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Thursday, May 10, 2012

giving up on good

Last week, Jessi and Hayley shared what they call giving up on good, meaning they don't and can't do it all. As women living in the 21st century, especially in North America, there is almost an expectation that we are over-committed and look pulled together. The blog world can exemplify this and make me feel like I have to post perfectly edited photos, make pretty things and dress in the latest fashions. Even if I'm not blogging about the those things, they easily come to mind as I peruse check Twitter, read my favorite blogs and especially if I peruse Pinterest. The messages of apparent perfection are all around.

As I've mentioned before, we are in the midst of renovating our home ((and doing it ourselves)), so there is also a fine layer of dust ((from sanding the walls or ceiling)) that can be found hanging around the house. So for the past few months, I've been giving up on not stressing about the state of our house. We've been in the house for just over a year and jumped right into tearing out the kitchen so it's taken me months to realize I can live with multiple unfinished projects ((and I don't mean this in anyway as a stab at my husband who is renovating our place...messes drive him crazy too)). Life goes on quite easily with an unfinished ceiling and walls that are not completely painted and curtains...who needs those? As long as my neighbors are not peeking through the windows, I'm safe ((or so I tell myself)).
living room and kitchen in the background ((note the unfinished entryway)) // sun room without shades or curtains
We are blessed to be able to live this way. As much as I wish we were parents at this point, I also know we wouldn't be able to do the renovations we are in the process of if there were little ones in our home. It would be near impossible to rip up floors and deal with multiple messes from the projects underway. It's hard enough to keep the dog from finding a stray piece of plaster to chew on. So, I am embracing the present, relishing the finished projects as they come.

And I'm giving up one more thing. I have only shared "what I wore" posts a few times and felt something in between guilt and embarrassment. I wondered if my colleagues would judge me or worse yet, a college student I work with would find my blog and think I am trying to be a fashion blogger. But the truth is, I feel better about myself when I wear a cute outfit and look pulled together. Don't you?

So I'm giving up ((at least trying to)) on calling myself vain for posting a photo of my outfit on Instagram or my blog. I do it to show how I can look fashionable without spending a lot of money. I typically shop at consignment and thrift shops, Old Navy and Target. And lately, we've had a spending freeze, so I've been learning to create "new" outfits out of what I already own. It's a fun challenge at times to update an outfit with an accessory I won from a blog giveaway or a garment I upcycled into something more trendy.

 dress from H&M, tights from Target, Crocks ballet flats // cardigan from J.Crew, blouse from Target, pants unknown, flats from Old Navy // skirt from TJMaxx, ring from Ephemeral Pillages

It may sound like a weird thing to give up on. But for right now, I am giving myself the freedom to look pulled together and feel confident about myself. The reality is, just because I post a photo of my #OOTD, the laundry still has to be done, the dishes are still piled in the sink and the living room is in disarray.

{Linking with Jessi and Hayley}


  1. I totally love this post!! I agree that the demand for perfection is too stressful and so unrealistic! I need to think about what I should be giving up on (maybe the pressure to publish a post every day?)

  2. i totally love this post Beth! I've found myself in a similar situation - with the life change of having 5 new people in my home the past year, my OCD tendencies went into overdrive. I'm learning (and trying to practice) that we do live in our home, there will always be a mess with 4 kids and 3 dogs and it's okay! If I continuously worry about all those small things - in the end I miss out on what's most important ... and that's living life as a family!

  3. Thanks for posting this, I need to get in on the link up :)
    I am reading Grace for the Good Girl and it talks A LOT about letting go of these stereotypes! So needed for a type-A girl like me ...

    1. thank you for the encouragement :) sounds like I need to read that book!

  4. i've struggled w/ feeling vain for outfit posts but my husband told me something wise: he told me I was expressing myself. I'm not talking about the items specifically, but more of how I put them together. THat is a unique expression of myself and a way to encourage other women to do the same. putting together a great outfit w/ items that cost about $10! awesome! shout it from the rooftops and encourage other women to do the same.

    i am slowly learning things that i need to give up on... and it's a growing list!!

  5. Hey! I hopped over from Naptime Diaries. I'm glad to addressed the blog issue at the beginning-I thought about that a lot this week. It's so easy to look at everyone's blogs and think their kids are perfect, their homes are perfect, their pictures of their perfect kids and perfect homes are perfect...even when you know that's not true. I try to give that up=)

  6. I have the same feelings about posting outfit posts... I feel pretty awkward about it. But I appreciate your new perspective on it. And when I think about it I don't mind at all when other bloggers do outfit posts once in awhile.. It's fun to see their personal style and get ideas. I definitely don't think you should feel bad about doing them.

  7. I sometimes feel vain when I take photos of myself...but it isn't coming from a place of vanity. I want my readers to share in my life and that is part of it. Also, I love the earrings you are wearing in your blog banner :).


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