The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
No, I’m not dead, and I haven’t given up. I just took 3 months off, for numerous reasons, but mostly:
1) I was genuinely busy doing lots of stuff. We’ll discuss some of this later.
2) I started actually reading other blogs and thought “what the hell am I doing?” Seriously, there are some incredibly brilliant and hilarious people out there, all doing this so much better than me. It’s really intimidating. My ignorance was definitely bliss.
3) My cameras all suck. I’m sick of having to take photos of myself with no flash and terrible lighting. I’m sure you’re sick of looking at my terrible photos, too.
4) Last, but not least, I haven’t quite been myself lately. You know that thing that all women over 40 warn you about but you never feel will happen to you? Yeah. That happened. My metabolism, my faithful and loyal companion for 40 years, left me. Probably for some 18-year-old bimbo.
To be fair, I am not blameless in this. I took it for granted. I did not appreciate what a great thing I had. I did nothing to help it out, expecting it to do all the work for me. I was lazy and undisciplined. I did not realize what a profound difference it made until it was gone.
Even then, it took me a while to realize I’d been abandoned. By the age of 41 I realized that some of my clothes were too tight. By my 42nd birthday this June it became clear that I was completely alone in this, and that I’m actually going to have to DO something about it. Sigh.
Let me be clear: I don’t think I’m fat. I don’t think most people would call me fat. If they do, then they’re horrible people who suffer so terribly from insecurity over their own imperfections that they have to amuse themselves with being cruel about other people’s flaws.
Right. So I’m a bit bigger than I used to be. So what, I hear you ask. Well, the problem is that I have a carefully assembled wardrobe, and I have NO intention of buying all new clothes. While some of my clothes are size-flexible and still fit just fine, I have certain favorites which are now less than ideal (i.e. sausage casing). I did not intend for this blog to become a cautionary tale. Well, not ALL the time, at least. Sometimes I put something on thinking it looks good only to later see a photo of myself and realize my belly sticks out. Not just sticks out – you can clearly see the line where my knicker elastic cuts into it! Or that my now-larger boobs are a little more visible than I’d like. It requires a rethinking of my wardrobe and more limited options than I’m used to. So while I was working this out, I didn’t really feel like blogging about “hey look, I managed to look like I didn’t borrow my smaller sister’s clothes today!” or “look, it’s the same dress I’ve worn twice this week already!”
And that was the problem. Those were the things I SHOULD have been blogging about. This quest for perfection, whether it’s because my blog isn’t the prettiest or the funniest, or because my photos aren’t good enough, or whether I’m not feeling my best… this quest for perfection is unhealthy and unproductive. So I’ve decided to get back on the horse and show the warts-and-all truth. We can discuss my failures as well as the successes. I can show you which indispensable dresses fit a range of sizes and hide a multitude of sins. I’m going to wax poetic about the miracle of jackets and the secret of accessories. I’ll tell you how to find great stuff on ebay. Oh, and there’s my secret craft projects I haven’t told you about!
And if I can’t get back into my smaller clothes… there will be shopping.
PS. If anyone has any suggestions on how to take a flattering head-to-toe selfie, please let me know!
PPS. In the photo above, I’m wearing a silk jersey dress by Allegra Hicks which I got at 75% off. Ironically it was too big at the time so I stitched some pleats and tucks into it to create a draped effect on the hip (and of course now it shows my belly unless I wear spanx, shudder). I’ll show you how to take things in like this later. I’ve topped it with one of my favorite pieces: a vintage patent-sheepskin leather jacket by Ozbek. I’ll tell you how to search for treasures like this on eBay soon, too. The shoes are by Ash, also found on eBay.