Mindfully Numb

It was impossible to be in a bad mood yesterday if you lived in the NYC vicinity.  After a week of vortex talk, we had a glorious springlike day.  Temps in the fifties, sunlight galore, nary a winter hat or glove in sight. I practically skipped down the street. All was right with the world.

But you see, the past five weeks have not been like that for me.  I tend to get a tinge of seasonal affective disorder, or as I call it, the winter blues.  I start January on a high, and them I realize that there are ten weeks of crappy weather ahead. I get very into my head.  As this year I was practicing mindfulness, I really hit a loggerhead. How could I be mindful if I was feeling so bleh?

Being the overcompensater that I am, I immediately went into closet curation mode.  This was a fairly large project that would encompass my mind and my body- I had to think about what I wanted to do, and physically move things around. I accomplished my task of not brooding, but I also wasn’t facing my reality.  That’s the problem with overcompensating- you start to micromanage one area and you let everything else go.

I was not a great blog friend- I wasn’t reading as many of them as normal. I started Instagram with a bang and then quickly fizzled because I was thinking what’s the point.  My attitude was lousy, and if you have a lousy attitude you will not accomplish anything.  Attitude is everything. I was being wishy washy about many things that I love.

Of course, my daughter getting deferred at her first two colleges didn’t help much.  I was playing a blame game thinking that I could have done more to help my daughter get into school.  Rationally I know this line of thinking was wrong, but in the moment it seemed right.

And last week I decided I needed to snap out of it.  I think accomplishing my closet task really helped because I felt that I had done something: I had set a goal to reduce my wardrobe to a manageable number and I did it.  Victory, no matter how small or trite, is a great motivator.

I am realizing that mindful doesn’t mean not thinking or avoiding, it means clearing the cobwebs out so that you can think more logically and thoughtfully. It means acting with intention, focusing on what is happening around you at that moment.  Figuring out how to accomplish that is proving the hard part.

What I have started doing is REALLY dumping all my thoughts in my little notebook- and I mean everything.  I wrote down “empty dishwasher” the other day, because even though I know this is a rote activity, it was on an endless loop in my head- empty dish, empty dish, empty dish, and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else because I was so bogged down.  So my first suggestion to mindfulness is grab a notepad and write everything that is on your mind in that notebook. You can review it later and make appropriate actions. Like emptying the dishwasher.

Becoming more mindful of my actions is going to be a process, but I can foresee the benefits of paying attention and slowing down. I know I’ll do a little better each day.

(FYI- I have committed myself to some 365photochallenge, so Lawakinguponthewrongsideof50- Instagram me!!! I need a little accountability!)

 

Advertisements

Sloooooow Dowwwwwwn

My mantra this is year is simplicity and mindfulness.  I have been actively trying to reduce the amount of “things” in my life (both physical and metaphorical), and to be more aware of the moment.  As I’m on this path, I’ve come to realize how much I rush things- how quick is my main objective. I want to work on this behavior pattern.

Living in a city, especially New York, leads itself to doing everything quickly.  Ask any NYer what their tourist pet peeve is and they will tell you “slow walkers”. We are constantly in a rush. Why are we always in a rush?

  1. Always late?
  2. Tend to squeeze too many things in?
  3. Unrealistic mass transit/traffic expectations?
  4.  Think we are more important because we have some place to be?
  5. Impatience?
  6. Attitude?
  7. Arrogance?

Starting with these possible reasons, I began to wonder why I was constantly trying to rush through things.  Many times it is simply trying to get someplace fast.  Yesterday I had a nice brunch with my family (eggs and potato pancake at Ukranian Diner- my daughter had the most delicious pierogi’s) and then I wanted to catch a movie on the other side of town. Instead of strolling along on what was a gorgeous unseasonably warm winter day, I walked as fast as possible to get across town.  I didn’t stop to bask in the warm sunlight.  No window shopping on Eighth Street. No taking pictures at all the amazing street art.  No. It was a straight shot to Sixth Avenue and turn left in record time, because I wanted to see that movie at that time…I set it up that I had to rush from one place to another.

Why?

