Can Fashion Cure What Ails You?

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Are you familiar with that kind of hollowed out feeling that follows a sleepless night? Maybe you’ve tossed and turned, worrying or grieving, or replaying a stressful encounter in your mind? You get up too early because you might as well. You’re not sleeping anyway. And you make a cup of tea and watch the darkness turn to light?

It’s kind of like a hangover, except without the wine. Or the party. Or like the disconnectedness of jetlag caused by an uncomfortable, sleepless overnight flight. Except you’re still at home. And not in Paris or Buenos Aires. Your stomach feels empty, but you’re not hungry. And you feel lightheaded and wooly. Stupid. As if you might look at a speeding car approaching as you are about to step off the curb, and step off anyway.

A second cup of tea makes your stomach feel better, but now the caffeine makes you shaky and you know you need something to eat. So you make toast and sit back down to watch the rest of the sunrise. Then you get up from your chair, wash your face, get dressed, and start your day.

Does that sound at all familiar to you? It does? Well then… how do you deal with the days that follow those sleepless nights? What calms you? Or gives you respite from your worries and from your stupid wooly head?

This will sound hopelessly shallow and silly, but I have always found that planning, organizing, collating, tidying, and taking stock of my wardrobe, even if the stock-taking is just in my imagination, is the best medicine for me. Fashion is kind of my cure-all for what ails me. I know! Weird, eh?

5:43 A.M.

Sometimes dreaming up outfits helps me to stave off a sleepless night. The night before my first day at university, I fell asleep only after I began to plan what I needed to add to my fall wardrobe to make the perfect impression on campus. Early in my teaching career, on those nights when I lay awake reliving confrontations with students or anticipating them, I sometimes planned what I would wear for the rest of the week. Being well dressed and loving what I was wearing always boosted my confidence. That may be shallow, but that’s how I roll. And how I always have.

Sometimes losing myself in outfits takes my mind off of my pain. Literally. The summer I had shingles, when I lay awake unable to find a position that didn’t hurt, I conjured in my head the outfits I would wear when I could finally wear real clothes again. The winter I retired, when Hubby was in hospital awaiting his heart surgery, I reorganized my sweater drawers. Bought new hangers at the dollar store and did the same with my closet, hanging jackets with jackets, jeans with jeans, and blouses with blouses. Doing that helped relieve the pain I felt in my own heart, and drove away fears that he would not be coming home again. I never told anyone I did that. I mean, really, how silly.

6:00 A.M.

Sleep failed to find me again the other night. Switching sides, rolling back and forth, changing pillows, turning the fan off and on, opening and closing the window, and even switching bedrooms did not help. Finally at 5:30, I got up. I made a pot of tea, took it out on the deck, and watched the sunrise. All night my brain had roiled, worrying about my mum who is back in hospital this week. Thinking about when and if I should fly home again. Worrying about my sister whose husband is in hospital in the last stages of dementia. She is exhausted and stressed and sad. And I’m sad for her. And worried about her too.

Then, as one does once one climbs aboard the worry train, I worried about everything and anything. About things that may never happen. And even about things that have already happened and about which I can do nothing, except feel sad and regretful. Sitting down on the deck with my tea in the pre-dawn was a relief. As long as I didn’t trip in the darkness, fall off the deck, and break my leg, or slip and tumble into the river trying to take atmospheric photos. Ha.

6:05 A.M.

After I finished my tea the other morning, I came inside. I washed and dressed, ate breakfast, read my book for a few minutes. Hubby was away fishing so the house was quiet. I answered texts and left phone messages with the care agency and the social worker in New Brunswick. Then I went for my walk.

Back home, I showered, changed, and began to reorganize my closet. A really thorough organization that I haven’t taken time to do in ages. It took me several hours. I pulled all the garment bags out of the closet where I store my off-season pieces and reorganized everything, including those items that had been hastily put away last week. I emptied storage drawers and vacuumed them, piling all the clothes on the spare room bed. Zippered containers were emptied of fall pieces and refilled with summer things. One storage container was filled with heavy sweaters and knit dresses that won’t be worn for a couple of months.

