The wonderful LL Bean raincoats, that I purchased two years ago when we first moved to Virginia, and which still fit the children perfectly fine, have defective zippers.
We learned this, when we were in New York City, at the Statue of Liberty during Spring Break and it felt like it was -20 degrees and all four of the children were crying from the biting wind because their zippers were separating. So I decided that because LL Bean, being the wonderful company that it is, is a company that stands behind all of it's products and offers a replacement if you're not 100% satisfied, I'd return the coats. My first opportunity to do such, was this past weekend. Instead of mailing the coats in, I opted to drive up to an awesome LL Bean store in one of our local Malls. Going in to the store, I had in my hand four defective bright yellow coats that were in the following sizes:
It was my INTENT to exchange the coats for the exact same sizes, because that seemed like the ethical thing to do. However, once I arrived in the store, they didn't have the exact same sizes in yellow. And I like yellow. It's gender neutral so the coats can be handed down and there is no bickering about anything related to coats because everyone has the SAME one. This brings me great satisfaction and somehow appeases my need for resourcefulness, order, and peace.
Once in the store, a very helpful clerk assisted me in picking out replacement coats for the children. I had to suppress my glee that I was handed a new size 5/6 for Henry (the four fit, but this is even better) a new size 6X-7 for Elizabeth (she can still fit in her size 3 bathing suit, so this should fit her until she's 12), a new size 8 for William (who is only slightly larger than Elizabeth, so this should fit him until he's 10) and a new size 10 for Carolyn (who has grown another three inches since September and will probably be taller than me by the time she's 9.) We are now set in the rain coat department for the next few years, but I felt a pang of guilt walking out the door with these brand new slightly larger coats, essentially for free, so I bought the kids all matching yellow rain boots. And Charlie bought himself several pairs of shorts, shirts, socks. If I hadn't stopped him, he would have also bought us matching canoes. And the racks to hold those canoes that go on the car.
(We often lack self control when we're in outdoor recreation stores.)
(It's one of our weaknesses.)
The purpose of that introduction was to share my excitement about our new raincoats, but also, to highlight the fact that we went to the Mall on Memorial Day weekend. The Mall, where there were big sales. And thus, began some shopping for items that we'd need over the summer. Namely, shorts, bathing suits, shoes and other such items for children who seem to be wearing through their clothes in record time.
(Fact: I don't remember William having so many holes in the legs of his pants? So all of those pants that had been handed down from big brother to little brother were in relatively good shape. Alas, all of those pants now have gaping holes in the knees. Moreover, the waist bands are shot and the poor little chap has to run around with one hand on the back of his pants to keep them from falling to his ankles.)
The day after I went shopping for the family, I returned to the Mall to pick up a few items for myself. Which was a very nice thing for me to do, considering I haven't done any clothes shopping for myself in over a year and why am I wearing corduroys to work in 90 degree weather?
That I haven't been in to a changing room in over a year is probably a good thing, because I don't think my fragile condition could have handled the fluorescent lights and huge mirrors that add not only weight, but dimples that, hey wait a minute, let me put this piping hot Cinnabon down and take a closer look: WHERE DID THOSE COME FROM?
(Full disclosure: It wasn't a Cinnabon. It was a piping hot gloriously delicious pretzel that I was sharing with Henry and I'd been contemplating buying a second pretzel, until that very moment.)
That's how (and why), for the first time in my life, I picked out a nice bathing suit dress. My only complaint is that it "only" comes down to the top of my thigh and I'd really like it if it extended all the way to the floor.
So, I've been tossing this idea around for a while (my whole adult life, in fact) and it's becoming more and more clear to me that although I may think about it, I'm NOT one of those people who are good about exercising every day. (Week / month / quarter). Even when I did exercise every day and relished the endorphins because of it, I somehow lack the commitment or dedication or motivation or whatever it is that keeps people engaged in their exercise routine day after day. I've got a great amount of admiration for those that don't let anything get in their way of a work-out. But for as long as I can remember, I allow other things to take priority, so my life gets consumed with stuff that isn't directly related to me taking care of myself. It really feels like there is no time, which is a pathetic excuse.
There's always time.
You just have to make it.
After the sight of myself in the mega mirror on Saturday, I'm making a concerted effort to do just that. Last night, I came home from work and jumped on my little trampoline for 20 minutes while the kids practiced their reading. Today, I took the stairs from the 2nd floor to the 8th floor at work and tonight, I did 100 sit-ups and 50 push-ups. It was over the span of two hours, but it's a start.
With my sudden gusto to get in to better physical shape, I'm praying I don't do something totally crazy like sign myself up for a triathlon.
(At least not yet.)