Although my four year old was still unwell, there was no sign of fever by mid morning. Thus heartened I decided to do some possession evaluating. It seemed easiest to start with my clothes. I have a interesting assortment of clothing most of which has been given to me by my mother or purchased at a thrift store. I like most of my clothing but wear very little of it. I am often guilty of buying something just because it is a good deal. Sure, it's nice enough, but why am I buying it. Usually it is just because I want something new now. I also hate shopping at malls and large retailers. I enjoy thrift shopping. It's an adventure. You never know what you might find.
(Now I have to think...How do adventure and simplicity fit together. Are they opposites or just two concepts that run parallel to each other. Hummm.)
Since the only part of my life in which I seek adventure is in the shopping arena, I go to our local thrift store more often then I need to. This is reflected in the quantity of button up shirts hanging in my closet, most of which I never wear. Evidently someone else never wore them either.
So I weeded out my clothing ruthlessly. While my little son napped in his crib I quietly removed all my clothing from my closet, examining each one. I didn't have any definitive criteria. I was working on intuition. Some clothes were maternity clothes. Some were from years ago before I was married. Right now neither of them fit me. So I said "goodbye" to most of the maternity clothes and "see you later" to the too small clothes that I hope to wear again. (I know, you are laughing at me. Odds are 10 to 1 that I will need the maternity clothes before those too small ones. Does simplifying preclude optimism?) I folded up all the seasonally and size inappropriate clothes and stacked them on my upper shelves. Only clothes that I can wear right now should be hanging up.
Along the way I decided that all my clothing should fit in my closet. I shouldn't need an entire shelf as well. Plus, if I hang them all I won't have to fold my laundry. I never seem to get around to putting folded laundry away anyhow. This seemed like a very good step toward simplifying my life. Less clothing+less folding=less work. That is what I'm after here.
It is not that I am lazy. Heck, no. I love to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from a job well done. I enjoy the labor of love that goes into a meal or an article. I miss loosing myself in physical labor. Doing the job till my arms were sore, my back ached and my clothes were drenched with sweat. That was work. That was being alive. Changing laundry loads, picking up the same toys over and over again, making room on the counter for more junk mail; this stuff is getting by. Maybe, just maybe, if I can remove some of the clutter from my life I will have a little more time for living.
Today was a small step into the ocean of my possessions but now that my feet are wet it will be easier to dive in.