Friday, 19 October 2012

Groucho Gaucho (and my No-Show Mojo)

Hi everybody! This is my first total repeat of an entire outfit - I wore everything here in my second-ever post, back in the early days of tiny pictures taken in my office. I looked at switching out something, anything, but really liked this combination the best. 


peacock scarf: a gift from my mother, street vendor, Mexico 
dress: Fat Beauty, thrifted, $7
belt: thrifted, worn here
gauchos: Larry Levine, Winners (mega-clearance!), worn here
shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction, Winners, clearance, $14


This outfit is excellent for work - the full skirt and gauchos make it easy to get down on the floor to play / make art / music / dance or be comfortable at my desk for paperwork marathons, plus both are easy-care and have a nice structure / stretch balance, yay! 


More favourite low(ish)-heeled awesome, amazingly comfortable shoes!
Worn here, here, and here in addition to the original outfit-go-round which tells their happy story. 


The only thing I might have done differently is not wear it the day after yesterday's outfit, which incorporated a belt of very similar width and stiffness - fine for one day, but not two in a row. Back to supple obi belts tomorrow.


jointed leaf necklace: Tradewinds (local shop) - I wear this one an awful lot - I love its shape, size, and pattern, adjustable length, and how the joints make it so comfortable. Close-up and other outfit links here

In my line of work, people book appointments to see me and I've always had an absurdly high rate of no-shows. Likely in direct proportion to how big a pet peeve of mine this is, right? As a result, I worship the ground that cancellations walk on, and it probably freaks folks right out when I thank them so effusively for letting me know ahead - that they are not coming. 


A brief but shining pre-wrinkled moment -
marked contrast from that earlier post's poor crumpled bum

In thinking on why no-shows might be grating a little harder than usual these days (despite my long, multi-strategied development of direct and indirect methods of managing them) - the paperwork overload, growing demands that I book appointments outside of regular working hours, peaks in urgency and complexity, my lately-unhinged relationship with time, lingering fatigue and limited energetic capacity - I realized that this month marks two years that I have been back to work following seven years of battling illness, having spent two-and-a-half of those years incapacitated and unable to work at all. 




I am reminded again that every day I feel well enough to get dressed and go to work - even on the crappy days when people miss appointments, every conversation leads to an Incident Report, pointless new and evil paperwork processes are piled on, there is shocking and outrageous rudeness, resistance is futile, and I have a hard time not bringing the serious seriousness home with me - is a victory.


54 comments:

  1. We are so glad you're back in the pink and looking beautiful. Good vibes all around!
    Connie*

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  2. Oh tell me about the DNAs! Back in the day when I was gainfully employed as something other than a general dogsbody at home, I worked in mental health, and the no-show rate (or Did Not Attends) was a permanent irritant.
    Why is it so,hard to keep in mind the bigger picture? Because of course you are right, when you keep everything in perspective, being healthy and able to work and having a decent job and one that most of the time is good - these are the important things.
    It makes me sad to think about your long struggle with illness, Amber. You always seem a woman of such creative energy and compassion, with wonderful ways of communicating, and I am very pleased and relieved that those qualities are out there in the world being fully utilised and appreciated.
    It's good to have Old Faithful outfits that work time and time again. If it ain't broke, there's no need to fiddle with it! xxxxx

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    1. Lovely feedback, Curtise - much appreciated!

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  3. I really REALLY have a thing about basic manners, and letting someone,anyone know you can't make an appointment, or if you can, turning up on time......is extremely important to me.I would be pissed! Time is precious,assuming it does exist,and people wasting it is just appalling.
    Health,good health,is something to be very grateful for, and yes,it IS so much more important than the shite going on around you, and it does matter so much more! I need to remember that myself.(Not that I have had any health issues, it's just something (because of that) that any of us need to be grateful for and appreciative of)
    Now,I'm not surprised you repeated an entire outfit-when it works, it works!Why mess with it?!
    Have a great weekend, and a nice chill out with whatevermakes you feel loved!
    XXX

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    1. Ha! Assuming time does exist! Thank you, Helga.

      You're right on with the concept of waste - my frustration is that my energy is limited, and I have so much I need to accomplish that I must choose very carefully where to direct my time and attention.

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  4. Wonderful scarf and shoes and the gauchos are great! I was unemployed for a long time though not due to illness, just the recession. Like you I have to remind myself on bad days that actually being able to get dressed and go to work is something I should be grateful for.

