New year, same me, who dis?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hate thinking of life in one year blocks that expire on December 31. My life is fluid and I’ve allowed myself the space to do things in my own time, but I feel a lot of peer pressure to set New Years Resolutions and Intentions. I’ve literally had to remind myself every day for the past week that I am doing just fine and that I don’t need to declare all the things I want to change about myself just because everyone else is doing it.

Rather than say I’M GOING TO DO THIS THING STARTING ON JANUARY 1, I enact changes as I am inspired by them. October 11th? That’s a perfect time to start eating more vegetables. July 2? Heck yeah I’m going to open a savings account. Change is so personal, and I dislike NY resolutions because there’s a lot of pressure and the failure that comes from the inability to change your lifestyle and habits overnight is overwhelming.

If you did set some resolutions/goals/intentions and you’re not ready to work on them right now, THAT IS OKAY! Or, if you are working on them and you fall off the bandwagon, THAT’S OKAY, TOO! You always have the ability to hit reset on your goals and intentions. I truly believe there is just as much to be learned about yourself in failure as there is in success.

I had a lot of minor personal achievements in 2017, and I’d like to share them here:

  • I adopted a regular skin care routine sometime in July,
  • I started flossing more frequently a couple of weeks ago
  • I started a regular practice of yoga in August
  • I meal planned the heck out of 2017 from February onward and I think this one has been the most consistent change from last year
  • I read six books in a six-week span and then nothing for months
  • I started bullet journaling intermittently, often forgetting to update it for weeks at a time but I’m still trying to adopt this as a regular practice, I just pick up where I left off

Actually, I pick up where I left off on the regular. I often abandon whatever goal I’ve set for myself but I usually go back to it, sometimes I have to go back to it four, five, or six times. I’m not a spontaneous person by nature, except when I want to make a change. Now is a good time to change something or do something, whenever now happens to be, but it’s rarely inspired by a date on the calendar.

Go forth and be you, and don’t worry about January. It’s kind of a shitty month anyway.

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I’m an adult now

Gone are the days when I could buy cute, but cheap, ill-fitting shoes. Life is too short to be slowed down by blisters and cramped toes, and now… corns (ewwwwww.) I’d like to enjoy my day instead of thinking “Ow, ow, ow, maybe if I walk this way… ow, no, that still hurts,” with every step. Lately I’ve been tossing the ouchie shoes into the donation bin, without hesitation.

I must confess that I was a snot about fashion in my twenties. I swore I’d never shop for practical clothing at The Gap or buy my shoes at Naturalizer. I try not to be too vocal about my disdain for things, because I find myself eating my words a lot, but here I am; I now shop for quality and comfort over price and quantity. I’m an adult now.

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Summer at the office

Anyway… today I am comfortable. I’m wearing a white shirt from The Gap, and a pair of dress shorts from H&M, both pieces are a few years old. I’ve tucked the shirt in for a bit more polish, although this outfit is on the more casual side. I’ve worn these shorts with a loose, patterned, cropped tank and it’s a great outfit on the weekend. Not pictured: nude flats and the MeUndies boy shorts for women that I’m wearing under my shorts…

I recently made an investment in comfortable underwear. I have to say, it’s a little disheartening to realize that my spouse has way nicer underwear than I do, and I’m the one who buys it for both of us. $20 for a pair of boxer briefs for him? No problem. $20 for a nice pair of panties for me? Ugh, that’s $10 more than I want to pay. I’m over it, I went and purchased a whole new underwear wardrobe from MeUndies. Sorry, not sorry, wallet. Now I have my own comfortable and attractive underwear, and it’s not $25 special occasion underwear that I feel guilty wearing because it’s too nice for every day wear. In my opinion, nothing should be special occasion- underwear, perfume, dishes… but the nice underwear is also usually the most uncomfortable underwear, and it only gets worn for special occasions (re: never) or on laundry day when I’ve run out of everything else. Let’s be honest, I have fancy laundry day underwear.

Speaking of which, I’m in the middle of a laundrypocalypse epidemic again. Why can’t I do laundry like a normal person?