Because this behavior is ingrained: I have been doing things like this for so long I do not know how to behave otherwise. I take a point of pride in having done a certain amount of things in a certain amount of time (FYI- before I had a nice brunch with family I had worked out on elliptical, taken a body conditioning class, done two loads of laundry, took dog on walk, read a bunch of blogs, showered and dressed- and I had brunch at 1130- the movie was the “treat” because I accomplished much of the tasks I’d set out to do)

I rush because I feel I don’t deserve leisure time until a certain amount of things are done.  So I cram my list together and push through. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with this: I’m accomplishing what I need to do. But is this the best way to go about it?

I know much of this has to do with my Mom. My Mom is not a multi tasker.  She is a start one thing, finish, start another sort of person. At Christmas this year, which she insists on doing everything herself because control freak is one affectation we share, she had to make the salad to completion before she pre heated the stove.  Now, you all know it takes a few minutes for the stove to get to 375 degrees, so it would seem logical to set the oven on, them gather the salad ingredients (which was a head of prewashed lettuce, tomato’s and a can of black olives) throw them together, and as the salad is finished, the oven is ready to go.  But no. Salad had to be complete before the oven was on.

This type of behavior drives me crazy.  It is inefficient. And my Mother has a similar behavior pattern with all things, so she accomplished very few things.  We were the house on the block that never had Halloween candy to give out because she had to think about it- no reason to rush into a decision of milky ways vs snickers. We never did things on the weekend because she had to think about it carefully. As this drove me nuts my whole life I have tried to do exactly the opposite. The problem is 180 degrees away was too much: 150 degrees would be better.

I have to find the balance between barely getting anything done in a day, and trying to rush through everything without savoring the journey. Some days this is easy- other days it is not.

You know there will be a task list to try to correct this behavior….

 

Gratitude Saturday February 2

Reminder: If you have good things in your life, cherish them

  1. My Daughter was accepted into one of our fine State Universities.
  2. I will no longer have meltdowns cause I thought my daughter wasn’t going to college
  3. meltdowns- because after I exploded I felt better
  4. friends who listen or hug me after meltdowns
  5. scrambled eggs with cheese
  6. heat
  7. really ugly hats that keep me warm
  8. Darjeeling tea from Kusmi
  9. Supermarket a block away
  10. it’s going to get warmer soon
  11. my life is really quite nice- I take that for granted way too often- I have to stop taking things for granted

My Curated Closet…?

Here’s what I learned on my journey to wardrobe simplicity: I have a lot of clothes.  I have more than many, but honestly, I think I have less than most people.

I used to love shopping and clothes.  And while I still enjoy fashion and the actual act of getting dressed every day, I have come to hate shopping.  Last year I began using a shopping service (stitchfix- I get no compensation) and I really love it.  I can update my wardrobe by literally doing no work. The only thing I shop now are for gym clothes and basics and occasionally shoes- and I don’t do that more than once a season. I have been a member of the one in, one out rule for awhile- if I buy something new I must get rid of a wardrobe item. As you will see, I simply do not have the room to store things.

There are very few things that you can control in your life.  As a control freak I have difficulty with this.  But, I can control my wardrobe.  I can determine how much I need and how it should be stored.  Being able to do this gives me little tiny bit of peace of mind…

Now when it comes to the actual curating part, I realized that I wear the vast majority of my clothes for three seasons. (I tend to layer, so a sleeveless t shirt dress can be worn by itself with sandals in the summer, with a lightweight cardigan and booties in the spring, or with a denim jacket and knee high boots in fall) When I actually realized this I saw that it is just easier for me to have my entire wardrobe accessible the entire year (also- as it’s 14 degrees today, but supposed to reach 50 on Tuesday, it’s just practical) But these realizations have made me rethink my magic number of 30-40 items per season.  As the year progresses I’m going to tally numbers,(I haven’t really purged spring or summer yet) and I’m going to come up with a magic number for the entire year.  Right now, I’m thinking 100 items might be reasonable, but we’ll see.

I am also very aware of my lifestyle.  The clothes in my wardrobe reflect the life I lead right now- they are not the clothes I needed ten years ago, nor are they the clothes I might need in some parallel universe of my life. My friend had been married to a guy who was very involved in charities and they used to attend benefits quite often. She is no longer married to him, but still has at least 10 formal dresses that she hasn’t worn in years. I realize there is probably nostalgia, but there is also baggage.  I know another woman who buys all sorts of bohemian inspired clothes because she dreams of being a free spirit. Guess what? I see her in the same preppy clothing all the time- I’m going to bet the tags are still on these clothes. Also- beware sales. Seriously- there is nothing wrong with getting a bargain, but if you don’t love it you’re not going to wear it, so you’re not saving 30%, you’re wasting 70%.

