Today is Wednesday and I am a day late on my biweekly post. There are only 24 hours in one day and I still do not have a great sense of how much I can fit in them. I am hopelessly optimistic when it comes to time. However long it will take to complete a project, I underestimate by about 50%. And this month, I have a few of those projects converging. The kind that I have smiled and said "oh it will be easy." They are not. I have spent the last two days on location and in the studio, photographing our first catalog, which will come out in November. This kind of thing is my favorite part of what I do at this company, so it was a complete joy, but the planning and problem-solving and pressure on the set is so exhausting that I am completely wrecked at the end of the day for THIS part of my job. (Oh wait... this is actually my favorite part of my job.) No steam left to write anything worthy of reading.
set on set
The OTHER really big thing that has made me late on this post is even more exciting than a catalog. We are MOVING. We have a new house just up the street that is a total dream. The impetus was that it has a better setup for my daughters and their disability… but architecturally it speaks to me on such a deep level that I am pinching myself. I have lived in a lot of houses but I can honestly say I have always dreamed one like this.
So I am tossing and purging with fervor. I spent a lot of 2019 at estate sales, helping my oldest daughter fill her new house… only to have her decide that the house was too big for two newlyweds. (Her words: "I feel like we skipped a step.") They sold it and now have a fab little apartment that is perfect. But walking through dead peoples' houses and seeing all their STUFF – no matter how awesome it is – is a shock and a wake-up call. I won't say that this is my last move (I have done it 26 times in 60 years) but it is one that is really ushering in the next phase of my life. With all the packing and pitching, I have dug up so much "material" both physically and metaphorically that my mind has been exploding. Most times, when I write this column, I start with a memory and then I have to hunt for the photo or the evidence. But this has been in reverse – the item conjures up the memory. I have found everything from baby teeth to old ski lift tickets to notes written on Sid's paper lunch bags – I used to pack them for him when he went off to work to J.Crew's original building in Garfield, New Jersey. He was sentimental enough to save them and bring them home. I guess that's what you do when you're 26 and in love.
That is a long way of saying that this post is a bit of a cheat. Yesterday on set I wore 3 of my favorite things that make me feel just like me. Sky blue shirt, white jeans, driving moccasins. (The shirt is the exact color of the Hotel Claridge's stationery of a letter I sent home from my first business trip leaving a baby behind. Another moving memento dug up. Clearly the separation anxiety was extreme enough for me to pen a letter to an infant - I have no memory of this. But the stationery is beautiful.) These things are so classic that they probably do the same for many of you reading this. I wrote about the shirt and the jeans 3 years ago, not 30, but I hardly remember them, either. Since then, we've added a new Director Shirt in the same fabric, and several more silhouettes of white jeans. The idea is the same. I know that the current site makes you scroll for ages to get to the earlier posts – we have a new site rolling out soon and it will be so much easier to navigate! – but if you need a reminder of WHY you need these things, maybe this will help you refresh your memory. Mine has been firing on all cylinders this month. It has been a total gift.