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You Could Afford That If You Wanted To...(aka You Could Have Time For That If You Wanted To)

by Cheryl Fork

An Intellectual Style Newsletter, with tips for living your best (real) life.


In this issue, I’m sharing a new perspective on “having enough” time and money.

Dear Reader,

It’s been a little while. In case you haven’t noticed, there isn’t a set cadence for this newsletter. I send it when I have something genuine to say/share that I hope is helpful – whether it’s a product tip (like my last one), a health tip, a thought or story that might cause a shift in perspective, or something else – all under the auspices of fashion and style. Afterall, this is an “intellectual style newsletter, with tips for living your best (real) life.

Everyone has their own unique gifts, and one of mine since I was young has been a knack for “seeing the bigger picture”, which could also be described as innately knowing (at the end of the day) what’s most important, and making life decisions, big and small, accordingly. This is probably why I never got into much trouble as a teenager. Why in my late twenties I decided to leave my glamorous affair with New York City for San Diego – despite my feeling of having “found myself” in NYC, my career aspirations (my dream of becoming a buyer for Barneys, RIP), and my great friends there*. Why I decided not to take outside money for my business. Why I decided to take a step back from it once my daughter was born. Or on a smaller scale, why I stopped having my nightly glass of wine**.

Rather than just going with whatever came along, I made these decisions knowingly and intentionally, according to what is most important to me – which is something I can take comfort and rest in, in and of itself. I’ve learned that is not necessarily the norm. And while this gift has generally served me well, it has its drawbacks.

For one, it can definitely be less fun! Ha. And second, it certainly doesn’t make me immune to wanting things. And sometimes specifically wanting the exact things I’ve intentionally chosen not to have. I have to be pulled out of the comparison and vanity rabbit holes as much as the next fashion girl. Comparing myself to others who’ve made different choices than me. Being disappointed that I can’t do this or that because it’s not in our budget right now, or because there’s no room in my schedule.

Time feels especially scarce. I recently agreed with my sister that we’re most likely in the busiest stage of life that we’ll ever be in. Having a toddler, husband, my own business & goals, managing a household, and stewarding relationships with family and friends means generally every time slot in my day and my week is pre-planned, already filled with some sort of responsibility. I have a (continuously-being-optimized) routine. And somehow at the same time…I’m living moment-to-moment, on the fly. Stuff always comes up. My daughter wants to use her “big girl cup” and proceeds to spill water all over herself right as we’re headed out the door***. The microwave suddenly stops working, so we need to find time to call to get it fixed – and adjust our microwave habits for the next several days. I run into a technical issue with the launch of our new website at FORK & MELON**** and need to delay and adjust. I’m constantly responding to unexpected issues and having to wing it. Tackling problems on a need-to-be-dealt-with basis and not a moment sooner. “Living in the present” as they say, ha. I relish the time I get to have to myself, even if it’s for 5 minutes. All of the (even mundane) craziness means time is going by FAST. Monday starts, and then 2 blinks later it’s Friday. There’s never enough time. It’s already Friday again! And money also feels scarce. Putting non-essential expenditures on hold is something we’ve gotten good at.

“We don’t have money for that right now.” “There’s not enough time for that.” I can’t afford it right now. I don’t have time right now. I CAN’T AFFORD IT. I DON’T HAVE TIME. AHH!!!!! (blurg*****)

Which brings me to the little shift in perspective I heard recently and wanted to share: I actually can afford it. And I actually do have time for it.

…for anything and everything that I want.

If whatever the thing was at any given moment was the most important thing to me (or in the top 3? top 5?), I would find a way to make it happen. Getting that bag****** or going on that trip, remodeling our bathrooms, or even getting on the Forbes list, owning a yacht, being on the cover of Vogue, winning an Oscar or a Nobel prize. If any of those things were the most important things to me, I would be orienting my life around them. But for me, they’re not.

Whatever my circumstances are, I have options. For however big or small the thing is that I may want to spend money on or make time for. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that” or “I don’t have time for that”, what I’m really saying is…that isn’t my priority right now.

It may be obvious, but this reframe from “I can’t have that” to “that isn’t my priority right now” is basically shifting from feelings of scarcity to feelings of abundance. Shifting from feeling disappointed about what I “can’t have”, to feeling grateful for the amazing things I do have – many of which are in my life, at least in part, because of difficult but intentional choices I’ve had the freedom to make for myself. My priorities.

The way we frame things in our mind and the thoughts we give space to in our brain have a dramatic effect on how we experience the world.

Often when I sit down to write, I get stuck asking myself things like “do I have anything to say that hasn’t already been said?” or “is this really helpful?” or “is this too obvious?” Is anything ever really original? Especially in this crazy information age where we’re all picking up more information than ever before from posts on social media, podcasts, etc., it often feels like everyone else must be picking up all of the same stuff that I am. But then I talk to people in real life and it’s not true. Everyone is busy tuning into whatever they’re tuning into, and it’s never the exact same as me. So what I’m hoping is for this newsletter to reach you at the very moment you need to hear it, and that it’s helpful in some way.

Back to the limitations of time and money. There’s also something notable about working within limitations. Limitations being a conduit for creation, innovation, art. Don’t they say artists’ best work is created within constraints? "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." - Orson Welles

Also: “You can easily buy your way into being fashionable. Style, I think, is in your DNA. It implies originality and courage. The worst that can happen is you can fail, and you don’t die from that.” – Iris Apfel, RIP!

With love xoxo,

iris apfel.jpg__PID:3c8db38b-dfde-4ee2-8530-3ec9ba2779e3

*Still my great friends.

**Because I value my sleep more than the glass of wine (blurg*****). As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to make more of an effort to get good sleep, and not having alcohol as frequently (especially not in the 3-4 hours before bed) as a general rule has def made a difference. Also magnesium! Among other things. Let me know if you’d be interested in a more detailed post on the stuff I do now to sleep well.

***My cousin recently shared this hysterical toddler video giving a similar vibe.

****I’m suuuuuuper excited about this and can’t wait to share when it’s ready!!! I’m launching a completely new version of our website at FORK & MELON. We’re undergoing a metamorphosis and will re-enter the world with a much tighter focus.

*****I explained what this means in the 2nd footnote of my last issue and think I’ll keep using it ;)

******Or that belt? I might write an issue just on belts soon, but for now I’ll just say I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect black belt, coveting this one from the Row (the perfect classic belt that will last forever!) and looking for a less expensive option. Weirdly it has been very challenging to find. Everything has been the wrong width, the wrong material, had the wrong buckle shape, the wrong buckle material/color, the wrong quality-level, or the wrong price. But I just found this perfect one from J.Crew! Not sure how I didn’t find it sooner because I feel like I checked everywhere but it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, yay!

^Image credit to Iris Apfel/Instagram.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and nothing in my newsletter is meant to constitute or substitute for medical advice. I am sharing my personal experiences with hope that it is helpful, and for general informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. FORK & MELON and its affiliates shall not be liable for any information provided here. Always seek the help of a medical professional for your individual health needs!

Please note, any products I share are things I actually use and/or are genuine recommendations of mine. I may earn a small commission if you purchase through one of the links above. I work hard to produce this newsletter and make it as enjoyable and useful as possible – completely for free. Purchasing via the links in this newsletter helps to support the continuation of it (at no extra cost to you!)

If you ever want to see all my picks in one place, click here.

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