This is how my things look now:20190201_091908449270893113687617.jpg20190201_0920224512058117241055497.jpg20190201_0921361651750471254633416.jpg

My next big goal will be how to store things better.  I have very limited closet storage, as you can see (I share a closet with my daughter) and I’m thinking there might be a better way.  Right now I have maybe items on the far left and the far right- and then the order is jackets, cardigans, vests, pants, dresses, long sleeve, short sleeve and sleeveless.

I am much happier with my folded clothing- this was the really ugly part.  I might invest in more containers to keep this separate and organized, but I’m thinking about it.

I’m not thrilled with jewelry organization because some of my necklaces are just too long for the necklace holder. Now that I have more storage room in my armoire I may figure out a way to store them in there.

So I have some organization goals, but I have a clear path to what I want to achieve.  This curated closet thing is going to work for me, because it’s what I need in my life.  But this doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.  There’s nothing wrong with owning things- I’m just choosing to simplify because stuff was starting to crush me.

But…  I do advocate going through your wardrobe once a year just to get rid of stuff.  If you don’t use it, ditch it. There are some fine charities that will make good use of your donations. You can also send things to a consignment shop or list them on a shopping site to resell.

So now we put an end to closet week.  Looking forward to hearing about your closets and clothes purging…

The Bare Necessities and Accessories

I decided to curate my wardrobe because I wanted to simplify my life. So far so good. Now that my wardrobe is pared down, I have been concentrating on creating outfits, or looks.  I’ve recently begun writing down the outfits that I feel really confident in  because if I’m in a time pinch I like having the ability to pull something out quickly but not look like I threw just anything on.  I hate the ambivalence of “Oh- what am I going to wear?” I don’t like the thought of pulling out a shirt that I love only to realize that I have no bottom that looks good with it. So here’s the rule- every piece of clothing you own should pair well with at least one other thing in your wardrobe.

I use a color palette for my clothes.  90% of my wardrobe is black, 5% grey, 5 % a mix of white, pink (varying shades), olive green and burgundy. There is never going to be a day in the winter where I’m not wearing something black. All my winter bags are black. Almost all of my winter shoes are black. I feel cool, chic and elegant in black, so it is what I use as my base. I’m going to suggest you have a base color.  It doesn’t have to be 90% of your wardrobe, but I would aim for 50%. It’s just simpler.

So how do I switch up my wardrobe? I admit, the formula is sort of like a uniform: Today I am going to write, then I am meeting up with a friend at a museum, then I am going to attempt to run errands, then I am meeting my husband for date night (this is a maybe because we’re supposed to go to a place with a winterized rooftop and as it’s a tad brisk in the northeast, I don’t know if they will be able to adequately heat it) But the point of giving you my itinerary is to say that I want to wear the same outfit all day- so I’m going with black slacks, grey long sleeve t shirt and burg/black/grey poncho sweater thing.  For day I’m wearing black sneakers, but I’m switching to booties for dinner. I will also switch from small earrings to larger ones, and switch wrist candy – oversized watch for day, silver cuff for night.

Now- we can start with the black slacks and grey t shirt, but I can switch up the look by adding a blazer, or a cardigan, or a scarf, or a bold necklace….see “wear” I’m going? Two basic pieces, a top and a bottom can turn into a variety of different looks and feels just by switching up what you pair with it. Sneaker, flats or heels? Chunky jewelry vs delicate? Big satchel or small clutch?

So maybe you don’t need a whole bunch of clothes.  Maybe you just need some pieces that you love, and a few accessories that you adore and define who you are….or who you want to be at that moment. And then you really don’t have to worry about what you’re going to wear ever again…

Here’s a primer on my winter accessories:

4 scarves (these are not my winter scarves, but jaunty little things I wear around my neck) that add flair

3 long necklaces (silver, grey beads and clear beads)

3 chokers (silver boho, grey stones, funky silver)

(I have a few “normal” length necklaces, but they don’t really mesh well with my winter clothes, so I rarely pull them out)

Earrings- I have 9 pairs of earrings, 3 simple studs and 6 varying sizes and styles ranging from funky to evening

Bracelets- I have really small wrists and this is a problem because many bracelets are just too large- I must stick to tight cuffs or ones with clasps.  I can’t wear bangles because they slide off. So I have  3 cuff bracelets, 2 leather wrap bracelets and two chain bracelets.