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    1. Thank you! It's true, isn't it? Easy to slip into a negative funk and disconnect from perspective. It's a brain-function thing that shifts more easily with practise.

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  5. Great layering Anvil.
    You are the master.
    have a grand weekend, my friend
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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    1. Fantastic to be the master of something, if not the space-time continuum - I'll take it!
      Thanks, Sacramento!
      xoxo

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  6. Bless you, my dear. It sounds like work is a real challenge. It might be of use to you to google "emotional freedom technique" and see what you think of that as a means of coping. I did train as an EFT practioner, but only do it for myself and friends. It is amazing at how it smoothes over the speed bumps of everyday life. And you can do it for yourself. A complete DIY project.

    Incidentally, I have the EXACT same scarf. The gorgeous cranberry one side, orange the other with lots of black. Do we have good taste or what?

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from
    www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary - your comment is kindly intended.

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  7. This outfit still looks amazing - and I learned what gauchos are! The scarf is so lovely, I can imagine it works with lots of outfits.

    When you haven't been feeling happy about your situation for some time, it's generally a sign that shouldn't be ignored.

    Having fought and won a battle of life and death must make you very thankful, but your thankfulness doesn't have to include other people's rudeness, too much work or an endless number of cancellations of appointments.

    Only you can know what's right for you, but it does sound like you have to make some changes. I do selfishly hope, that it doesn't mean you'll stop blogging!

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    1. You are very wise, and what you say is true - fortunately the good days far, far outweigh the bad. Blogging is a bright spot, and though there may be gaps between posts as I manage my workload and other commitments and responsibilities, I don't intend to stop at all!

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  8. Amber, that's a GREAT outfit!! You know, one of the things I have loved about fashion blogging is being able to keep a record of good outfits. And on the other hand (in my case) is also seeing pictures of things I chose that did not work so well. Sorry I have been slow to comment on some things; been in the garden!! I love the green on you in the previous outfit! I am jealous; I just cannot wear green like that due to my sallow skin tone. But you rock it!! And the red prior to that -- love it. And, again, your shoes and boots seem just otherworldly some times!! Love it!

    xoxo
    Lynn

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! I'm enjoying the reflection of mini-trends, being able to notice things I wouldn't have otherwise been able to track. No worries about commenting right away - I'm grateful that people take the time to do so at all - I am also forever falling behind and catching up on commenting. :)

      It's been a long process of finding colours which suit me - so many I wish I could wear more easily too! xoxo

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  9. Congratulations on two years of being back to work! it must be a very good feeling of accomplishment. I knew that you had been seriously ill but didn't realize how long you had been fighting it. You're an amazingly strong woman! And you look fabulous. I hope you feel fabulous too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Megan!

      I think it's time to celebrate with shoes. : )

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  10. Congratulations on those two years of back-to-work! We take our victories where we can. This is a great outfit, and has given me an idea for some favorite gauchos that I thought were ruined forever after a random bottle of open nail polish went flying at the salon a few weeks back and landed in my lap. I also love the hits of red and that peacock scarf.

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    1. Sorry, I actually laughed out loud as I read your comment. What a picture that made in my head! So what color was it?!

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    2. I appreciate the congrats!

      Sorry to hear about the flying nail polish incident; I love being part of ideas for rescuing favourites! Especially gauchos!

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  11. Alright, someone who wears gauchos too. I don't think I would've noticed them if you hadn't said so. You look comfy and smart today.

    I know, mental health corporate-mind sets are more and more insane with the redundant never-ending paperwork, management rigamarole, crunching number games. I loved working with the clients/patients, it was the system that got me in the end.

    But you are right, it's about stepping back and looking at the BIG picture. Like, "I'm alive and breathing in this moment" type of awareness. Yeah, let's all just breathe...

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    1. Thanks, Pao - I love gauchos and wish I had more.

      That's exactly it - it's not the work itself (which I love and missed terribly when I was off), but the bean-counting / time-consuming bureaucracy which gets in the way of the work. Even so, I am ridiculously privileged in so many ways.

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  12. I'm eager to know what line of work you're in that requires both get down on the floor to play / make art / music / dance and paperwork marathons. Sounds intriguing. Nevertheless, even though time has a way of slipping away (and the older I get, the worse I am at keeping up with it, myself, though I was once so punctual), it is still a precious commodity and the time of others is to be respected. So I think you are in full right to be annoyed when people just simply flake out and don't keep appointments without telling you so. Especially in light of spending a good chunk of your own time battling illness, every moment you now have is all the more precious and bright.