The no good, very bad day at the office

Picture this:

I am 22 years old and pretty fresh at my new office. I feel smug; getting this job was easy, and the job itself is easy enough, and it is so very nice to work 9-5pm, Monday to Friday, with benefits and paid vacation. Easy!

A few weeks into the new job, I ride the elevator with ten business men. We make small talk, and I say goodbye when we exit the elevator, but they don’t seem to be going into any of the other offices. In fact, they follow me all the way down the corridor to the very last office. My office. Strange, I don’t remember anyone telling me that there was a meeting first thing today? No matter. I will get these fine gentlemen settled and then I will perform my opening duties. But more and more people keep showing up in reception, so before I do anything else I get them seated in the boardroom.

But it turns out that there are two meetings happening, not one. I sheepishly walk down the hall and ask the people for Meeting B to please follow me to our conference room. Very quickly we run out of chairs for both meetings as more and more people show up, and I end up stealing chairs from my coworkers who are out at their own meetings or on vacation.

And then a third group of people arrive. Really? Now what? The board room and the conference rooms are being utilized, the only other meeting space available is… my boss’s office. I ask politely and he’s gracious enough. By now we’re out of coffee and water cups, too, and I have to go steal those from my coworker’s desks when they’re not looking.

And the phones won’t stop ringing. At times, all six lines are flashing and I can’t remember who is on what line and I am so tempted to close my eyes and clear all the lines and start fresh. I take a deep breath and pick up line 1 in time to hear *click.* I pick up line 2 just in time for line 1 to ring again. I transfer line 2 and answer line 1 and they hang up before I can even say hello. I go to line 3 and line 1 starts ringing again. Not wanting to piss off whoever keeps calling and hanging up, I put line 3 on hold again and answer line 1. CLICK. It takes everything in me not to slam the phone down or yell.

And then a fourth group of people show up and I want to cry. Where are we going to put these people?? My other boss is in this meeting and brings them down to her office, and I help her clear drawings and floor samples to make space around her work table. There aren’t enough chairs, so they stand around awkwardly. I don’t offer anyone coffee or water because there are no cups left.

And then I get an email from a partner, asking me to print 52 attached PDF’s. Sure, not a problem. I select all, and hit print. I let the printer do its thing for a while, but when I go to collect the prints, there are about a thousand sheets that say COMMAND ERROR. WHY, GOD, WHY? I can’t get it to stop. I try canceling it from the printer a dozen times, and it just won’t stop spitting out copies of the COMMAND ERROR document. Exasperated, I unplug the machine and the printing finally stops. I wait a moment before plugging it back in. Things are okay for three minutes… and then it goes right back to printing more COMMAND ERROR sheets. At this point I contemplate quitting. I unplug the machine again and put an Out of Order sign on it.

I ask the controller to please phone IT and she informs me that we don’t have IT, he left last month. I wonder how I’m going to push the duplex printer out the window and make it look like an accident.

While I’m away from my desk trying not to kick the printer, a courier arrives and takes it upon himself to find someone to sign for a package. The next thing I know, my boss is escorting him out of her office with a look on her face that very clearly says what the actual fuck, Rochele? and I want to dissolve into the floor in embarrassment. I tell her I’ll handle it from here and I walk him back to reception.

The phone rings from the board room. “Rochele, I need you to order lunch for Meeting A, it’s going to go on for a few more hours I think.” I call a bunch of places and no one will offer delivery on such short notice. The person who usually provides backup for me has already left to taker her lunch break, and it’s far too busy for me to leave my post. I timidly ask another coworker if she will please mind the phones and she barks at me, “I AM AN ARCHITECT, NOT A RECEPTIONIST. I DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE.” I am struggling not cry. Everything sucks. I feel like this job might be too much for me.

I go back to my desk and rehearse how I’m going to say no to buying lunch, but suddenly I see everyone from that meeting walking down the corridor towards the elevator. I AM SAVED! Until next week, when the meeting will continue, apparently.

The partner is hovering and asks me where his prints are, and I sheepishly tell him I’ve broken the printer. He sits me down and shows me how to cancel prints from my computer and how to make batches in Adobe. We plug the printer in again and pages and pages of the most beautiful documents that don’t have the words COMMAND ERROR on them come out warm and freshly pressed. I want to cry for a different reason. It’s just so beautiful.

