FOMO

FOMO got the best of me. If you don’t know what that is, it’s fear of missing out. Seriously, it gets to me and then I shop. The problem is that five years ago, I picked out everything I would want in my dream house. Now, I realize I may never have a house. I found a way to make those things work in my apartment, for the most part. Some things have been discontinued since I picked them out. Some things I’ve ditched the idea of owning because of space. Margarita glasses, I’m still not sure about you honey.

I put my bone china in my bar where the alcohol goes and moved the glasses around so I have more space on that shelf also. So instead of a collection of alcohol I was planning on, I now have a three tiered server with gold trim by Royal Albert. Right now, we are isolating, so I won’t have people over anyways. Also, I got thinking, and with having kids, maybe it is better to not have alcohol in the house. A stocked bar is fun and all, but that is just tempting them when they are teenagers. They already steal my coffee when I put it down for a minute! I bought a stand to put my bone china on I’m just not sure it will work out. Right now it is staying in the bar because I have young kids, three and six years old. The reason I’m not sure it will work out is because I bought some more Le Creuset and for now, I’m putting it on the stand. I could put a French oven in the cupboard *gasp*, no that’s blasphemy. I am considering getting more shelves for the unit my Le Creuset is now displayed on, and there is another shelf that currently has kid art stuff on it. POTENTIALLY, that could hold some kitchen stuff. If I ever plan on getting serving dishes I’ll have to utilize that art shelf somewhat. The point is, there are options.

I want either an All Clad or Le Creuset pasta pot, but then I think space. The couple times I’ve tried to make a homemade sauce and a big pot of pasta have been frustrating because I only have one large stock pot. After the last time, I finally realized that I could cook the sauce in a dutch oven. So now getting a pasta pot in itself seems frivolous. Although, I just ordered a 4.7 quart oval French oven when I already own a 7.25 quart round French oven. Why did I do that? Honestly, because I wanted an oval cast iron pot, and I wanted a yellow Le Creuset piece. If I own a house with a large oven, I would have gotten a goose pot or something much bigger. Apartment life means apartment sized oven. Reality sunk in. I did feel like it wasn’t the worst thing to have different sizes. I also own a 2 quart French oven, the pumpkin one by Le Creuset. I would like the Tomato pot by Staub, which I believe is 3 quarts. Will I get a 1 quart pot? Possibly, if I have room, however, it is really not necessary. I like the Staub and Le Creuset as serving dishes as well. I picture using the 1 quart for corn or cranberry sauce during a holiday dinner.

Will I host a holiday dinner, given that I live in an apartment?? Possibly a very small one, but mostly just special meals with the kids or with our friends. I plan on pulling out the bone china on the regular once I have enough of it. It will be used weekly! I will tell my kids how having them home is special especially since I cannot see them everyday and if I cook something from scratch, we are having a fancy meal. Homemade pizza on bone china? That actually sounds like something I would do!

Have you had to make compromises because of space? Do you suffer from FOMO?

On A More Serious Note

I work in a grocery store. It’s been chaos. My company hasn’t announced a temporary hazard pay increase but others have.

I feel like I have accepted the fact that I will most likely get Coronavirus. We are doing our best: wearing gloves, using hand sanitizer and washing our hands very often. I work in three departments claims, receiving and cosmetics. In claims I touch most items that are returned and everything in the store that gets damaged. In receiving I work with the vendors/merchandizers/drivers. It is easier to keep a distance but some have been sick and the couriers touch all the boxes I have to handle. In cosmetics I am stocking and tidying. I know customers are touching products because I find open bottles constantly, which I then have to bring to claims and I possibly deal with it the next day. I’m not trying to complain. I’m just stating facts. Any position in the store you are dealing with people and things people have touched. It’s risky when a virus is going around.

I don’t worry so much for myself. I worry for my 72 year old coworker I adore and share an office with. I worry for my grandma who babysits my kids while I’m at work. My ex had convinced me that this virus isn’t too dangerous for our kids; that is mostly the elderly who are the most at risk. I can’t even begin to worry about my babies because I couldn’t handle it if anything happened to them.

When I get home, I put my clothes in the hamper and jump in the shower. I hope this is enough. I heard today that another store has a lot of people off work between Corona and the regular flu. Our store has some people in quarantine from association and self quarantine but no cases yet.

I need my job. If I was still with my husband, I’d probably take a leave of absence or quit.

Besides needing my job, there are reasons to stay. I love my job. I like my coworkers a lot. I’ve made a lot of friendships. Everyone has been working really hard and pulling together, especially lately. I love being part of this awesome team.

Still, I would probably leave to protect my babies and grandma if I could.

Splurging on Myself

I ordered four pairs of shoes this weekend. It may have been a bit overkill. The thing is, there was a time after babies where all my maternity clothes were too loose and getting holes in them. I wore them for way too long, much more than needed. The thing was, I was in debt. I was trying to save money.

I didn’t make myself a priority.

