Saturday, January 26, 2013

The clothes I need

For a long time I was embarrassed to show my drivers license because I was inevitably always wearing the same blue hoodie in that moment as I was in the picture on the license. I could see the person checking my ID looking back at me, then at the ID again, then back at me, and thinking, "What, does this guy only own one shirt?"

I assure you nothing is further from the truth. I actually own five hoodies but I really only wear the blue one with any regularity (that is, about every day--if you know me, you know the hoodie I'm talking about).  This leads me to my next adventure in living on purpose: wardrobe. Who on earth needs five hoodies? Not me. Don't even ask me how many t-shirts I own. If nothing else, spending nine years in youth ministry will leave someone with a world-class collection of t-shirts.

Despite hardly ever buying new clothes, I have way more than I need. I credit this to hardly ever getting rid of anything and having a mother who shops so frequently as Marshalls that they gave her her own parking space. Furthermore, I am a horrible shopper and sometimes buy things I never end up wearing. This is because I get mixed up in my priorities. I am a pretty cheap shopper who likes to shop at outlet shops. Good deals, but sometimes I buy something that's a good deal but doesn't fit me quite right. Then after I wash it it doesn't fit me at all. I'm left with even more clothes I don't need.

So what if I wrote out a wardrobe based entirely on needs? What would that look like? Well, taking into account my lifestyle, work responsibilities, free time activities, etc, I came up with this list:

Formal (Interviews, weddings, funerals)
-1 suit
-1 pair dress shoes
-1 dress belt
-1 pair dress socks
-1 white dress shirt
-1 light blue dress shirt
-1 tie to go with both shirts

Business Casual (for work and less formal events)
-4 pairs of pants
-3 more button-up, collared shirts
-1 belt
-3 ties to go with shirts
-1 pair shoes
-3 polos for warm weather
-5 undershirts
-5 pairs of socks

Casual (Evening and weekends with friends)
-2 pairs of jeans
-5 t-shirts
-2 pairs casual shoes
-2 light-weight long-sleeve shirts
-2 hoodies
-6 pairs socks
-3 pairs of shorts of warm weather
-1 pair sandals

Comfy (Relaxing at home)
-1 pair super-comfy sweatpants
-1 super-comfy sweatshirt

Activewear (exercising, hiking)
-1 pair athletic shorts
-5 pair t-shirts
-1 pair tennis shoes
-5 pairs of athletic socks
-1 pair hiking boots
-1 pair waterproof pants
-1 long-sleeve breathable shirt
-1 short-sleeve breathable shirt

Work clothes (yardwork, etc)
-1 pair old jeans/carhartts
-1 pair old shorts
-1 pair old tennis shoes
-3 old t-shirts
-1 old long-sleeve t-shirt
-1 old sweatshirt
-1 old coat

Seasonal
-1 bathing suit
-1 pair gloves
-1 baseball hat
-1 snow hat
-1 rain jacket
-1 winter jacket
-1 work jacket

That's all I came up with. Did I miss anything? Am I overshooting? I must admit, I feel a little guilty making this list because I think I could actually do with even less. Next post I will take an actual inventory of all the clothes I own and make some hard decisions. I will also elaborate on the rationale behind such an exercise. What would be on your list?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Life on Purpose: Phase One

For a long time I assumed that because I am the one making the choices in my own life, most everything I do is on purpose; most everything I do is something I mean to do. And in the sense that "on purpose" means the opposite of "on accident," this is true. I didn't pack a swiss cake roll for lunch today on accident; I did it on purpose. I meant to. However if I took some time to sit down and think through what I pack for lunch, if I factored in nutrition, cost, convenience, and, of course, scrumptulescentness, would I still pack the swiss cake roll? For that matter, would I have purchased them in the first place? Probably, but you get the point.

I think if I were to step back and really take a good, hard look at the small, everyday choices in life as well as the big, life-altering choices, I might realize that some of my choices don't make a lot of sense. They aren't, in some fundamental way, what I really want.

My family's decision to rather randomly move 8 hours away to a place we had only visited once and had no full-time job or place to live (we confirmed our housing here four hours after we closed on our house) has really brought this idea of living life on purpose into focus for me.

We have spent the past five years in Columbus, Ohio. This is my hometown and has a lot of really great reasons to live there including family, cheap cost of living, blah, blah, blah. But five years ago we didn't really choose to live in Columbus, per se. We chose to take a job that was in Columbus. A lot of people do this and it's not necessarily wrong or dumb. There were a lot of things we loved about the place but a lot of things that just didn't click with what we really wanted. So we spent a stinking long time thinking a lot about it and decided the best place to live for us, taking all factors into account, would be Asheville, North Carolina. And we up and moved.

So far it is feeling like an amazing decision.

There is a lot more to say about the move and definitely more to say about this idea of living on purpose, but it's long and my thoughts are still pretty disorganized about it. Maybe the point I'm getting to for the moment is that there are degrees of living life on purpose and I'm submitting for the approval of the midnight society and/or you the reader that the more on purpose we live life, the more satisfied we are likely to be. Thoughts? 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Parenting Bliss

Potential reasons my son throws food on the ground instead of eating it:

-For the joy of hearing it splatter on the dining room floor
-He is practicing his pitching motion in preparation for his career as a major league baseball player in which he makes millions of dollars and gives it all to his father as compensation for the countless hours scrubbing the dining room floor
-Food? What food? I don't see any food!
-He has decided to become a vegan
-To test his boundaries with his parents
-He wasn't hungry anymore
-The beginning phase of a long but persistent battle to slowly suck all happiness out of my soul

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Despite my opinion that New Years Eve is one of the lamest holidays around, I am pretty sweet on New Years Day, mostly because I love making New Years resolutions. Ever the optimist, I love making lists of all the great things I will accomplish in the coming year. However, just like the folks who fill the gym for the first two weeks of January but are never to be seen there again, I tend to sputter out on most of my goals pretty early in the game. As I ring in this New Year, I can't even remember if I made any goals for 2012 much less say I accomplished any of them. So I decided to do something a little different. This year, I am making anti-goals. Here is a list of things I hope will not happen but most likely will in 2013:


-Continue my slow decline of physical fitness as I age
-Eat more processed foods and drink more Dr. Pepper
-Stop wasting so much time reading and being with my family and really bury my free time with bad television shows
-Fall out of contact with close friends
-Write even less than I did in 2012
-Avoid pursuing big but scary dreams for my life and settle for what is easy and right in front of me

I started out thinking this would be a goofy post but it turned out a little serious. This is actually an interesting way to look at goals. What are your anti-goals for 2013?