Watches- watches are my vice, though I admit that I never set the time on them- I just like the way they look.

Rings- other than my wedding rings I do not own any others.  My fingers are really small and wearing rings makes me look like I’m a child wearing adult jewelry.

FYI- none of my jewelry is “real” – it is all costume.  I don’t like spending a lot of money on jewelry- it’s not my thing. But every piece of costume that I have I love. They make me feel good and help me pull together my look.

Some of you are thinking that this sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. I have a much easier time getting dressed now than I did when I had twice as many clothes. I also feel more put together, which is making me feel more confident, which just makes me feel better.

I’ve been working on my style for a year, and on my closet for a few months.  It’s taken me a little bit of time to figure out the rhythm, but I’m finally getting in step. I know that this is not for everyone- judging by home shows, people still have a lot of clothes. But simplifying my wardrobe has been great for me. As with anything- it all comes down to what works for you.

With a little luck there will be pictures tomorrow…

 

 

The Magic Number (of clothes)

I have been purging clothing for a few weeks now and I feel I am down to a manageable number. Sort of.  I’m in sort of a refinement process- I have a few maybe’s and I probably still have more clothes than I need.

After reading about closet purges, minimalist closets and curating wardrobes I have come to the conclusion that the number of seasonal clothes one should have is somewhere between 30 and 40 items. But this does not mean you need 120 items in your wardrobe.  I live in a true four season environment (which I may regret tomorrow) so some pieces of my wardrobe are multi seasonal- for example I always have a black short sleeve t shirt accessible.

In this number I am not including:

  • winter coats
  • weather related shoes
  • athletic wear
  • accessories
  • pajamas
  • the gross clothes you tuck away when you need to paint or do heavy cleaning

So here it is-my winter wardrobe- and there will be some explanation in some cases:

  • heavy, oversized turtleneck sweater.  Now right off the bat I have an issue.  I love all of these sweaters (one is a cashmere I have owned for about twenty years) but I find that they are too heavy to wear because though they might be fine when walking somewhere, they are too hot to wear inside.  As they are turtlenecks they are not conducive to wearing something under them.  But I actually love all of them. I’m in a quandary.
  • 4 sweatshirts. Two are polar fleece and I love them because if we do a nature walk (like last weekend) they are perfect. But these are really more a fall item when I wear them instead of a jacket- truth be told they are not really a winter item.  One is my favorite medium weight writing top. The other is an all purpose zip up hoodie. I am confident with this number. I love and use all of these items.
  • 5 medium weight sweaters. These are the mainstay of my afternoon casual wardrobe. It’s probably one too many but I love them.
  • 3 cardigans- one long grey medium weight, burgundy that looks more like a blazer and heavier, and black grey and burgundy which is more like a poncho- also heavier. I must admit I have become obsessed with cardigans- they are perfect for me and my lifestyle. Much more versatile than a pullover sweater when it’s cold out
  • 3 long sleeve t shirts (two black and one grey) One of them is strictly a writing t shirt as it’s comfy.
  • 3 short sleeve t shirts (one grey graphic, one black, and one black velvet)
  • 2 long sleeve blouses (white with stripes and white with black stars)
  • 1 short sleeve blouse (metallic pink and dressy)
  • 1 black silk tank (also dressy)
  • 3 blazers (one structured, one knit moto style and a tapestry one that I’ve owned since college and I adore though when my college friends read this they are going to mock me)
  • 1 black jeans
  • 1 black slacks
  • 3 black leggings (one is dressier with faux leather patches and two are 5$ old navy specials)
  • 1 fleece sweatpants
  • 3 winter weight dresses (black, grey and black and grey)
  • 1 all purpose lbd for afternoon events
  • 1 all purpose lbd for evening events

Which puts me at 39 pieces.  Yikes.

  • 1 black suede sneakers
  • 2 knee high black boots (low heel and high heel)
  • 2 booties (black and grey animal print)
  • 1 furry lined boot
  • 1 black kitten heel pump

7 shoes

  • 2 black satchel bags- large and medium
  • 2 crossbody- one small for errands, one large for outdoor treks when I want to carry camera and such
  • 1 small suede shoulder bag for evening casual
  • 1 large black tote

6 bags

Bringing my grand total to 52 pieces.

