Observations, Self

(Nice) things fall apart: a whinge break.

When I was a kid, I broke stuff. Like, all the time. My mother’s ceramic dough bowl (inexplicably kept on our living room floor). My American Girl doll’s leg. An entire row of wine glasses at the Brewster Inn in upstate New York, where my grandparents have never taken me since.


not my doll. I had Samantha, the prettiest one, obv.

But you know what? I’m hereby absolving myself of guilt for breaking stuff. Well, the nice stuff. Because there’s an awful lot of expensive stuff that seems to be designed to be broken!

A bit of philosophical reasoning. If a thing is more expensive, it stands to reason that it should be designed to withstand the normal usage for that type of thing. No one is saying that an expensive wine glass should be unbreakable, because wine glasses aren’t supposed to be dropped. (Although sign me up to buy if an unbreakable wine glass is ever invented!) But an expensive suitcase, a sweater, a car, a pair of boots– these things ought to last years with normal use, with normal use entailing a certain amount of friction and wear.

BUT. There are some things whose flimsiness actually increases with their price, DESPITE the mandates of that thing’s normal usage. And that’s the stuff I’m done feeling bad about breaking.

Granted, I’m not referring to things that are intentionally fragile for cultural reasons. Really nice silk stockings, for instance, tear at the SLIGHTEST provocation. I was obsessed with finding high quality sheer tights a while back and after I bought a few (returnable) pairs, I realized that the better the denier (read: the higher quality the fabric), the more they ran! I finally gave up and just bought a buttload of cheap pairs I could replace without guilt.

There’s no conspiracy, though. Sheer silk tights are meant to be objects of luxury. They’re not intended to withstand bumping into corners or being snagged by the hands of a person with ragged cuticles. They are symbols of elitism and prestige– they’re made for the woman whose life doesn’t include roughness.

I mean the expensive stuff that’s just a racket. Like expensive nail polish. Ciate London, specifically, has a nice range of colors–though nothing to write home about– but tends to go on streaky and chips within a day. Normal usage of one’s digits dictates that nail polish should last longer than that. And jeans! The expensive jeans I bought a year ago in a great cut and color, hoping to save money in the long run by eliminating the need to buy a new pair every few years, has already ripped! And not just a little snag– a full two inches of fabric wore away in the inner leg. Yes, my thighs rub together (#chubrub). But I’ve had $15 jeans last me 4 years without a run, despite both pairs being made of similar fabric blends. A similar thing happened to a friend with a pair of jeans from J. Crew.

I’m done whining now. What gives, man? Have you experienced this?

Observations, Self

my new year’s resolution.

Last night when I was doing yoga before bed (an on-off practice I’m trying to make more consistent), I could not get my mind to stop racing. I wasn’t thinking about anything important. Nope. I was obsessing about what kind of curtains I should get for my new apartment (which I have yet to secure.) And when I say obsessing, I mean obsessing. Like, my mind was furiously working through how many shades of white I had seen on Target.com and what undertones of white paint I’d have to buy to make the room match and whether I should get opaque or sheer curtains to make the room more or less formal and whether sheer curtains would let in enough light to support plant growth and whether I wanted print or solid and which prints would be more timeless, stripes or stars, and how much beyond $25 I was willing to spend on them and whether they should touch the ground or be tied off in the middle and what kinds of tie-backs I’d need to get.

As Yoga with Adriene‘s voice urged me to drop into this practice, I realized that the reason why my mind was racing now was likely because I’d been staring at a screen (and stressing about money) for the past four hours– all while supposedly spending time with my family. In fact, I’d been on my phone nearly constantly during this entire trip home. My eyes hurt, and I was having trouble being present.

Shopping online–or reading blogs about stuff you can buy online– has become a bit of a grounding activity for me in the past month. Being stressed about finding a new place to live (my lease is about to run out) and about all the travel associated with the holidays has led me to the world of collecting and organizing things as an escape into harmless, absorbing, mind-numbing activity. Ultimately, though, it’s not how I want to spend my time.

As I tried to drop into my practice and return to my breath, I realized that a daily meditation practice would be a good counterpoint to all the time I spend daydreaming and thinking about material stuff. Hey, it’s almost New Years! I thought. I should make that my resolution! 

Of course, then it hit me that there were a lot of things I’d like to make my resolution. I should be practicing my flute more! I should use my paints! I should read more novels! I should, I should, I should…

But I don’t have time for any of those things, I realized soon after, now completely ignoring Yogi Adriene, who was deep into a new vinyasa. Unless…

Unless I stop spending so much time browsing Imgur and Refinery 29.

Soooo now I’m thinking that my New Year’s Resolution is going to be to spend less than 1/2 hour every day browsing the Web, with the intention of using those minutes for more truly relaxing activities.

What about you? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If so, what’s yours?