Slip ups are human.

This week I didn’t get rid of anything. I have been stressed out, and let’s face it, there is really only so much stuff you can get rid of. And, unfortunately, I can’t go through my husband’s closet, like I’d really like to, so now, I think it is just about maintaining what I have achieved so far.

That has been the easy part. I find that I don’t want to leave my things out, like I used to. I used to think that it was more convenient to leave my shoes by the door and my jacket over the back of the chair. I will need those things when I go to leave. And those jeans that I wear all the time? It’s easier to just leave them over the back of my vanity chair, or on the floor, because I am going to want them. But it is so much more satisfying to know exactly where my things are and to know that I am taking better care of them than I ever have. Bonus: Things that are cared for well last a lot longer than things that are thrown around like garbage.

So, let me give you some backstory: this past Saturday, the dental office I work for had tickets for all of us to go see Cirque Du Soleil in New Orleans. I planned on wearing this burgundy peplum top that I wear often and jeans. But I also have this really great salmon pink blazer that I wanted to wear out instead of my black trench coat, which doesn’t really match the top I had. So I convinced myself that I could go out and buy this black top that I had been loving for a while.

I started out telling myself that I would call Torrid, the store where the shirt was, and asking if they had it in stock. I know how I am when I go in that store, and I struggle with not buying things that I really don’t need when I go in. So, I figured I’d just remove the temptation from my path. Did I ever call them? No. I decided I’d just go and see if they had it.

I showed up at the store after work on Thursday, and as soon as I walked in, the salesgirl asked if there was anything I was looking for. “Yes,” I told her. “There is.” I pulled my phone out and pulled up the store’s website and showed her the shirt I was looking for. Unfortunately for me, they did not have it. The girls in the store told me they are a little ‘light’ on peplum tops right now, but hey! The clearance is all $20 and under! Dig through!

Well, impulse shopper that I am, those are the magic words. One of the lessons my grandma taught my sister and I growing up is that the four most important letters of the alphabet are S-A-L-E! I wandered around and picked up a few different things that I told myself I would wear often and then found a set of necklaces, which I decided I needed because my other go-to necklace broke. And this was a set of 3, so it’s a great deal, right? (Hint: Not really. $20-something for 3 cheap necklaces are not a great deal. Learn from me, guys.) I also decided that I need some new hoop earrings, because I don’t have any big ones, and I’ll wear them all the time, obviously.

I ended up checking out with 4 items, and when my total rang up at almost $100 I was shocked and ready to tell the girl to put some stuff off. But with her magic fingers, she was able to knock my total down to $70-something. I handed over my credit card and signed the receipt with a knot in my stomach and walked out to my car. I made the hour drive home that I make every night, and felt worse and worse about my purchases. By the time I got home I knew I’d have to return something. One of the things I bought, a set of PJs, I put on when I got home, and, while the pale pink color was lovely, and the fabric was wonderful, I really didn’t love it enough to keep. Back into the bag it went. I put the hoop earrings in, and they were way too heavy. I should have known that before I walked up to the register, but I didn’t care. Having them at home made them feel even heavier, and I knew that I’d wear them for an hour, maybe an hour and half before taking them out. Those ended up back in the bag for returning as well. One of the items, a bra, I kept, because I do love it, and you can never have too many, and then the set of necklaces I kept because I will get a lot of use out of them, until the fake silver wears off or the chain breaks.

The next day, I walked in with my bag and returned the items. It was only about $25 that I got back, but I knew I wouldn’t love the items enough to justify the purchase. Especially since I had walked into the store with the intent to purchase the one top, and if they didn’t have it to turn around and walk out. That did not happen.

Luckily, I partly learned from my mistake. My other weakness is makeup. One of the products that I use daily is almost out, and I knew that if I walked into Ulta on my way home, like I often do, I will end up walking around the store and find $50 worth of makeup to buy, when I went in for just the one item. So I ordered that online.

Unfortunately for me, that top was still stuck in my head, so I did order it online. And, those magic 4 letters were jumping out at me: S-A-L-E! Torrid was running an online sale: Buy 2 items, get a 3rd free! So I jumped on that, knowing that I can return anything I don’t like at the store. I ordered the top I have been in love with for a year, one I know will get a lot of use and wear, so it is actually a good investment, a pair of shoes that are pretty cute (If they don’t fit – because I am picky about how my shoes fit – I will return them. I swear.), and then I got some leggings for free.

So I am finding that this journey for me will be more of a cha-cha dance: two steps forward, one step backwards. And that is okay. As long as I keep up the work that I am putting in, I am okay with any progress I have made.

How do you deal with setbacks? Do  you beat yourself up, or dust yourself off? Leave me some comments down below.

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