Eating the Frog

*Disclaimer - this has absolutely nothing to do with my children and thus has no rightful place in this book/blog {whatever version you are currently reading}.

Last month at teacher in service I sat through a particularly un-inspiring session where in presenters that the school paid good money to present to us, in fact, had us present to each other.  The topic:  Priorities.  I was super interested in this session initially as the "pre-test" alluded to the fact that we'd be learning how to balance work and family - something I feel like I need lots and lots of help with.  In the end that never happened and I was a bit bummed.  The only thing that resonated with me was the 3 minute introductory video on eating the frog.
Just what is that?  I'm glad you asked.  Eating the frog is a jazzy PR way of saying "do the thing you least want to do first and you'll have more energy to do the rest of your day's tasks".  Apparently NOT eating the frog can sap the rest of your energy and make you feel unproductive even if you have accomplished lots of other things.  This, was the story of my vacation.

I wanted to do 3 things this break:  1) Spend quality time with my kids, 2) Catch up on grading, and 3) Organize my closet.  (Remember when those shelves crashed?)  I do feel like I spent lots of time with the kids, we made 4 crafts, cooked together, played outdoors, and - uh - I was with them all day.  Additionally - I made dinner every night, kept up with laundry, visited friends, and started this blog!  That's a lot of stuff!  I even half heartedly cleaned some things... Still, Friday morning rolled around and I felt like a big ole' failure.  I didn't eat the damn frog. (No, it wasn't grading... though I really should be doing that now instead of typing this... It was the closet.)

My closet has basically been in a transitional state of desperate disarray since I got pregnant in 2008.  The influx of maternity clothes, then nursing clothes, then transitional wardrobe - followed by me at my thinnest adult weigh, quickly followed by more maternity, nursing, transition, me at my heaviest adult weight and now the current state has me, and my clothes feeling a bit bipolar.  Stuff was in the basement.  Stuff was on the shelves in the laundry room, on the floor of the closet - but very very little was on the shelves of the closet.  And as anyone with an overabundance of clothes will tell you - I looked at that mess every day and was convinced I had absolutely nothing to wear.  

Looking at that heap of disaster and you'd never in a million years believe that I am a person that craves organization.  But I do.  I thrive on it.  I love when everything has a place.  But my clothes were overwhelming me.  My proverbial frog that was croaking day and night for the better part of 3 years.  But it takes some ego bruising to admit that you will never again be a size 26 waist - the extra skin just isn't going anywhere.  It takes some self awareness to realize that you did in fact loose all of the baby weight, even though you still feel like a tub of butter, and as such you should NOT keep any of the maternity pants {even if they are super comfy}.  Nor should you keep the skirts that you wore while pregnant that are now stretched out.  Or the drawer full of tank tops that accentuated your once flat middle, or the adorable crop tops that you purchased when you were on two full incomes from cute boutiques because, however adorable they may be, they have the slight possibility of exposing your bear attack looking middle if you raise your arms.   

Now I have no idea what made today the day to serve up frog legs... but when I tried to squeeze myself into my favorite {pre-pregnancy} jeans for the 100th time I flipped.  I was done.  I wanted this shit out of my room and out of my eye site.  I wanted my organized closet, the shelves in the laundry room, I wanted a closet and chest of drawers that only contained things I would wear.  AND {double whammy} I wanted it to contain ALL of my clothes.  I'm through with seasonal transitions - I don't have the time for that nonsense.  Just the good stuff baby.  So I ruthlessly piled up everything that has made me feel bad about myself for the past year and a half and here's what I got:

This shameful pile contains 20 sweaters, 3 dresses formally worn to weddings, 5 purses, 10 pairs of shoes, and approximately 4 other bags full of clothing containing everything from nylons to sequined shrugs.  {BTW, that rundown was for the IRS, not for the good of the documenting... did you know you now have to submit a photo and itemized list to claim clothing donations on your tax return!?!}  ANYWAY, when all of this was out of the way, here is what I was left with:

Back Wall with sweatshirts, jackets, pants, dresses {this was my biggest section... difficult to part with a dress},
and sweatpants.  Above are bins of bags and accessories organized by size and function.
Another shot so you can see the lovely shoes all in a row
Right side wall with shirts, skirts, and my lovely row of scarves... {also pictured above}
Look at all those patterns.  Man I love my skirts.
I KNOW there is still a lot in there - and I have questions about a few of the items - especially the skirts - but I do love them and cross my heart I tried everyone of them on and only kept the ones that fit. I like their moves and I like their style.  Even so, I wear far less skirts now then when I was working in a building each day, but I don't want to rule that out as a future possibility.  I have promised to be more ruthless in the future though.  If these beauties don't grace my hips in the next 24 months they're headed to someone who can use them more then me.

So eating the frog... did it work?  Well I can't say I have MORE energy, in fact I'm pretty darn tired.  But I'm also pretty darn pleased with myself.  For the first time in 4 years I'm looking forward to getting dressed.  Ribbit. 


  1. And that's ALL seasons, right??!! And you are happy with everything and can go in and find something to wear everyday??!! Golly I hope so! It does look lovely Dear and I do know how much it bothered you.
    PS I like the frog theory! I always worked with a similar one but I called it the reward system. I got all the yuck stuff out of the way early and then rewarded myself with whatever frivolous activity floated my boat!

  2. Thanks Thanks! I did reward myself with new underwear... I should have really rewarded myself and got some good stuff, but stuck to the 5 for $20 bin at Target... at least now I'll have a weeks worth!