What Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama Can Teach Caregivers

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 7.44.47 AMWhen my parents were both hospitalized at the same time, I wore yoga pants and a Lululemon jacket everyday. My hair was always wet and in a ponytail and I wore no makeup. I didn’t have time. I truly was that busy for about three months.

During that phase a thoughtful friend sent me a multistrand necklace to cheer me up. But the one day I made an effort to wear it, along with real clothes, one of the strands of beads got caught on something as I was touring a memory care unit and the necklace broke. I went back to sweat clothes after that.

These days, I step it up a bit, but I still wear a uniform: Vince-like sweaters from TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack, jeans, and boots. I wear my uniform every day unless the situation calls for a dress. And I’m not alone.

Recently Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared a picture of his closet and the only things in there were gray t-shirts and gray hoodies. Tons of them. According to TIME magazine Zuckerberg once said, “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.” Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 5.08.33 PM

There was a time I would have rolled my eyes if I heard a comment like that. How hard is it to get dressed most days? Sure you have fat days and period days and days you’re going to see an old crush, or a frenemy, or meet with the client who is always so fabulous, or you’re going to an event with some made up dress code like farmhouse chic or beach formal. But most days, it’s just shower, dress, go.

But then, I added caregiver to my list of titles. And when you are a caregiver, on top of a worker, and mother, and volunteer, or just about anything else, you start to understand how, if you, “clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible,” it can really, really help.

Wearing a personal uniform is a smart life hack when you have too much to manage and think about. President Obama does it too. He says he has too many important decisions to make so he eliminates the simple ones. Sound familiar? You may not be negotiating peace treaties with foreign sovereigns, but you might be with your siblings! And when you have to manage meds, you need a clear head.

Uniforms don’t have to be dull. You can always accessorize. Have a set accessory pack for everyday of the week, that way adding jewelry and scarves doesn’t have to require a decision. Monday can be hoop day, or gold day, Tuesday can be turquoise or silver. The goal isn’t drabness; it’s efficiency. Now tell me, what’s your uniform?








7 comments on “What Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama Can Teach Caregivers”

  1. Suzi (aka Blue Car Painted Green) Reply

    Thoughtful article! I waver on this one. I, too, would’ve had a tough time relating, until I went through divorce and a massive job stress at the same time. I’ve recovered from that crisis mode, but for years I based every decision on one factor: avoiding hassle. On the other hand, personal style is a way to communicate identity and empowerment. Just yesterday I pulled an old dress out of the closet. It’s a comfy jersey with pops of bright silk, and people compliment me all day, every time I wear it. It makes me feel special in a way that my usual uniform–tall boots, skinny pants, and a scarf–doesn’t always.

  2. Talya Tate Boerner Reply

    I love the idea of this. It seems the more choices I have in my closet, the less put together I feel! Several of my blogger friends do the capsule wardrobe – similar concept. I may have to try it.

  3. 1010ParkPlace Reply

    I never wore a uniform until I started going to the gym seven years ago. Now it’s black workout pants, black shoes and a t-shirt. Yes, it’s easier, but I miss dressing in something nice, even if it’s to go to the grocery store.

  4. Pingback: Spring Capsule Wardrobe for Caregivers - Working Daughter

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