So here’s the thing: how much smaller can I go?  Do I want to go smaller? (For the record, I also have a few maybe items still floating around that I did not take into account.  Guess what’s going in the donation pile?)

Now that I have this number I’m going to drill down and see if all of these items are really worth keeping.  That will depend on how many other seasons they can be worn in. Much of this list works for late fall as well as early spring.

Tomorrow will be a little glimpse into how I make outfits out of these pieces, and why I like outfits. But for now, I’m off to reevaluate.

 

How I Whittled Down My Wardrobe

How many clothes are too many? Ten tops? Twenty? Fifty? How many clothes do you own? How many clothes do you wear? How many clothes do you need? Numbers!  I want the numbers!

Right now at least some of you are thinking- ‘OK- there’s probably something I can get rid of. But LA- what do I do? Where do I start? Please LA- help me.”

Ok- maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.  Maybe I shouldn’t think of myself as  “WhittleWoman” the superhero who blogs by day and curates wardrobes by night (FYI- I do have few enough clothes that they would fit in a standard size, old school phone booth) But- this is how I started my less is more closet philosophy.

  1. Take a week and write down exactly what you wore everyday. Every item of clothing or accessory, and what were you wearing it for: Work, date, coffee, etc
  2. Really look at your clothing diary: determine the categories that you normally dress in and figure out what percentage of the week you need to wear a certain type of clothing. (If you work a job which requires you to wear clothing of a certain style that you do not wear any other time, you have to account for how much time is spent at job versus other activities.  If it’s a third of your waking moments, then guess what a third of your wardrobe should be)
  3. Which leads us to: percentages. (yes- there is math involved) What percent of your week are you in comfy clothing? Active wear? Formal? Casual? Elegant? Knowing how often you wear certain types of clothing helps us know how much we need.
  4. Now- go into your wardrobe and pull out the pieces that you LOVE (these are the pieces you automatically reach for when you get dressed) These are going to be the building blocks of your wardrobe.
  5. Make outfits using these pieces. Outfits that you love and feel confident wearing.
  6. Put these pieces of clothing in another place.  These are the clothes that are not going anywhere for the time being.
  7. Take out every item of clothing that you own and put it on you bed.  Every item.
  8. Once your clothes are out of your drawers and closets pick up each item of clothing:
  9. Does it still fit?  If the answer is no, unless it has HUGE sentimental value, put it in the donation pile.  If you are keeping it for any other reason than wardrobe, put it aside where you keep memory things.  Keepsakes do not belong in active wardrobe.
  10. Does it need repair? Buttons?  Seams? If you can and feel it’s worth it to repair, then put it in a “fix” pile.  But if it’s not repairable or not worth it to you? It’s ok if you don’t want to fix something- just put it in donations- someone else will gladly wear it
  11. Do you love it?  Seriously, is there something about the item that makes you feel good? Does it serve a specific purpose or need? (you need it for work, for an activity- you don’t necessarily love it, but definitely need it) If it doesn’t, put it in the donation pile.
  12. What if it’s a maybe?  Here’s my thing with maybe items.  I understand how you might want to narrow your closet down more before you start tossing everything, so I will allow you a maybe pile.  But here’s the catch.  You can’t have more than five items of clothing in your maybe pile at a time.  When it looks like a sixth item is making it’s way in, you must pick one of those items and either donate or keep.  It is imperative that you keep the maybe pile manageable because otherwise you will just have a big maybe pile and not have gotten rid of anything.
  13. Things with tags still on them.  If you bought the item in the past week, or bought it on sale at the end of a season and you haven’t reached appropriate time to wear it, then fine.  But if you have things you’ve bought and haven’t worn…..

It is not easy to evaluate every item of clothing that you own. It can be an emotional experience.  But getting rid of extra baggage is a good thing.  Think of the space, both in your head and in your closet, that you will save. I know there are a lot of people that equate material possessions with happiness. And I want you to think if owning things really makes you happy: is it owning a lot of things, or is it owning certain special things?

This seems like a lot of steps, but really, this whole thing is step one. You have to get rid of what doesn’t belong before you work on what does belong.

Tomorrow- we start to curate.

The Closet

I’ve become obsessed with a curated closet. My Pinterest boards are fill with visions of streamlined closets and 37 piece seasonal wardrobes.  Though I don’t often buy into trends, I am all in with this one.