The last three years I have been trying to build a wardrobe. The first year I bought all new workout clothes. The next year, I bought some shirts and track pants. Last year, I started working again so I needed a work wardrobe; all black sweaters, shirts, pants and steal toed shoes. I also got new jackets, snow boots and my first pair of rainboots I’ve ever owned as an adult, which was very much needed. This year, I got two new sweaters and four pairs of shoes.

The first pair of shoes was for work. Since I am going to be working on the sales floor half the time now, I can wear running shoes. I got a pair for the gym. I got a waterproof pair of runners for when it is puddly outside. Lastly, I got a pair of high top Vans that are warm and weather proof. They are also pastel, so cute!

What will I buy next year? Or this year if I’m feeling rich with birthday money?????

  • bras, I’m still wearing a maternity bra from four years ago
  • sport bras
  • new work pants (if needed)
  • better, more comfortable, work shirts
  • two or three more t-shirts
  • a pair or two of Lululemon socks
  • new underwear

My plan isn’t to replace my shoes every year. My plan is to wear them out as long as possible. I want to keep my old running shoes and use them for the park and short walks, however, my foot has been bothering me for the last few weeks. I had been wondering if they no longer offered the support they once had, thus triggering my shopping spree.

I pretty much want to wear out everything as long as possible. I try to only buy things that I LOVE a lot. My jackets and boots I bought before lasted ten years before they needed replacing. I definitely won’t need any more sweaters for years. My biological dad always said, “don’t look at the price tag, buy quality, then it will last”. I truly believe in that (within reason). Definitely not going to buying any Gucci anytime soon!

So, I’m still in debt. I used some of my tax refund shopping instead of paying more down. I’m okay with that. When I take pride in my appearance and I’m comfortable, I feel better about myself. I definitely wasn’t feeling good about myself when I was wearing old, holey maternity clothes.

Pictures coming on Instagram (dianecrystalbrunet) when they arrive.

How did you build your wardrobe?

Perfectionism

Every time I try to keep a diary, I end up throwing it out. The first time I did this blog, I deleted everything. I’m a perfectionist. I also get so passionate in the moment and later feel like I look insane. Some things were written when I was in a very emotional state. I was going through a separation from my husband and I had just got diagnosed bipolar. I have mixed feelings about just writing that. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to know that I have been diagnosed that. I am also a fully functional human being. I have a job and usually work full time hours. I am a single mom with shared custody of two amazing kids.

I hope to move up in my company one day. Then I get scared. Will they read my blog? Will they find out I’m bipolar? Will it matter? I really hope that in this day and age, it won’t matter. I hope that if I randomly post a couple conspiracy theories I am seen as fun and quirky, not crazy. Maybe just the fact that I have a blog will give hesitation to promoting me. I do try have a boundary between work and my blog. There is a bunch of tiktoks I would love to make about work, but I’m too scared of being fired. You never know. We are in a day and age where this technological world is still new. That is just my opinion on it.

I also live with anxiety, but if anything it makes me a better employee (also, just my opinion). I am meticulous with details and following up with things. I don’t let anything fall off the wayside. I am not trying to boast. I can find work extremely stressful because of my anxiety. I am the type of person who would buy my own planner and make little work to do lists for each day, write down important deadlines, and notes if I have to get back to someone with an answer to something. I am 100% more affected with anxiety than bipolar. Maybe it is the type of bipolar I have, or the fact that I am on medication for it. I could easily opt for anxiety medication but I am coping and I am a big believer in exposure therapy. I noticed the longer I am in my role, the more good days I have, and the more comfortable I am at work.

Recently, I learned how to ship out packages. Every time I do it, I have anxiety. I double check that the address is right and perfectly align the labels on the box. I feel like I am doing a good job but I still have a fear that the senior employee will correct me. He is always really nice about it, but I still worry about it. I actually worry more that he won’t look and a mistake will be missed. In reality, I know I am doing things properly and worst case scenario is it will probably come back to us. Not the end of the world. For me, living with anxiety means things feel like a much bigger deal than they are. I know that, like other parts of my job, one day I will be able to ship packages without any second thoughts, it’ll just take some practice.

Personally, at this point in my life, I would not apply for a promotion until I was as emotionally ready as possible. I am being strategic about it. I am learning as much as I can. I am now going into my third department and learning it from the bottom up. Is this a completely necessary step for someone who wants to be promoted? No, but I find it helpful. The last time I was a manager, I started as a greeter. I later moved to cashier, then to keyholder. I was comfortable with this because I knew exactly what was expected from each position. My company now is much larger so I probably won’t have a chance to learn EVERY department bottom to top, but every bit helps. Nothing will completely prepare me for being promoted. I expect to have anxiety for a while, but I also expect it to go away eventually.

The one thing I need to remind myself of: most people get nerves with new tasks and in new positions. Maybe, someone with anxiety may struggle more, but that doesn’t make it less natural. I’m going to be okay eventually, as I master the skills, things will become second nature.