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    1. I'm an expressive arts therapist, and I love my work! But like any job, it has its moments. :)

      Glad I'm not alone in the previously-effortless punctuality - what is with that, right???

      I find that consideration is becoming more scarce on a cultural level - that basic respect as well as time is so precious.

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    2. I totally agree. Some of me wonders if I'm just becoming more curmudgeonly as I get older, and, therefore, am more annoyed by people not having basic manners. I get in my head this idea that people used to be so polite, but maybe that's not true. Maybe it's just a thing of the movies?

      I chalk up my inability to keep time to having a toddler. He really changes my perception of time.

      And, yeah, I hear you about the job. I used to have a job that people envied (I was an editor for a beading magazine), but as much as it had its wonderful aspects (getting to play with beads at work, getting to write and edit), it definitely had its moments. I'm actually happier now to have a job that no one envies; there are aspects that are more fulfilling and rewarding.

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  13. I didn't realize you were out that long; I can't even imagine. But, I'm very happy you're well and blogging (and emailing). I love this outfit and think I will start looking for gauchos for layering; they'd be perfect for bike riding (once I'm able to again)!

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    1. Thanks, Gracey - I am very happy about that too!

      Now that you mention it, gauchos would be a perfect cycling garment - another point in their favour! Hope you'll be back on your wheels really soon.

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  14. Amber, I LIKE it when style bloggers repeat great outfits. They are much easier to relate to - and helpful. Plus, it's encouraging to wear what we own and love. You got a great deal on those beautiful red shoes.

    I am so happy for you, that you are able to go to work, after such a long battle. My own job has been especially challenging lately, but it helps to put it in perspective. There are highs and lows even in the best of careers. I also don't take for granted The Teen's ability to go to school, mostly every day, while living with a serious chronic illness, even if I feel a bit grumpy about the constant chauffeuring.

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    1. Thank you, Lynne! Though I've become much better at "remixing" over my time following blogs, I imagine I'll always find some combinations so preferable as to repeat them item-for-item. These shoes have held up remarkably well! My only complaint about the green-soled Arches and the yellow Fluevogs is that they would be easily ruined by weather.

      I relate to your comment so much - absolutely true about not taking things for granted while at the same time honouring the humanity of the inherent bits of frustration. :)

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  15. The outfit looked great then and does now. When something works, it works. I'm a very dedicated person to schedules, but only to what I've committed to. I never understand people who take on so much that they know they can never do it all and they leave people hanging. Glad to hear you're keeping busy. Work, even if enjoyable or not, is important in life. It keeps us challenged.

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    1. Thanks, Megan! Yes, I too can't fathom choosing to exist in a such a way, particularly when there is cost to others, and wonder if it speaks to some other need or imbalance. True about work, especially work or activities or challenges which are in some way meaningful - I missed it all so much when I was out of commission!

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  16. I'm sure it's trials such as these that make you a fantastic writer of fiction!! or anything you put your hand to. My dentist charges me $50 for a no-show or even a cancellation less than 48 working day hours in advance. Or perhaps a slice of homemade peach pie would work too - even if it's under the table that you have to eat it. Or maybe some torture device?... Just sayin'...

    Despite these complete irritations, you look a dream. Repeat, reschmeat (okay, not working), fantastic outfit. Creativity and will win in the end - I keep telling myself.

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    1. Oh, Melanie, if only I had more say in agency policy! It could make things so interesting. :) Creativity MUST win in the end, even if only in our own lives.

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  17. Picture this! Last night at our clothing swap, 8 women, all over fifty and some well into enjoying their sixties, huddled around your blog posts, with exclamations of awe. When I announced you were coming to the Words Aloud festival and they'd get a chance to meet you, they were so very excited. Which night will she be there? they asked. All of them, I said. Your photos were greeted with shouts of glee, wine glasses in hand, as we took a break from trying on each other's cast off treasures, to admire your fine style. One friend dubbed you "Our Lady of the Weirdest (in a good way) Shoes." Your fans await you.

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    1. The clothing swap sounds so awesome, Liz! I'm really moved that people are looking forward to meeting me - it's mutual. Now it's harder to decide what to pack (eep!), but it's true that one can never go wrong with weird shoes - I am so honoured by the title. :D

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  18. bravo Amber! An inspiring story of recovery for sure! I too battle recovery this past year and find many days too overwhelming still - this is another drop dead scarf! I love the color stories you paint with your clothes - thank you :))

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    1. Sorry to hear of your battle and so glad you are finding many ways to create even so. Thank you too, Jeane!