Clothes that have been languishing in my “maybe” category were assessed, and packed up ready for donation. A few of the pieces I set aside for a good friend who I think might appreciate them. The remainder of my spring/summer pieces that I won’t wear until next year were packed away. I hand-washed fall tops and sweaters and hung them on towels on the clothesline in the sunshine. I cleaned and relined my sweater drawers, and then refilled the drawers with clean, neatly folded sweaters, tee shirts and a few pairs of jeans that I don’t wear regularly.

Then I sat on the bed in the spare room sipped a fresh cup of tea and surveyed my handiwork with satisfaction. “I may not be able to control everything in my world,” I thought. “But this I can do.”

6:16 A.M.

I have no clue why I find organizing my closet restorative. I get that creating order out of chaos can be satisfying. That’s part of it, but not all. I just simply love clothes. Whether that’s planning what I want to buy, working with what I have to create new and different looks, organizing my closet so that I can see what I have, or taking care of what I own… I love it all. It’s like how some people love gardening, or animals, and everything that goes with that love. Fashion makes me happy. And some days it can break through what is making me sad or worried, and make me feel hopeful. I can’t explain why, it just does.

I’ve been a bit sad and worried this week. I’ve had a couple of sleepless nights. And as a result a couple of those hollowed-out, wooly, hungover but not hungover, jetlagged without going anywhere days. But my closet is organized, and my drawers are pristine, and I’ve been planning several new outfits… and somehow that makes me feel a little better. Somehow fashion has cured what ails me this week. Or if not cured, then at least it’s helped .

My friend Frances, who writes the blog Materfamilias Writes, published a post about fall fashion a few days ago. When I was in the midst of my worried nights and closet-revamping days, in fact. Frances is a clever, accomplished woman, someone whom I admire and am proud to call a friend. And she loves clothes. She raised the question, in her post, about the value of caring about fashion.

And then there’s the whole question about whether or not we can “spare any bandwidth” (as the expression seems to be these days, symptomatic of the times in so many disturbing ways) to think or care about wardrobe. About how much we find some solace in that caring, if we indulge. About how reassuring is the rhythmic regularity of that seasonal change. Or not. The seemingly superficial always connected to the bigger, supposedly deeper, supposedly more important questions.

Materfamilias Writes

“Yes, YES,” I thought as I read her post. Fashion which is “seemingly superficial” IS connected to the “bigger, supposedly deeper” things in life. Of course it is. For me, at least. And for lots of other women out there. As I have learned in writing this blog and connecting with many of you. It’s not everything, of course. But it’s not nothing either.

dawn on the Rideau River near Manotick, Ontario
6:37 A.M.

Call me shallow if you want, but fashion, wardrobe planning and organization, and dreaming about outfits can cure what ails me. Sometimes. Sleepless worried nights, and troubled days don’t go away, but they are easier to bear.

What about you my friends? Can fashion and outfit dreaming or closet organization cure what ails you?

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88 thoughts on “Can Fashion Cure What Ails You?”

  1. This post really spoke to me!
    Clothes, and in particular, making them, are my therapy, my mindfulness , my armour and my means of self expression.
    I too, sometimes worry that this is shallow but my sewing helped me cope with the pandemic and many other stressful times so I have decided that my “addiction” is not unhealthy but necessary for my sanity and wellbeing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Yes to many of the things you have written about. There is solace in bringing order when the really big things are beyond your control and, at the very least, you can think: one less thing to annoy me. I like to tidy my wardrobe, sort through drawers, order the bookshelves, clean a kitchen cupboard, go shine up the silver and brass, sweep through the bathrooms with my cleaning gear. It all soothes my brain. Plus, I am one who simply cannot cope in physical chaos, it messes with my mind. Not for me the glory of untidy creativity. As for fashion: we all have to wear clothes so they may just as well be those that you like to wear and which are in good nick. There is no virtue in being either a sloven or one who disdains the ephemeral. However, I echo your sentiments yesterday about the Met Gala. And on that note…I do hope you sleep better soon. Or have a little sleep after lunch. (Bliss).

    1. I don’t stretch to polishing silver. I love, love it when my house is clean and gleaming… but getting it there gives me no pleasure at all. Which is weird for someone who loves order as much as me.

