I'm the type that likes to hold onto things. As a nostalgic person, I'm very resistant to throwing things out. I hold on to old letters, redundant email addresses and ancient digital files. Those should be the easy things to trash but they aren't. Then there are the larger items, clothing, shoes, coats and books. You don't even want to know the age of my collection.
This morning I had a novel idea. I decided to pack things up and give most of them away. The nicer things I'd put on consignment. "Where's all that stuff going?" My husband asked as I carried bag after bag out the front door. "Away," I said, feeling as though my stuff had found a different place to live and was moving out.
When I reached the 25 pound weight-loss milestone I had what I thought was a clever idea. I began packing away clothing that was too big for me in chests and bins. Awaiting my attention was my clothing also packed away from leaner times. I admit now however that my efforts were lightweight at thinning out and packing away my clothes that were too big. Moreover, for what or for whom was I packing this stuff away so neatly? It took months to figure out the purpose.
I'm not a hoarder, still, since the "Hoarding: Buried Alive" TLC show is on the air, I had to check it out a few times just to make sure. I'm fond of my clothing. I carefully select each item in my wardrobe. Sometimes I'd saved up to purchase what I liked. Other times I'd go to thrift or consignment shops. Still other pieces were gifts. As I opened the door to the closet, I saw a lot of different elements of my life collected from over the past 20 years. I saw gifts from my mother, who has passed on. I thought, this is what I wore to that important job interview a couple of years ago. Oh, and that dress was for transitioning from pregnancy to post-partum. This outfit was for my son's graduation and so it went as I worked my way through the closet.
So, my closet isn't all the way here yet. There are somethings I'm still
clinging on to. Gradually I'll get here.
What sparked this movement, you may be wondering?
Why shopping of course. This time it was unplanned. I was out with a friend, set to have lunch but the restaurant we were going to was closed. So we went to the nearby consignment store.
Now, I've told you I'm nostalgic. This store was the perfect place for me. In it were all sorts of designer vintage clothing from the 50's and 60's. Instantly I was transported, to a time I mainly know about through my parents. I was very happy to be in that space. Low and behold I found the perfect outfit for the wedding I'm going to at the end of the month. A sheath--by Calvin Klein--in a watercolor print. In no time at all I had coordinated it with a vintage purse, bracelet and necklace.
The shocking part for me, wasn't just what I'd done. You see, I'm not exactly what you'd call a fashionista. No, it wasn't the savvy part of putting it all together. It was that I could actually fit the dress. Somehow I had gone from a size 22 to a size 8!
I guess you can see now, why this woman who holds on to things for dear life knew that it was time to let go. Time for the big transition and to embrace mindfulness not just in meditation and yoga but in my closet.