On Happiness and Why I Wear a Uniform
I have to give my little sister all the credit for this week’s post. She told me that she had read somewhere recently that the president never decides what he’s going to wear or what he’s going to eat for breakfast, at least in part because he has so many decisions to make in a day that he doesn’t want to waste energy on small items. The idea is that a human is only capable of making so many decisions in one day.
Now, my job(s) are nowhere near as vital to the country as the president. But my actions, my state of mind and my mood are always pretty vital to my family and my clients. When I feel good, I work harder, have better ideas, and get through the challenging times better. And so I reflected on how I could simplify my life and challenge myself less with minutia, presumably freeing up my brain for more important matters.
And one way I realize I do this is by wearing darn near the same thing every day. I just laid in a supply of white t-shirts. I like white t-shirts. White t-shirts make me feel good. They look good with jeans and I can dress them up with scarves, sweaters and skirts. This one item is versatile enough to go with anything, so I never have to worry about “having nothing to wear.” As long as I do laundry every week, I am golden.
Gretchen Rubin, in her fantastic book "The Happiness Project," talks about a study that showed that people think they like variety more than they do. People have favorites. It’s OK to have favorites. If something is your favorite, you know you can’t go wrong.
One of my clients, a gentleman in his sixties, actually made fun of me for my “uniform.” He said, “The only thing I’ve ever seen you in is long skirts and clogs.” For a moment I was concerned about this, thinking that maybe I needed to change things up. But then, I thought...“Why?” I just got a couple of wild pairs of tights and called it a day.
Here is my point. My life is complicated. I am trying to balance caring for four small children with a growing business, friends, my own interests, hobbies, my marriage and my civic obligations. The fact that I have found one way to simplify my morning routine has been a huge blessing to me. It’s one that I naturally resisted as a younger woman, but have settled into quite comfortably in my (GULP) mid forties.
If there is anything you can do to simplify your own life, by all means please do it. And you don’t have to wait to do it either! Embrace the mundane! Go get a stack of white shirts!