  3. Firstly , it must be very hard worrying about your lovely mum . I was only thirty minutes drive from my mum when she reached that stage of her life & I found it difficult enough . I hope the hospital can help her get well & back home soon .
    So many of us have the night worries . You’d have to be an oddly insensitive person not to these days . There’s the worries of the world as well as our personal ones . What to do about it ? When I had an awful day at work I used to give the kitchen cooker a good clean . It sparkled sometimes . When Hubbie wakes up he tunes in to The World service or listens to his favourite classical music on his headphones . That doesn’t work for me . So yes I sometimes plan outfits & how to reorganise my wardrobe . I plan meals as I enjoy cooking & finding new recipes . Then there’s always the garden to think about . Occasionally there’s something nice to dwell on . Our village had the annual scarecrow walk last weekend . We had dinosaurs , a children’s tea party , old men leaning on rakes etc , all scarecrows . Next door we had Rapunzel hanging from an upstairs window . That gave me something to think about .

    1. We recently had ours too, theme: heroes. Occasionally I find one that is still on display which can be a bit disconcerting. But lovely thing for the village children to do with friends and family.

  4. Aww I am sorry to hear about your Mum I hope she rallies and can head home soon. I well understand the worries associated with being ‘care giver at a distance’ and your sister’s situation is difficult to deal with as well. We can only do what we can do, eh? If coping means cleaning out closets, kitchens, drawers and reorganizing there is no shame in that. Much better to get physical then to sit and worry over situations that we have no control over. Even mentally putting together outfits or reorganizing can provide a much needed respite. It’s not shallow at all! It’s necessary for your mental health. I have a friend, an accomplished and busy physician who, when times are tough, flips on entertainment shows or indulges in a few hours of Netflix fluff. It’s called self care and it’s healthy!

    1. Mum has rallied already but not sure about being able to go back home. I may have to resort to cleaning closets that are not clothes closets before the situation is resolved. 🙂

  5. Learned long ago o control what you can and let the other hang out to dry! Than why can’ t I listen to my own advice! and I just sit there and stew!Lying there at 5:30 doesn’ t make it any better,except I refuse to get up that early. Since I did that most of my working days-either to get to school or get our children to school! Took 5 years just to break the waking up at that hour habit. We all have our own ways of coping with stress,etc. I am not wsie enough to decide which is the best. BUt if it works for you, then go for it! Who am i to judge! Happy Fall you’all

  6. I could have written this piece–except that you have done it so much more vividly than I could have managed! I have thought that it is the relative unimportance of the outfit planning that allows my mind to relax enough to drift off to sleep.

  7. I am not as fashionable or organized as you, though I do appreciate the concepts. When I am troubled, or even if I am not, I like a task to which I can devout an hour or so and see accomplishment, or at least progress. It might be organizing a drawer, but the other day it was pulling weeds in my backyard. I worked for a little over an hour, filled a bag or two, got dirty and sweaty. But after I came in, took a shower, and looked at that area of the hillside, I felt better. Your unhangover description is so apt. I had one of those early mornings, but last night I was asleep by 9:00 and feel so much better this morning.

  8. Your post rings true on so many levels. There have been too many of those nights laying awake and tossing, even the turning off and on of the ceiling fan, opening the windows wider or closing them. When all this has me even wider awake, I grab a book and read until I seem to be calmer, then try again. The fuzzy feeling lasts for hours and this is when a half hour nap helps. My heart goes out to you regarding your mum, and when this happens and we are not able to be there the worries can escalate sometimes too much. If you need to go back to ease you mind, then do book a flight, you will not regret it.
    There are times when the closet does the trick ( and I do LOVE clothes ) but other times I must get outside even if just a walk around the beds to check to see what is new, or others a full fledged dive in. Just this past week, I was talking to my neurologist and he said that the constant adjusting of the vision and spacial awareness is extremely helpful for our brain and that my garden obsession is healthy in my case. So…. all that reorganizing and sorting etc. is actually helping your brain. Oh, I do love the morning pictures you shared with us, and it is calming just to look at those. Our neighbour’s trees have grown so much that sunrise is out of the picture now. ( even sunlight in some spots) Do what you must to look after yourself and wellbeing, and continue to share with us your love of fashion and clothes. Sending you a big hug.

