Questions I’ve been pondering: What is it that makes paring down so hard? Why can’t we tame the chaos in our cabinets and closets without so much angst?
Then it dawned on me-We never completely lose our fear of the “what if” gremlin. Throughout my 32 year teaching career, I met this monster frequently. Every time we went over disaster drills, the questions started: What if the fire door is blocked? What if lightning hits the roof right above us? What if the bad guy breaks down the locked door? And every time I gently reminded the children that 99% of the time, the what ifs never happen. They are nothing but mind-numbing fears.
My most recent purge involved shoes. I cleared out an embarrassing amount of assorted footwear over the weekend. But there were 2 pairs that I couldn’t bring myself to toss in the donation box. I kept picking them up, looking at them, then putting them right back on the shelf. I can’t remember the last time I wore either pair. So why are they still taking up space? Because I just know that if x occasion comes up, I might need them. True or fear? Hmmm.
I decided to take a little trip down memory lane and see if I could come up with a time when the “what if” actually happened. Took me awhile but then, aha: over 20 years ago, I went to visit a friend for a quick weekend. We knew exactly what we were going to do the entire time, so packing was a breeze. For a change, I did not take one single extra item. But at the last minute, we were given tickets to the theater to see an amazing play with a major Broadway star in the lead. And there I was, with nothing dressy to wear! Did we turn down the tickets? Or panic? Or go shopping? No, we simply went into my friend’s closet and put together a great outfit. Who cared if the shoes were a tad bit tight? I just slipped them off once we sat down and nobody was the wiser. Here’s the important part. Could I tell you now what I wore? Not a clue. Could I give you details about the play, the actress, the sets? How much time do you have? All my memories of that trip revolve around what an amazing time we had, and the wardrobe “crisis” simply became a funny sidebar!
So what does that mean for those 2 pairs of “what if” shoes? Am I going to continue to be held captive by a fear that I proved to be unfounded and borderline ridiculous? Or am I going to release both the shoes AND the worry?
Seems pretty clear to me that I need to head back to the closet and send those shoes on their way to a new life where they will be worn and appreciated.
Today let’s make a pact to help each other the next time the “what if” monster shows up.
We no longer listen to chaos.
Calm brings so much more joy.