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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cleaning Out

     Christmas Day afternoon, I went to put up the sparkly purse I had carried to the Christmas Eve service Kat and I attended which was absolutely beautiful and gave me some calm and peace of heart.  So I opened my ‘extra’ closet door to put it up, congratulating myself for not leaving it out until this summer, and stared in horror in the closet!  Had all this stuff been in here when I got the purse outlast night?????  Did I not notice it? To put the purse away, I had to climb over the same stuff I had climbed over to get it…..  It didn’t bother me last night; I’d hardly noticed it so …. Why now?  I was appalled at what I saw in there.
     I admit that I am a clutter-y person and at times it gets to be too much, but REALLY?  My hands began gathering up all the clothes on the rod nearest the door and depositing them on my bed.  Where did all this stuff come from?  Hmmmm, I bought this or that when….for….. and how many years ago was that??? 10?, 15?, 20?, 25?, 30?, 35? years ago (I really did have one thing from 35 years ago!!!!) There are 6 long hang-up bars in my two closets chock full of clothes, clothes, clothes.  They were all stuffed full.  This does not count the stuff on the floor, the shoe boxes on the shelves, the baskets full of out of season shoes, etc.  I have another closet that I use, so to speak, to get dressed from every day.  This was my EXTRA stuff closet.

     I remember vaguely promising myself that I would not put any summer clothes in the extra closet until I had cleaned it out.  I am big on promises to myself and lax on keeping them.  This was before Christmas when school was still in session, and after school was FINALLY out, all I could do was rest and recuperate (besides wrapping, and other necessary activities that did not include putting even one bow on one present.) 

     I put the clothes on the bed and went to watch TV and wish that I was not out of ice cream.  When I did go into my room to get ready for bed, there were those dresses just waiting for me.  Bummer.  I really, really thought about sleeping in my extra bedroom, but it is made up for Jack with a railing that is hard to scoot out of the way. Ergo, the sorting began.  Into a bin for the FTW Junior League, into the black bag to go to whatever organization was coming the soonest to pick up in my neighborhood.  Memories flooded back, but not in a sad way.  I have to say that that first rod I did had just dressy clothes on it.  Some of it was a no brainer to get rid of, it was sizes too big J or too small L.  I kept all the nice dresses still in my size because I think ‘nice’ dresses are hard to find. So now there were piles on the floor, but I had a walkway to get to the bed and into the bathroom.

     Each day since, I have, at some time during the day, taken the next rod of stuff and put it on my bed.  And there it is waiting to be done before Nattie, Rosie and Gracie and I could get in my comfy bed.  As of today, I have one rod left in the closet I use all the time.  However, I did seven drawers today and took all of my shoes out of both closets and they are piled on the floor waiting to be paired and sorted, tossed or not.  Even then I will not be finished as there are a few boxes under the extra bed and I have no idea what is in them.

    I did all this sorting for four days before I ran into a friend and told her what I was doing (quite pride-fully I must admit). Then I heard myself say, “I am finally getting rid of my old life.”  And it hit me – yes, that is exactly what I was doing.  I had dragged all these hundreds of pieces of clothing  around for the last almost 6 years and through 4 moves!  My life is so different then it was “in the day” (I really hate that saying…).  I am at a different place (literally and figuratively) with different goals and most of all with a new life that fills me with joy.  Part of me thinks I should have done this long ago, but the little voice in my head tells me that I am finally doing it because only now am I ready to live my life in the present moment.

     What a journey I have been on since I started to drag all those clothes around with me, intentionally moving closer to God and the beloved child he has meant me to become.  My biggest challenge for the next few months will be to NOT go out and refill all those empty hangers!  (I am going to count them when I get really through.)  But I am needing less and less ‘stuff’ to fill my life and am slowly embracing the “less is more” outlook on life.  My life is filled with my sweet family, Kat, Molly, Jeff, Jack and Owen, my new friends in general and especially my Belize Mission team (we’re going again in June! J) cohorts and my Thursday Sisters group at church.  

     I am beyond blessed.  I can think of nothing I desire that God has not already given me.