  9. Fashion is at the nexus of physicality, identity, and aesthetic. There is no way it’s silly. At least so I have said for a while. And if you have something productive, or at least harmless, that eases that 3am pit of despair, how great is that? I am so sorry your mama is back in the hospital. It must be really hard. I hope someone is there who can tell you when it’s time to go home and see her again. And if not, you are always doing your best, Sue, in my way of thinking xoxoxox.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. My nieces have been pressed into hospital duty again. I hate to have to rely on them, but I know they don’t mind. Still after all the years of their father’s (my brother Terry’s) health issues and his being in hospital so, so much I hate for them to have to do that all over again with Mum.

  10. this piece was very timely for me. yesterday i made arrangements with a closet organizing company to re-do my walk in closet. just the thought of the results makes me feel happy and in control. the new closet will be my impetus to weed out, categorize and care for my much loved clothes. if it is shallow to care that much about fashion and the things i wear, then i am shallow. but i figure as long as it’s not ALL i care about, i’m okay.

  11. Like Judy, above, I could have written this piece. And while not quite as methodical and planful as you, I LOVE clothes, love organizing them, love reading and thinking about them, and over the years have stopped being apologetic about my obsession. I think caring for what you already own and being thoughtful about what you buy, is a very high level of living in our disposable culture. I really, really loved this piece. My husband just asked me who I was feverishly writing to, so I told him about your blog- and your great care and interest in clothes, and he said “I just don’t understand it”. And I said “I know. But I do”, and that’s why I loved this post so much. 💚

  12. Beautiful,beautiful photos of the river before the dawn!
    I’m so sorry,but can hear you indeed… all the worries are darker and more dangerous during the night,the darkness is deepest before the dawn…
    Beautiful thoughts can help,imaging beautiful places too
    Fashion is beautiful ,sometimes crazy,superficial,dangerous for the planet and silly,but it is,and can be, an art,solace,play,expression,cure….way to peace as well
    You are so right : order brings peace and if we could make some order in our life (with neat closet or kitchen or garden or…whatever) we’ll feel better
    Hope that your worries and sleepless nights will be better
    Dottoressa

    1. Thanks, Dottoressa. Fashion in the worst sense of the word is selfish and frivolous and damaging to the environment. You are so right. I was ranting on IG yesterday about the Met Gala in New York. So much money spent on ridiculous costumes, even if it was for charity. My friend sent me a clip of a newscast from Australia where the commenter said that the display at the Met Gala was a “let them eat cake” moment. Wish I’d said that.

      1. Yes. Found myself discussing it with Mr G and saying that it is Versailles. That didn’t end too well, if history is correct.

  13. I’m one of many who understand this post and as much as I love clothes, I love decorating even more, dubbing my affliction ODD — obsessive design disorder. You fall asleep planning outfits and I often fall asleep redecorating my house. Whatever helps! Here’s to better nights ahead and well wishes for your mom.

    1. I like decorating just not the shopping that goes with it. But when Hubby goes away fishing and I do a big clean, I always rearrange things. Redecorate on a small scale. Remove this old vase, pack it away, bring out a vintage bowl instead. I love doing that.

  14. Sending up prayers for your Mom, sister and her husband. Thank you for writing this beautiful post. I feel so much better about the time and effort I devote to fashion and my wardrobe. I do hope you have a good sleep tonight.

  15. I would never, ever call you shallow. You have a true gift of putting into words what I so often feel. The sleepless nights, the wooly brain, the worry of past, present and future. If planning and organizing outfits and closets puts you to sleep, more power to you. I am definitely going to try this, because so far changing pillows and worry does not work. Thank you for a very thoughtful post. All the best to your family in these trying times.

  16. Such a great post, Sue! When I saw the title, I was surprised you’d wrote another Style/Fashion piece so soon after your weekend post. . . And when I started reading, I saw that you hadn’t actually done that, except that yes, you had. . . .That is, you wrote a piece that situates our supposedly superficial interest in Fashion and Personal Style with all those darker “real-world” supposedly deeper concerns that keep us awake at night. You let us glimpse fear and sadness and maybe even a bit of chaos, and then — without denying it — you showed that Fashion can be a way of calming and controlling, sometimes even healing, those realities we all live with. And on top of that, gave us beautiful photographic evidence as a metaphor for the lightening and brightening that arrives through your wardrobe organization. Repeating myself here, but “such a great post!” Proud and grateful to be quoted here — and I will be thinking of you and hoping the best for you and your family. xo

  17. Your rituals of caring for your clothes and how you wear them are important connections to who you are and bring solace. They are also a creative outlet that brings you back to yourself. ❤️ Thinking of you and prayers for your Mom, you and your family. Life is beautiful and difficult.

