By: Jen Shoop

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When I was younger, I carried my missteps like little rocks in my pocket — small, occasionally jolting when mispositioned, worse on the occasions I felt them in aggregate, but overall easy to forget, or accommodate, or simply push aside.

It’s a strange thing: nowadays, I find myself better conditioned to extend myself grace for the minor errors and oversights, to let the rocks drop out of my palm instead of lodging them at my waist,

but the bigger things —

I carry those like the sky depends on me. At 20, I had the sense that there were inexhaustible forgivenesses and greenswards and Septembers. At 40, the stakes feel higher; the tracks behind me trudge-like, inexpungeable. I am walking through the formal living room with muddy feet.

I don’t know how to make sense of this rearrangement in dynamics. Perhaps this is the way of age: we know better, so we must do better, and when we don’t, it is Atlas faltering. We have decades and decades worth of tools to help us choose the right thing, and so when we do the wrong thing, the failure ripples upstream and down, as far as the eye can see, rather than plunging, stone-like, straight to the bottom.

I also have the sense that life is all about the conduction of energy: the energy I conserve from worrying less about the small things can then power the bigger ones that matter. It is a worthy tradeoff, seen from this lens, but goodness —

It can make for a knee-buckling passage.


+On reading and the greater than / less than equation.

+How do you make a big life decision?

+On giving yourself a soft landing when you need it.

+Six reframes I find helpful in my daily life.

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Shopping Break.

This post may contain affiliate linksIf you make a purchase through the links below, I may receive compensation.

+I’ve been shopping for a new, bold-colored hat/glove set to pair with my ivory wool topcoat. I think I might go with this cashmere beanie and matching gloves but can’t decide if I like it in the hot pink or unusual chartreuse better. (J. Crew also has a good ribbed cashmere hat and glove set 50% off right now — I like the cardinal red or heather pink options.)

+Ordered my children thermals to layer under their snow bibs (<<exact pants we have) for skiing and skating (and other snow adventures) this winter.

+Would also love to style my topcoat with this Gucci wool scarf…I think this would be so chic worn over your shoulders with a simple knit sweater.

+Sitting here compiling a big order at Boden for soft, patterned dresses (also this and this and a few of these pointelle tees — all 40% off with code E3N) for my girl. She was in desperate need of more weekend clothes. (While there, don’t miss their cozy fair isle options for you!)

+Chloe Namas, on sale!

+Gucci’s velvet Marmont collection is SO delicious.

+I always order a few rolls of Santa-themed gift wrap JUST to wrap the gifts from Santa in, and this was a great Cyber Monday deal at Amazon.

+These “bonjour” bowls are so charming! I like the idea of using to stow jewelry / keys / paper clips / etc.

+Dorsey just did its final re-stock of the year. Shared all my favorites for holidays here, but didn’t mention these beautiful earrings, an emerald-studded twist on the Margauxs I’ve been wearing all season long. Gorgeous pop of holiday green.

+Can’t stop thinking about this beautiful Zimmermann dress.

+A must-have for holiday wrapping.

+These shoes!!!!

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