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  19. Cool duds as usual Amber and love the shade of green of previous post's jacket. I always look forward to seeing what kind of outfit you've cooked up.

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  20. A great outfit like that definitely is worth repeating! I have a few outfits that make repeated appearances because they make me feel confident and comfortable. I agree with the poster who said that blogging is great because it gives you a record of the best outfits.

    I am so sorry that you had to endure years of illness, but it is wonderful that you are now able to work, and blog, and put together marvelous outfits to share with the rest of us. I hope we have an opportunity to hang out together sometime!

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    1. Thank you for the encouraging feedback, Shelley!
      We'll surely run into each other sooner or later. :)

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  21. It's interesting to me to think about the no-shows. I used to have this problem with student conferences or with students who did show up but were unprepared. Gradually though, as i teach more and more online, it's become a non-issue.

    Have you ever written a post about your illness? I thought that i had gone back and read your entire archives.

    You're looking good and i love the idea of the dress over the gauchos.

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    1. Thanks, Terri! I think I've only mentioned my illness once previously - I do hate that it remains such a major fact of my life.

      There are so many ideas for posts to write about, but these days it's all I can do to keep up with outfits and musings of the day. I hope there will be windows for a bit more than that as time goes on. I look forward to attending to my About page interview with Tamera Beardsley and a Sunshine Award from Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb!

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  22. I remember discovering your blog early on and going back to see all the posts! Every one is a gem, including this outfit in the office. Of course you should repeat it!! It's great. Plus I notice and appreciate different things, the belt for example. I love it.

    It's always good to count one's blessings and I also believe in venting. Everything in moderation, perhaps? I'm glad your blessings seem to be outweighing the "vent" in the grand scheme.

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    1. You got it, Jean! The balance, the moderation, the gratitude, the venting, and the good far outweighing the bad. Always such lovely reflections - thank you!

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  23. I understand why you repeated the outfit, as it is worthy of many appearances. Love the scarf which reflects the colors of your ensemble, along with the flair that it provides.

    Having worked in the area of mental health, I understand the frustration of no-shows. To see you today, one would never guess about the struggles that you have endured with a debilitating illness. I admire your perseverance and your ability to describe your process and feelings as you deal with the realities of a complex and increasingly demanding line of work. I salute you!

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    1. Thank you so much for this feedback, Judith!

      It is so true that we can't know the weight of what someone else is carrying from what we see, and this helps me stay connected to compassion when things are difficult to understand.

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  24. Amber i think a perfect outfit is like a perfect painting...when the balance of all the elements is achieved, why would change be desired. The few outfits that I have achieved such mastery with, I pull out like good friends, always so happy for the perfect fit. As much as I appreciate creative play with clothes, it is the tried and true ensembles i treasure most. Great outfits deserve many wearings.

    As with all of the fore mentioned commenters, I too so adore your blog. your spirit and creativity. Just today on my hike I was thinking of you, and your creative spirit and mastery of word. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments ...they mean the world.

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    1. Thanks so much, Tamera for your wonderful metaphor of "those" fantastic ensembles - I know just what you mean.

      Thank you too for all of the incredibly kind support you have sent my way as well!

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  25. How rude of people to just not show up- As if picking up the phone and cancelling an appointment is very hard work...
    But as you say, at least you are currently able to go to work and have been feeling well enough for it! It's hard to see things on the positive side when one is unhappy about something but we always need to try. I've been feeling drained lately so I can relate to what you are feeling.
    Hang in there!

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    1. Thank you, Sara! Maintaining perspective is tough in the face of fatigue, even for those of us who work at it daily with intention! Respecting the vastly differing parameters of "a hard day" does help.

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  26. Eep, just getting caught up from my Lost Weekend...

    Love this outfit - something about olive and red just really floats my boat. Why not repeat a favourite? Don't mess with success!

    I hate those little rudenesses that have seemed to become more acceptable in our society now: cancelling plans at the last minute, not showing up at all, even simple "please" and "thank you."

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    1. Thank you, Sheila! I am perpetually struggling to catch up with everything blog-related! There is so much inspiring stuff going on and so many thoughtful conversations to be had.

      I too am old-school with the basic manners. :)

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Thank you for your comments!
- Amber