    I can relate to you, but my rituals are more connected to rearranging my dishes, washing them and using different dishes every day. I collect too much, but a friend told me once that it was my way of showing off my creativity. That helped me feel better, but I still am trying to organize and downsize. Never a minimalist, but doing better.

  18. Sorry about Mum and your sister’s heartbreak. And so much more…things you cannot make better, but need a way to cope with the overwhelming feelings. Makes perfect sense that organizing your clothing brings you comfort and helps still a too busy mind away from things you cannot control, so that you can bring order into at least one corner of your mind/life. Tactile relief, too…all those textures soothing some of your sadness and worries. xo

    1. The tactile thing is important, you are so right. And now that you mention it, I always think of my favorite pieces with an adjective describing texture attached. My soft grey cashmere sweater or green nubbly tweed jacket.

  19. What a wonderful articulate post! I understand and admire your ability to put your feelings into words. A healthy way to deal with stress. Thinking of you, your Mum and your sister and her husband. I understand your feelings and am sorry that you are having to experience this difficult time.- Mary Lou

    1. You know, writing that post was almost as helpful to me as organizing my closet. I always used to tell my students to write their way through an emotion or a decision. I need to remember my own advice. 🙂

  20. What LOVELY photos, especially the last one! So sorry to hear about your hospitalized loved ones. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who imagines different outfits while lying awake at night…I take great pleasure in the accomplishment of caring for clothes that are quality and bring me joy – and how long I’ve had some pieces that still look almost new, because I have cared for them. I’m away for work this weekend and camping next weekend, then I hope to do the Fall Closet Turn myself.

      1. Got a question for you, Sue. Is there any way to see when you’ve replied to a comment, besides going back to the post and looking through all the comments again? I know some bloggers use Disqus, which sends you an email if someone replied to your comment. It’s fine if you don’t reply, but it also feels wasted if I never see it…
        Cheers!
        MK

  21. So sorry to hear about you Mum and sister. It is very hard when you are far away and feel out of control. Do take the flight to visit them – you may regret it later if you don’t.
    Sleeplessness is the pits! I have been an insomniac most of my life so well understand the hangover feeling the next day. My displacement activity is cleaning! There is something soothing about cleaning out a cupboard making a little order out of chaos. So no, your wardrobe tidying and outfit planning is not strange. By doing something repetitive and not requiring deep thought somehow we are calmed.

  22. Yes, you have identified a creative coping outlet, a self comforting method which has probably been in use among women for millennia. Certainly, I learned those habits at my mother’s knee. Even the wardrobe planning ahead, it’s thrifty and frugal to do so. She grew up in the Great Depression and passed on the “use it up or wear it out, make it do or do without”mantra to me.
    So, although I’ve lurked for years on this site ( one of my favorite) for several years now this post struck down to the roots of me, Sue. Thanks for expressing and endorsing such a fundamental domestic activity. Besides being energizing and often so much fun! 💕

  23. I know there are those who pooh-pooh fashion as shallow. But I think of it as a creative endeavour for those of us who may not have talent in other artistic areas. We are creating a pleasing image by combining colour, pattern, texture, line. We are “painting” a picture in our own way… our own creative expression of who we are.
    And organizing is a great way to take control when you are feeling anxious about things out of your control.
    I find both these things rewarding!
    Sending positive thoughts to the universe for your mom. Hang in there!

  24. I’m sorry to hear that there have been more worries with your mum. I’ve had elderly parent issues causing me lots of lost sleep in the last couple of years as well — I usually fall asleep fairly easily, but wake up in the wee hours and have great difficulty drifting off again. My most successful strategy, after lots of trial and error, has been to move to the spare room so that I don’t disturb my husband and to turn on a comforting audiobook at low volume — usually Jane Austen or Barbara Pym whose books I know inside out and backwards and forwards. The familiarity of them is very soothing and I don’t have to stay focused to find out what happens next. If I set the sleep timer for 30 minutes or 45 minutes, I have usually fallen asleep before it ends.