Diversifying

I had a win at work today. I did something I would have never done before. It actually took me two months to build up the courage. Last week I asked my boss if I could help in this other area of the store when she needs it. She told me she would have to talk to another manager and would let me know. I saw them yesterday and was curious what was said, but I didn’t have the nerve to “be pushy”. A couple of my friends said I should follow up today and finally, near the end of the day, in front of the comanager, I asked. My manager had completely forgotten about our conversation. The comanager said “Just double code her and she can be scheduled every week”. Within ten minutes my manager made it official!

The thing is, there was no job before I asked for it. The department had one full time employee who took care of everything. Occasionally, she would get some help but not regularly. I’ve been reading success at work books and they say you need to anticipate your bosses’ needs. I hoped for a shift or two extra, buy a new stamp set money. If this works out, I will be able to pay down much more debt and I will have more job security. So I say, go for your goals. Sometimes, things work out better than you could have hoped for.

New Vacuum Got Me Wavering

My vacuum has been dying for a couple weeks. It seemed to happen all of a sudden. On Saturday, I ended up replacing it. The Dyson Animal has been replaced with the Animal 2. It is bigger and heavier than my dead vacuum. The thing is, recently I have been reading a financial book. In it, it has a chapter on if you really need brand name products. It mostly focuses on purses and clothes. I have been thinking about it a lot since I am a brand snob. I have a Kate Spade and two JuJuBe diaper bags. I have Coach purses. I seem to wear Lululemon and Roots pants exclusively.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how scared I am. Will I go into a store and be too fat for their clothes? I could live without the embarrassment. Will I buy something and it falls apart quickly? I would have known better than to try to cut corners. In regards to the vacuum, I did seriously look a Bissel, but fear took over. I know that Bissels are returned on the daily to the store I work at. The fear sunk in. Would I have to return it? I have a shag carpet. Will a $200 vacuum work on that? Will it last? My Dyson lasted 7.5 years. If it lasts at least two years, when I use it, will it work as well? Is this cheaper Bissel who I am? What does it say about me that I wanted to save some money? Part of me felt disloyal for almost buying the Bissel. My anxiety creeped and creeped until one day I saw that it was in stock at Walmart and I impulse bought the Dyson. Even as I was buying it, I felt slightly idiotic for spending so much. A bunch of employees asked me if it was worth the money as I was checking out. I told them yes and why I felt that way (shag carpets, 7.5 years) but in my head I was wavering. Have I been brainwashed by the Dyson branding team?

I feel the same way about a Vitamix. Right now I am using a cheap blender, and it feels cheap. My smoothies come out chunky half the time. It dies on me. This is the second one of the same brand and its finicky. Even when it is all “blended” it isn’t as blended as a high end blender would do. Having a cheap appliance is not my usual, however, I got them randomly as a gift from my grandma. One of the two hasn’t completely died so I still have time to make a decision on what I will replace it with. I’ve debated for two years on if I will get the Ninja, Breville or Vitamix. I know that if I get the Ninja or Breville I’ll be doing it to save money. Does that mean they are bad? No. They are probably both excellent. They will both definitely be better than what I am currently using. The fear creeps in. Will I be disappointed? Will it last and be worth the money? If I say right now I’ll get a cheaper one and get the Vitamix next round, will the cheaper one last for ten years and I will be waiting in frustration for it to die, like I am right now? Every day my cheap ass blender holds up, I am grateful. I am especially grateful that my kids aren’t having a complete meltdown that their smoothie isn’t coming. I am also grateful to not have another expense right now. Part of me is so excited to replace the damn thing though. Then I think, maybe if my Keurig dies. Then I will have an actual spot for a blender. I can put some birthday money towards getting a good blender and I will be able to keep it on the counter. (I have a great Breville electric kettle so I can have tea/ instant coffee. I don’t think I will preplace the Keurig, it was a housewarming gift 7.5 years ago from my mom)

My problem? I struggle with fear, anxiety and snobbiness. My bio dad always said, “Never look at the price tag, buy quality.” Being money focused these days I wonder a lot. I wonder if my expensive clothes really do last longer. I know they are cozy and look great. I know I like them, but does that mean I can’t try to like different, cheaper brands? In theory, I am baby stepping my way out of my snobbiness. Trying to accept the realities of single mom life. In reality, am I really? (lol) I am a quality over quantity gal. I would rather have seven $150 outfits I love than 20 cheap outfits. The internal struggle is ongoing and real.

So tell me… how do you buy your clothes and appliances? What do you factor?

A Dream Store

Have you ever shopped at The Children’s Place? It is one of my favourite stores, not just because I used to work there. I wish they had baby and children’s Vans (especially the Disney collection), JujuBe tokidoki diaper bags, AppleCheeks cloth diapers and nursing pads, and the Honest Company bubble bath and shampoo. I just think all that would really go with their brand and make it a much bigger store.

What is your favourite store? What do you wish they had?