Basically, a curated closet contains a bunch of pieces that can be multiplied into a variety of looks.  But today is not about the how, it’s about the why- why did I decide this was an approach worth taking?

  1. Less clothes are just easier to take care of.
  2. You need much less room to store a smaller wardrobe. I’m not done yet and I’m down to one closet bar that’s about four feet wide, and a part of an armoire that’s about three feet by three feet.
  3. It takes about five minutes for me to choose an outfit, for any occasion
  4. I love everything in my wardrobe (almost) – or for the Kondo’s out there, my clothes spark joy
  5. By streamlining the whole dressing process, I have created time to do other, more enjoyable things.

There’s a saying that people wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time.  If that’s true, why are we holding onto those other clothes? Why do we keep things that we do not wear? Wouldn’t it be easier to just purge?

I’ve been on a kick to simplify my life.  I do not want or need to overcomplicate my already stressful life (for the record- life is stressful- unless you are living in a Tibetan monastery and are going the one outfit, one cup, one spoon route and you meditate all day and take a vow of silence and obviously have no children)

Paring down the items in my life is the best way to start.  Get rid of the things that weigh you down, keep the things that bring you up. (this includes people)

This week I am going to give you the practical.  I will explain to you how I pared down my wardrobe.  There will be visual aids for all those who are super excited about seeing what my closet and wardrobe look like.  Of course, there will be a period of reflection- this process is teaching me a lot about myself.

Tonight’s homework: start thinking about the clothes you tend to reach for every day.  And the clothes that have dust on them….

 

Gratitude Saturday January 26

I’m telling you- some weeks….hard to feel grateful…but, I try…

  1. As you might know I the newsletter/blog put out by Shannon Ables: The Simply Luxurious Life.  On Monday she commented on one of my older posts, so I got to have a bit of a fangirl moment
  2. Presently it is not 9 degrees
  3. My daughter was deferred from another school (but most of her friends were rejected outright, so I have to find a little solace)
  4. My daughter was able to recover my playlist that I thought I lost
  5. slice of vodka pizza from Sauce Pizzeria
  6. that our brand new boiler started working again (don’t get me started on boiler issues)
  7. I’ve seen almost every movie nominated for a major Oscar (not including docs and animated)
  8. That I reread Jane Eyre in time for bookclub today
  9. unsubscribe button for email
  10. closet purge

 

Parenting 105: It’s Always a Process

This week I gave you some tips and ideas, things that I have used in my parenting journey.  Today I remind you that it is always a learning process.  You never know how to answer everything, how to handle every situation.

After four days of parenting blogs, I was feeling pretty good about myself as a parent.  Until my daughter asked me something and I fumbled on the reply.  Here we were, communicating in person, no devices present.  So communication- check.  I was acting as a parent, not friend- check. There wasn’t a battle- check.  Perfection?  Was I seeking perfection? Hmmmm….

So my daughter asked a question regarding how she should handle something via one of the teams she captains.  And I tried the standard level of questions: what is she doing now? What does she think she can do better? I gave her a list of things to try, and she has either tried them or they would not be effective in this situation.  I came up with every question I could think of to make her think about the situation from a different angle.  I came up with every strategy that I could think of that might work in that situation.  And none of it was working for her. I got frustrated. I think I ended with “Sorry dude.  I got nothing.” Which of course brought a tear to her eye because she’s frustrated with the situation. And now she was frustrated with me.

So here I was, riding high on my blogs from the week, and I had a parenting fail.

Hubris.  The downfall of everything.

So when I saw her tear I knew I screwed up.  I knew I had to recover.

I took a deep breath and I apologized.  I told her that that was not the right response, I shouldn’t have gotten so frustrated in the moment.  Then I told her that sometimes there’s just not a good answer for every situation.  Sometimes you can do everything right and it still doesn’t work. And maybe she’s in one of those situations, and she just has to focus on doing her best. And she shook her head as I kissed the top of it.

So I guess I’m closing out parenting week with this: one of the greatest things we can try to teach our kids is the ability to realize when we are wrong, or could have done something better- and to own it.  Admit it and apologize.  We also need to teach them that sometimes things will not work out the way we want them to,  no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want them to. But we still have to get on with it. Life is not easy, or nice, or fair.

Just love them.  Make sure they know how much you love them. In the end, that’s really what matters.