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Challenge: Open Discussion

I Want to Be Fancy

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The days at home are long. Long like when we first had an infant and my husband would leave for work. I look at the time in the middle of the day and I count the hours until I have to start getting dinner ready. My children are teens now and I am so happy they have each other through this pandemic. Although they may have not chosen each other as friends, they have similar interests and interact throughout the day, sharing ideas, playing games, and sometimes, yes sometimes, going outside.

I get it. We stay home to protect each other, to be part of a solution. A changing solution.

But that does not change the reality that staying home is hard. I’m not saying I’m not busy, I am. I’m not even saying I miss getting together with people. I talk with my friends, I have video happy hours…I miss being out.

I used to spend long days working in a coffeeshop, seeing the faces of many people I didn’t know. I would watch families interact, couples meet up for lunch, people on the phone discussing business. I miss the world happening around me. I am an observer by nature, and it’s hard to do that from inside my home.

Even if I do go out, the world isn’t out there, they are all at home too.

In past years, I have been able to make travel a part of my work. Something I have always loved. Some years I travel more than others, but always before a trip I get to spend some time daydreaming about what I will pack. You may know that my early work was in fashion. I studied in Paris and NewYork and love fashion. I have explored it in many ways, and as my recent work has been more focussed on education, I use my own fashion as part of my communication. I take my time in packing for a trip, I plan each outfit. I know there are many people that throw some tops and bottoms into their suit case and are ready to go, but that’s not me. I love the outfit building almost as much as the travel it’s self.

This makes me think back to when I was little and my sisters and I would watch The Love Boat. I honestly can’t tell you any of the stories from week to week, but what I do remember is that about 15 minutes before the show would start, we would run to our rooms and pack a bag; an outfit for each event in the show. We knew we would need a welcome outfit, a casual daytime outfit, and of course something fancy in case we were invited to dinner at the captains table. Then we would sit and watch the show together, changing outfits as the scenes changed. I guess that’s what I have been doing in my adult life, continuing to be playful.

But now there is nowhere to go. Nothing to pack for. My closet sits quiet. No stories to tell. Just waiting. Waiting for Bali, and Fiji, and Mexico, and Japan. We will come see you one day. The world may look and feel different then, but we will come find you.

One of the conferences I attend every year @mom2summit always hosts an online packing party. They reveal the different events of the conference and make suggestions on what one might wear. I love this! One. Because attending a conference is more than just sitting in lectures, its meeting people, making connections, and putting yourself out there and Two. It gives permission to celebrate yourself, your body, and how you decorate yourself. It’s a toast to your individuality and style.

Two weeks ago I flew back to Houston for work and to visit friends (from a distance, in their driveways). Packing was not about the outfits. Packing included my blue light glasses, a series of masks, gloves, face shields and hooded sweatshirts. Oh and a large supply of Caviwipes.

I think I have to challenge myself here. During this time of sitting still I have to expand the daydream and be playful. I can’t just daydream about the packing list, now I need to daydream the trip too. I have been fortunate to see some amazing places. I need to revisit those places in my head; the sounds, sights, and people. I need to challenge myself to wear a dress at home every once in a while. The distressed jean shorts are a little tired today. I need to get fancy. Just for me. Who knows when that invite to the captains table might come.

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