    Just wanted to mention that in case it might prove helpful to you. I wish I could be as productive as you are as a coping mechanism during daytime hours … I tend to feel paralyzed when I’m worried and it’s hard to find the energy to clean closets or tackle the myriad of other tasks that could keep me busy.

  25. Hi Sue,
    So sorry that your Mom is not doing well. It is so difficult to watch our parents age and become unable to live on their own, to lose their freedom to move about and to cope with illness. I hope that she bounces back.
    Your sunrise photos are lovely.
    Planning outfits or gardens sometimes helps me fall asleep. It’s soothing.
    I love when I organize! I’m not the most organized person, nor the neatest, but when I get something in shape, I am a happy camper.
    I’ve been going through old clothes in our summer house recently and about 10 bags are being donated. I am thrilled. I allowed myself a little to decide on at a later date. Part of me wants to run upstairs, grab those items and put them in a donation bag. But I will wait.
    In early October, I’ll do the switch of summer and winter clothes, which involves moving almost everything out of the closet to get to my seasonal storage area behind everything and taking summer clothes out of drawers and packing it, so that I can unpack winter items and put them in the drawers. I don’t enjoy it, but I am quite satisfied when I am done. I hope that I will find more items to donate.
    I wish you some restful nights and good news about your Mom.

  26. Oh yes, and yes again, that worry train, I know it well. As someone else has said I could have written this, as to keep one’s sanity in these crazy times it is so important to surround oneself in something that occupies the mind and soul. And if it’s clothes, which like you, it often is for me, then great – we need that solace.

    That was a beautifully written post – thank you for your thoughts and wisdom 🙂

    1. I think that the covid lockdowns lulled me into a sense of complacency with respect to the passage of time. Hubby and I trapped in our little peaceful, book-reading, blogging, walking bubble. Then this summer reality hit me.

  27. When I read your post where you said you’d be alone this week, I wondered if you’d be enjoying it, as you have in the past. I don’t think I would right now.
    My way of coping with these nights is an odd one. As I tend to wake up very early and not go back to sleep, I go to sleep for the night when I want – even 7:30 sometimes, so that if I wake up at 3am for good – so be it. I tend to sleep better in the early part of the night, as do most people (lot of reasons for it). I’m so sorry about your mom, and your sister. I have some similar worries, and coupled with the collective worries of the world during this time – it seems overwhelming. I love reading your posts (although I don’t comment often) and you’ve introduced me to some great authors who keep me going in mysteries. I think you’ll sleep better when Stu is home. Xoxo BTW- I dream up art projects and recipes….

    1. You’re right, Kathy. I didn’t enjoy the alone time like I usually do. In fact I welcomed Stu’s return and the energy he always brings with him. Not that I don’t normally welcome his homecoming… but he does mess up my newly cleaned house just by coming in the door. I don’t know how he does that. Ha. 🙂

  28. Thanks you so much for giving me permission to not feel guilty about my total interest in fashion, what will I wear? Do I really need another sweater, pair of jeans, etc. when I could donate to my favorite charity! Fashion makes me feel good and it’s a wonderful distraction from life’s worries. Love the pics of the snow. Grew up on a lake in Michigan and now I’m in what they like to say, Sunny Arizona??? Hope your Mum is on the mend.

  29. Stunning photos and lovely thoughts. What calms us calms us, and I see no need to apologize, as long as whatever it is does no harm to anyone else. Happily, this thing that calms you inspires the rest of us here, so more’s the better.
    Sending good thoughts for your mum, hoping she is well enough to get home soon.

  30. My beloved cat died a few weeks ago…and now my husband is away on a much delayed & necessary trip. Mentally restyling my wardrobe is helping me get through the nights and sorting and reorganising my closet through the days. My Mum is in a care home thousands of miles away, I know how it is hard to be far away when they need help. I love your writing & style. Best wishes

  31. Sarah hit it! I love taking care, of curating, of clearing out and even the day to day care to keep things under control…although my desk, where everything lands (even mail to my husband) is organized for a day and then it seems it’s a paper war all over again…sign.

