Surprised to see Miley Cyrus as one of my blog post pictures?  Me too!  I was looking around for a picture to capture today’s post title and couldn’t pass up this hilarious “I got dressed in the dark before going to buy an orchid” outfit.  Maybe her leggings came this way when she bought them. Or maybe she survived a fight and scaled a chain link fence.  Who knows.  My ripped-up leggings took over a decade to perfect, and I’ve had them since Miley was in preschool. 

Remember the days when buying something online was still a novelty?  Maybe even frowned upon by some as being too risky or dangerous?  When mainstays today like Amazon.com were still getting underway?  When most people with internet connections at home used dial-up?

I remember the first couple things I purchased online, without thumbing through an actual catalogue and calling an 800# to order. I found a wonderful short-sleeved denim dress from Harold’s that buttoned all the way down the front.  Yes, yes, it was circa 1997 everyone.  And…a pair of black DKNY leggings from a website I’d read about in Vogue magazine of all places – boo.com.

I just checked boo.com today and it’s something completely different from what it was back then.  The magazine article focused on women who were on the cutting edge of technology, discovering the power and potential of the internet.  I’ve religiously devoured every issue of Vogue since I was about 16 and have subscribed for over 20 years.  This story really stood out! One of the women had launched boo.com – a name she chose because it was short, simple and easily pronounceable for just about anyone around the world.  Great idea!  While a clothing site like hers might be considered quaint now, it was well ahead of its time in providing suggestions on what to order based on your personal preferences and where you could “try on” clothes via the website.  Remember, this is 1997-1998 so not many sites had this feature!

So, those leggings.  They’re solid black, slightly bootcut with zippers at the ankles.  The zipper lining is neon yellow-green. And those darn leggings have gone just about everywhere with me – on walks, to the gym, to the beach, to the grocery store, on trips.  They’ve been with me through weight gain, weight loss and back around again. They forgive.  I probably paid way too much for them given my budget back then, but you know what?  I still have them!  Only now, they’re confined to indoors only.

Yes, these leggings are now so worn and ripped I can’t even dash outside to take out the garbage in them!  Well I could, but I have some sense of decency and don’t want to scare my neighbors.

My uniform lately has been getting a little schlumpy.  When I’m not out of the house I’m often in the trusty indoor leggings and an ancient light cotton flannel shirt (For Joseph brand) that is so soft I can hardly feel it on my body.  Another one of those “I spent too much on it 15 years ago but I still have it” purchases.  I used to watch the show “How Do I Look?” where part of the process is for the friends of the person who’s getting a makeover to go through their closet and pull out things they want the person to get rid of.  I cringed at the horrific things pulled out of those closets – and cringed too at how emotionally attached people got to old, worn-out, horribly out of style clothing even to the point of sobbing and tears.  You can bet I’d hang onto these leggings and that flannel shirt kicking and screaming.  I’ve taken boatloads of old clothes to Goodwill over the years but not those two items.  (I don’t think my ripped leggings would even be accepted by Goodwill.  Well, maybe Miley might like them but they’re a little too big for her I bet.)

So, the schlump uniform is getting old.  And I’ve painted myself into the corner of being sick of my current clothes – the ones I can still fit into – but not wanting to go buy new clothes given my larger size and my wallet’s smaller size.  Gotta stick with my Money Diet.

I’ve asked myself how much I’m willing to take a gamble – to roll the dice?  Do I wait an expected 2 or 3 weeks for a job opportunity that I know would be wonderful (if I were even selected)?  Or do I hop on something else short-term meanwhile to keep myself busy for a few months?  I’m ready to get off the contractor merry go round, however it’s work I can do well and I can jump right in given my years of in-the-trenches experience.  And I’ll be suiting up to interview for one of those opportunities early next week!  It’s a good feeling when the phone keeps ringing and the email inbox keeps bubbling and popping. 

But it’s hard to stay positive sometimes.  Sometimes I am All Kinds of Angry.  Sometimes even the sunshine outside seems like a feeble attempt to brighten the day.  And making coffee at home in the morning isn’t the sexy little novelty it used to be.  The Diet Coke habit is long gone and coffee is now a daily necessity! I grab on tight and relish the steady rhythms at the core of my life that pulse unwavering like a heartbeat:  family…friends…hockey…pep talks…nights out with friends…and nights in with friends.  And even my cell phone and internet connections, for without them I’d pretty much feel like I was isolated and out camping in the woods. 

Oh and let’s not forget – how about a shout out to those die-hard, slowly-dissolving “indoors only” leggings.

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