Has your life ever gotten so intensely complicated that you simply could not find time to blog about leggings? Same here. Apologies for the long absense, and I’m back with some musings on my own inability to Let Shit Go.
I recently was invited to help Lydia clean out her closet. It was revelatory on two levels: 1. Lydia’s got a smokin‘ bod that she has been hiding from me, and 2. I’m not nearly as good at cleaning out my own closet as I am at cleaning out everyone else’s.
I’m moving in a couple of months. And I hate moving. It’s a requires me to touch and evaluate every single thing I own. Some questions are easy: Do I want this box of love letters? Do I want this brand new cast iron skillet? Sure. Then it gets tough. Do I want this pair of pants that almost fits? Do I want these shoes that I used to love? Do I want the corsage that I wore to my prom? And then some of the questions that should be easy become overwhelming and simple answers are tougher to find. Do I want this t-shirt that fits funny but feels good? Do I want this jacket that Bruce hates? Will I ever play tennis again?
I have a fantasy where I put all of it on a street corner. The weight of all of my possessions and the decisions that go with them lifts. Then I just float away like a red balloon. When life is heavy, the allure of feeling light is intoxicating.
So I came home from Lydia’s and figured that I’d give myself an audit. But I was stuck. I stood in my closet and just stared. I took one shirt off its hanger, held onto it for a second. then put it back on the hanger and hung it up again.
So I let myself off the hook, and decided that I didn’t need to get rid of anything today. But I could still make progress. I just needed to to take stock of what I had. I just had to gain some knowledge, and that would be enough.
It took me 15 minutes to verify that I own about 350 items of clothing. And instantly had clarity that I had more than enough, and just by knowing what I was dealing with, I was able to make progress. I have a theory that the amount of items that I think I have should match the number of items I actually have. I thought I had 5 dresses. I had 16. I think that means that I have 11 dresses that I don’t love.
I cleared out one big bag of clothes, and that was enough to feel a weight lifting – a lightness in my step. All the time that I spent folding, hanging, ironing, washing, and overlooking those clothes could be reclaimed.
I just needed some breathing room.