    But if my closet/dressing area/and bathroom, (which are not shared with hubby) is not absolutely pristine, I am pretty sure I am getting too scattered and possibly depressed about something….It soothes me too when I worry, especially about the covid and stuff I have read about the vaccine and mandates, and I just clean and reorganize, simplify and sell or donate…
    Great therapy!

    Look forward to your posts and your monthly vlogs…and wow! your photos! Thanks for being you.

  32. You are the only friend in high school who I could trust to really take care of clothing of mine that you borrowed, especially that sweater. Haha!
    I think you have a kind of respect and gratitude for the things you love when you care for them.
    There is a mindfulness in the process of ‘doing’ that my Buddhist friend used to teach me in order to breathe and think more calmly and I’m thankful your post reminded me.
    I’ll be thinking of your mum and Carolyn. ❤️

    1. Ah… that sweater. How I loved that sweater. Mindfulness is exactly what it is. I hadn’t thought of it like that. Which is why I only do it when Stu is away. I need to be able to spread out plus have hours alone in a quiet house.
      Things are deteriorating in New Brunswick health care, or so I’m told by my nieces. They see a difference even since last spring. I haven’t been able to contact Mum since she was admitted because the nurses are too busy, and they have moved her room and I can’t contact anyone who can tell me the number of the phone in her room so I can call Bell Alliant. And both nieces have colds so are wisely staying away from the hospital. Still, at least Mum is not at home in danger of falling. Maybe I better go organize Stu’s drawers now. Ha.

  33. In the wee hours of insomnia this morning, I wrote on the blog of Bridgette Raes, Style Expert, “I love how you combine such purpose and intention with our sense of fashion. It is not a frivolous hobby or vain pursuit. It adds so much to and, indeed, is our very person.” I feel I can paste the same comment here. Her blog was entitled, “When Less Really Is More” and dealt with NYC stress.
    I am praying for your mom, your sister, her husband, and you. I find my solace in my faith. Gratitude and thankfulness, too. May we all sleep well in the coming seasons of our lives.
    Charlene H

  34. You have legit worries and there is no denying that. We all have different ways on how we deal with stress. Losing yourself for hours organizing your clothes is wonderful. Far from superficial. Enjoying tea and taking pics of the river is wonderful … such beauty to behold in the early hours.
    These are difficult times, be easy on yourself. The best part of retirement is … catnapping, whenever we want! ❤️

    Ps…thanks for keeping us updated. We truly care!

    1. The river is so calming in the morning or the late evening. I love it then. But we’re bracing ourselves for a noisy weekend since the weather is predicted to be hot and sunny. That’s noisy boat weather! Ha. Not to dis boats in general….just the big noisy ones on our very small river.

  35. The river photos were superb.
    Like Denise, at night time I play audio books on my iPad, Pride and Prejudice is a special favourite – the fact that I know some passages by heart is a bonus. Even if it doesn’t send me to sleep it is always calming to hear Jane Austen.
    The fact that organising your clothes gives you peace of mind is wonderful. It is a pity that women are sensitive to the criticism that style and fashion are somehow frivolous. Not so. Clothing can bring drama and detail and style into lives.
    My dear friend, even when very ill, dressed with flair and style and received well deserved compliments which really lifted her spirits.

  36. I’m so amazed that so many of us spend the wee hours thinking about clothes. When sleep eludes me I fall asleep wondering if my new pants need tailoring or what will go with my new blue top.
    I feel ashamed about this when there is such hardship in the world, but hey, whatever gets you through the night. I hope the news about your mother improves and that you can get a flight to see her soon. We all care about you.

  37. I wholly agree with you, although for me it’s slightly different. I follow fashion a bit (I blame my parents, as they ran a ladies fashion shop during my childhood!) – and often follow trends, but only when it suits me and my style!

    However for me it’s the first thing I think about when I’m planning anything. For example, each day I consider what I’m wearing before anything else, and then I can relax into the day. I’m obsessive about planning my wardrobe for any trips away. So as soon as that is sorted I’m happy and can move on to plan other things… like where, how, etc.. So if that’s shallow, then so be it.

  38. I enjoyed the responses as much as your writing!
    You have written my heart. Loving clothing is so much more than buying. The creative process of discovering the perfect combination is satisfying in a way that I couldn’t quite explain…..until now. I add my thanks to you for permissions granted. Love and strength for your family.

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