Hanging On …..
My house is full. Cluttered. Overflowing to the point that it’s affecting me. I’ve lost several items in plain sight. So I’m trying to purge.
It’s a slow process. I get overwhelmed and freeze. I’m taking it step by step.
The problem is that some stuff is more than just stuff. They’re attached to memories or emotions. Even though I know rationally that I don’t need them, I hold on anyway.
I have two pairs of shoes that are worn out. I’ve looked at them numerous times, gone so far as to put them into bags, but haven’t been able to throw them away yet.
The first pair of shoes belonged to my grandmother. She and I shared the distinction of being the shortest in our family—both coming in at 5’4” (although I think she shrank in her later years). We also shared the same shoe size. When she died, I inherited several pair of bedroom slippers and one pair of slip on white Keds. I’d never had Keds before though I had wanted a pair. I’ve worn the Keds until they are permanently discolored and have holes in them. The plastic backing of the heels are chipping off. But every time I see the Keds, I think of my grandmother.
The second pair are ankle length, high heel Aigner boots. I bought the boots several years ago when my mother and I went on a day trip. I found them on clearance for $10 – I’m a bargain shopper and these boots were definitely a bargain. I love these boots. When I wear them, I feel good about myself. If the outfit I’m wearing is ok, adding these boots makes it better. I’ve worn the boots so much that the outer material is split and peeling, especially the toes which only have a thin layer left. Any day now it will give way leaving holes. Soon there will not be much of the boots left but part of me fears that I’ll throw away those good feelings when I throw away the shoes.
Silly, but I’ve imputed parts of myself onto these simple items. A link to my deceased grandmother. My own self confidence. These are misplaced. My grandmother stays connected through family gathers where her presence is felt. I can feel good in clothes I like, but my confidence comes from within. Holding on to items that are worn out and past their usefulness does not help. It just creates more clutter in my life. Knowing this is the first step to letting go.
** Post Note — I’ve managed to throw away the Keds. The boots will go in a few more weeks as spring makes its presence known. I’m applying this lesson to other things in my house. I’m looking at boxes of stuff with clearer eyes. Baby steps moving toward a calmer, less cluttered household, for sure, but steps in the right direction!