The meetings end, the phones settle down, and the printer is quiet. The chairs are back in their respective workstations and I even manage to wash a few cups and make a pot of coffee. I realize it’s 4pm and I haven’t eaten my lunch yet, and really, I’m too tired to eat. I take a moment before launching into a slightly irrational, hunger fueled email about the importance of booking meeting spaces. What I really want to do is run off into the sunset and never come back, I start questioning my need to make money at all. Living in the forest far from a ringing phone or demon printer and meetings of any kind sounds a little bit like heaven.

At the end of the day, my boss calls to tell me that I did a great job handling the mayhem. I soften a little bit and put my plans to run away on hold for a while.

 

From Head to Ro – May 26, 2017 Dress Season is Open

Hello lovelies. It’s been a bit of a rough week, hasn’t it? I am grateful for friends who talk on the phone and say I love you when we’re done, and the ones who write me into commercials for sewing machines, and the ones who assure me I’m not a bad person because I’ve spent more money than I intended to. Thank you for letting me be me and loving me just the same.

I’m pleased to say that the weather has improved significantly and dress season is open. I wore two beautiful outfits that I failed to document, but many other things take priority over snapping pictures and writing about my clothes.

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Today I am wearing the sweetest dress from Simons via Mama Ro. It’s off the shoulder, it has buttons down the front, it has a tie, it has embroidery, it’s midi length, it’s got stripes. It sounds like it has a lot going on, but this dress is understated.

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I just love the details of this dress.

I’ve paired it with a pair of strappy, cognac, leather sandals from Clarks, a gift from Papa Ro a few years ago. I kind of love that I’m wearing an outfit from my parents.

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Leather sandals

Today is also the last day that I will be a redhead. Tomorrow morning I’ll be returning to life as a brunette. I loved having red hair, but I hated the maintenance and the financial burden of keeping it looking nice. Red hair fades to a really ugly colour very quickly. Without an expensive colour deposit shampoo, conditioner, and a pigment wash every couple of weeks, my hair looked magenta and I started to dread washing my hair because it meant using up product, and I really didn’t want to buy any more. I am looking forward to using light towels without leaving pink streaks everywhere. Going back to brunette isn’t going to cost less than staying red for another cycle, but this is the start of winding down expensive, finicky hair. It will be so nice to wash my hair without mentally rationing how much shampoo I have left.

I spend too much money and I’m unhappy about it

I have a shopping and money spending addiction. There, I said it. This is a dark spot in my life, and things tend to get out of control very quickly.

Am I going to remember the good times I had using a new makeup primer? No. The one I bought two months ago is fine, and there is a lot of it left.

Oh but I read about double cleansing and I’d like to try that! Cool, but I already have all the stuff I need to try double cleansing, there is no need to buy new products to try a different technique.

In late 2016 I recognized that my makeup purchasing was out of control, so I challenged myself not to buy any more until 2018 unless I ran out of a specific item. I’ve run out of concealer a couple of times, and I did buy two tubes of lipstick after receiving two new lipsticks that I got for my birthday after loving the wear and formula. But I recognize that the joy of four new lipsticks was short-lived. Not too bad, right? Two tubes of lipstick aren’t going to ruin me.

However, I essentially replaced my makeup buying addiction with a skincare buying addiction. I hate myself a little bit. I need to unsubscribe and unfollow all the beauty accounts that I have on social media. Yesterday I found myself on the Kiehl’s website and almost had to slap my hand from buying skincare that I don’t need. Rochele, we have an agreement. When things run out, you can try something new.

This happens with everything in my life. I get excited about something and I go crazy. If you didn’t know, I also sew. Lately I’ve been sewing kimonos, and I went a little nuts ordering fabric and I have enough to make 13 kimonos. I don’t have time to make 13 kimonos. Ugh, I hate myself.

