweater. If I need to run up the hill for milk or grab an Uber to Hala’s in the rain for a night of tv and wine, that’s the default. I own maybe two or three pairs of jeans right now, and I’ll probably lose one of those because I don’t need a thousand options: I need one or two. Even my PJs haven’t been spared…I mean seriously, who needs all these things in the guise of options?! I’m learning…not me.

I’m not now living off of a capsule wardrobe or a monochromatic minimalist wardrobe, and I certainly haven’t been on any sort of ridiculous shopping bans. No. I’ve been increasing my stash in some areas. Jewelry and scarves, for example, have become an inexpensive, small, but powerful way to transform the reduced wardrobe, so naturally I’ve been adding there. It helps when your best friend sells excellent jewelry… 😉 I’m working on upping my blazer game, too, now that the reliance on suits has decreased. Flats and commuter shoes–preferably, non-hideous–are always on my radar. I’ve also amassed an appropriately large array of raingear, too.

This mindset has been hard to keep to, honestly, this time of year. Everything is on sale, it seems. And I find myself saying “Self, that’s a great deal! You should buy it!”

But I haven’t, which is huge. Aside from a few pencil skirts to replace some dated ones, I’m over shopping for myself right now.

In this season of “more is more,” I’m wanting less and less, and living with what I have. Living with it, yes, but also loving the process.

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On Being an Ex-Pat

Home is where your heart is, right?
Or, at the very least, your toothbrush and some spare underwear?
Home for me is now DC–Maryland, actually, but let’s not dwell on that–but first it was Rhode Island. New England.

New England will always be my first home, and never more than during football season. This is the first season living outside of Patriots Nation, and it’s gonna be weird.

Our football tradition started in 2003, I believe, when we set up a TV, a beer fridge, and the grill in my dad’s garage and dubbed it “The Lodge.” Every Patriots game since, we gather in The Lodge and watch. We watched former golden child Drew Bledsoe peter out with the Bills, and Tom Brady soar ever upward. We saw losses–mostly wins–and we never once saw Belichick’s face change. Ok, maybe he smiled once. I fell in love with Vince Wilfork, and I almost cried when he was carted off, injured, last season. We watched Gronkowski get snapped in half and still be amazing. We watch during blizzards, we watch the day after weddings (…ours, the neighbor’s), we watch.

Don’t get the wrong idea, here: I am still struggling to learn the actual sport. But make no mistake: I have the “how to be a fan” part down.

So this year, living outside of Patriots Nation, with no cable and no access to the games (damn you, NFL!), we need to figure out how to keep our fandom up. We could find a Patriots bar, sure. But the likelihood of it being convenient is slim. We listened to last night’s pre-season game against the Washington Redskins (…can I still say that?!) on the radio, but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t The Lodge, there were no brats, there was no profuse apology to me after someone screams obscenities (because I’m a lady, I guess?). No one peed outside behind the shed, and there were no chipmunks scurrying around. It wasn’t home in that sense.

When we moved to DC, I asked Steve what he’d miss the most. His answer? Obvious. The Lodge. It can’t come visit us, it doesn’t call or write, it’s not like a person. It is unique to one place and space and time and vibe. So this season, yes, we’ll miss the home that came with The Lodge, and the people, and we’ll try to recreate it, but we’ll fail. We’ll find a new way.

Today, to commemorate the beginning of football season and the end of our summer, my office is having a Jersey Day, ie a team spirit day. So, naturally, I show my team spirit (…the night after we lose to the home team/my boss’s team, whoops!).

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My Vince Wilfork jersey/tee, my new Patriots scarf, some white jeans (Target), and my Kate Spade red patent flats. I’m feeling particularly proud of my team today, even if we lost, because they are mine. I’m thrilled that my man VW is BACK and looking great.

And so, I embark on my new journey as an expat from Patriots Nation. Let’s see how this goes…!

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And Then I Moved….Again…!

Except this time, I didn’t move, my blog did. AndThenBlog.com is now a self-hosted site. You shouldn’t notice too many changes, aside from the potential for the occasional ad here and there, but I’m sure thrilled!

Let the fun begin continue.