style

So- a million years ago I was a single girl living in NYC. I was sitting on the front porch of the house I lived in, surrounded by various airline roommates and I remember one male and I talking about style. I bemoaned my lack of personal style and he was very insistent that any clothing decision was in fact style and that I had a very clearly defined sense of it.

I laughed and looked down at my uniform; a white skirt with a black tank top. “This isn’t style, this is what I wear on any given day,” I said, which is true. Even now I have a very monotone, predictable clothing sense that bores my husband to death. Black is my favorite. I’ll do muted solids on occasion. If I’m feeling festive maybe a floral print.

He insisted I had a particular look, that was stylish, to which I still disagree. Maybe I’m predictable but my clothing picks are based more on laziness and frugality. Items I bought over a decade ago still work because they are plain and simple.

So, now … I’m facing another challenge. The challenge of interior decorating.

See, we bought this big fancy new house and my previous decorating “look” was basically- oh, we need a couch, so here’s a couch, and it sort of goes… over the years I’d find something at a yard sale or thrift shop, sort of like it, so bring it home and claim it as my own. This haphazard approach made my old home cluttered and disorganized.

This new home is a clean slate. Literally. I now have empty walls and a very pretty, very empty room on the main level. One of my girlfriends, who loves to decorate, asked, “Are you modern? Are you traditional? What’s you look?” and all I can think of in reply is something along the lines as, “Easy?”

I AM drawn to mid-century modern, but finding the discipline and focus to keep with a single palette is challenging. It takes time and money. Plus, I’m like a kitten chasing sunbeams, I have a really hard time staying focused and I’m also pretty impatient. I look at our empty sitting room and I just want it done, like, now.

I have the hardest time finding inspiration on Pinterest. Or blogs. Or IG. These platforms work for some, but I find them waaayyy to commercialized and sterile. The aesthetic that popular websites have is just too perfect. I’ve tried, really tried, to find value in Pinterest but I think I think I joined the club too late. Plus it feels so much like a game of “look how great I am” and “my home is better than yours because blah blah blah”. It’s impossible for me to look at a style blog and feel good about myself, which probably speaks to my own lack of strong self-confidence.

So what’s a girl in a fancy new home to do? I’m working on the impatience, and I’m trying to take it slow. I’m only going to buy what I love, and even if that sitting room is empty for many months, that’s okay. Plus, rather than feeling inadequate because of my lack of style, I’m going to remember what that roommate all those years ago assured me of, I do have an inherent sense of style and if I just follow my gut on it’ll please me.

new house, new gym, new jersey

Once again I rededicate myself to writing more frequently. It does seem like I do this way too often; I know as a blog reader it’s tiresome to hear from someone “This time I’ll be different!” so I hope if you are out there reading this you’ll feel patience for me and keep reading. When I started this blog nearly two years ago I was deep in the mind state of newborn baby bliss, happy, at home with lots of down time. I’ve noticed the same pattern with several of my friends after they have children; a sense of reinvention once a new baby comes (whether it’s your first or third).

I had a good rhythm and theme going for a while and it slowly dwindled down to infrequent updates and somewhere along the way I lost the voice I was establishing so here I am, trying again.

As the title states, I am currently sitting in our new home located in our new state. The house is big – gigantic even- especially compared with the small bungalow we lived in for six years. For example, I used to vacuum my entire house using only two plugs in our old home. Like, I’d plug into the wall and the length of the cord would reach half of my floors, and then I’d just plug into another wall and finish up. My new three-story house, however, requires 3 different outlet changes per floor.

Everyone said to me, “Have fun cleaning such a big house!” when I told them about moving. I’ve since realized they meant it sarcastically or slightly meanly. But, it’s been over a month since I moved in, and in a weird way I’m *still* finding it actually *fun* to clean. Yes, I have four bathrooms now. But I’ve dedicated every Tuesday to deep cleaning bathrooms day. I blast “Today’s Top Hits” on Spotify and spend about an hour scrubbing the johns. This heightened focus on one job at a time makes the cleaning bearable.

I’m still setting the schedule down but thus far I dare say it’s almost easier to keep a tidy home in a big home compared with keeping a small space tidy.

***

Another big part of my life as a mom is going to the gym. Seriously, it’s like 30% of my week. I made a hasty decision to join the local Y and I am regretting it. The facilities are not updated, and it’s not as big as we are used to. I’m someone who has to take fitness classes and the two I’ve taken so far have been impressive, so that’s a positive, and I actually like that the classes are co-ed and I’m much younger than the average YMCA fitness class pupil.

But I miss my old gyms gleaming studio. I miss the sense of “awe” you’d get in the weight room, or cardio room – it was just bigger and nicer. There’s a superficial part of me that looks down on the dowdy Y and craves a flashier fitness club. I didn’t even realize I was a snob in that way – and I’ve promised myself to give it a good six months before looking for greener pastures.

***

I’m really loving living in New Jersey. I was never a Long Island fan, and I find the locals here are friendlier and easier to talk to. I’m still struggling with the idea of having to make new friends, because as every mom knows, finding good mom friends is essential but feels impossible at times. I know it will happen eventually and in the meantime, if I feel bored, I can always find a corner to scrub or a place to dust in my immaculate suburban mansion.