As of right now, I’m expecting a new bike helmet, and two new pairs of glasses (damn you, BOGO.) That’s not terrible except in the last month I’ve bought two new pairs of sandals, a bag, two pairs of sunglasses, three blouses, four pairs of work pants, a pair of flats, a car, dishes, and a couch. Okay, the last three were household purchases and I don’t know if they count, and some of the clothes were for job interviews I went to, and I had a birthday in there and received quite a bit of money. Some of that was okay, but I definitely didn’t need to buy all of it.

I tell myself that I can’t afford a membership for barre classes, but I drop $150 without blinking. I tell myself that I can’t afford to go on a trip, but I have Rouge status at Sephora. I tell myself that it’s okay to buy that necklace because it’s only $65 and I didn’t spend money yesterday. I justify spending money on things because all the bills get paid and I contribute to RRSP’s, TFSA’s, and my spouse and I own a home and there is money left over every month. I am very much a quality over quantity person, but I am still guilty of falling for new things.

Despite attempts to control myself and set limits, I can’t seem to live within them. My spending habits have come under scrutiny many, many times and I have faced harsh judgment. I love makeup, perfume, clothing, and shoes. Yes, I have a lot of it. Yes, I want more. I have a job where I am expected to look my best, and I like to look my best in my private life, too. Although it is NOBODY’S BUSINESS, I am sharing this with the world so that I might be more accountable and begin to restructure my life to be a healthier and happier version of me.

From Head to Ro – May 20, 2017 #campxcamp Edition

I wear my granddad’s clothes, I look incredible…

Friends, I am at the beautiful Cheakamus Centre (formerly the North Vancouver Outdoor School) for adult summer camp and I am loving it. 

I started my morning with yoga, and it was supposed to be outside but it was 4C, so instead it was held inside the building where we used to square dance and perform in the talent show. It was still really chilly, so I wore my UNIQLO thermal underwear, my Arbor constellations onesie, my grandpa’s old wool sweater, a pair of pink Converse, and I pulled the whole look together with my pink sunglasses. 


Just a few short hours later I was laying on that dock in my space shuttle bathing suit. It never occured to me how awesome my clothing is until today. These aren’t things I save for special occasions; these are things I wear all the time. I mean, I don’t usually wear my onesie out of the house, but I wear it pretty regularly. I own four of them. Variety. 


Anyway. I am having a marvelous time. After yoga, I made my own bath salts and my own aromatherapy roller ball perfume. I was supposed to go to a health elixir class, but I kind of went suntanning on the dock instead. You know how these things go when the sun is shining and you haven’t seen it for… months. 


Oh. And yesterday I nearly kissed a goat. Having a great time. 


 

From Head to Ro – May 17, 2017

In some parts of Canada, it’s warm and sunny and summer is well on its way. And then there’s Vancouver, and I seriously thought about putting my flannel sheets back on the bed last night. I am so tired of being cold and I’m chomping at the bit to wear something other than a sweater.

I’m still wearing clothes with a lot of coverage, but in lighter weights. This maxi skirt came from H&M four years ago; I seem to take exceptionally good care of my clothes because they seem to last forever. It’s a little bit more effort, but the majority of my clothes get hung to dry and I use a liquid fabric softener in the wash. Trust me, liquid fabric softener makes a huge difference for air-dried clothes.

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Navy maxi skirt

I’m wearing this skirt at the skinniest part of my waist, and it goes all the way to the floor. This skirt is very forgiving and it’s nice and swishy. In the summer, I wear this skirt with a bustier tank and strappy sandals and it’s a great casual look. The long skirt also looks great with a crop top – loose or fitted, and like today, with a button up blouse that I’ve chosen to knot in the front rather than tuck in. I know I harp on repurposing clothes and trying new outfit combinations a lot, but I own today’s maxi skirt in three different colours and I wear them with so many different tops to create unique looks and they’ve been a spring/summer/fall staple in my wardrobe for years.
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The blouse came from H&M last month. I’ve rolled up the cuffs and knotted it in the front, otherwise this outfit looks a little too Edwardian School Teacher, which is cool, but it’s not the look I’m going for. I doubt Edwardian school teachers wore polka dots, anyway. The structured top brings a nice balance to the free-flowing skirt.