I had to call in help from out of town. I knew I wanted to do it; however, I wasn’t sure I could go all the way. I consider myself very strong but this was a new area in which to challenge myself. I questioned my stamina. I wanted to completely start over.
Was I brave enough?
Could I turn my back on what I knew, what I was used to?
Could I stick with a whole new way of living?
Yes, my friends. It was time to clean out my clothes closet.
My sister arrived to celebrate her birthday with us. One day of the weekend was spent on the closet project. Just to reassure you—she thought this was a fun idea and it actually added to her enjoyment of the weekend. She did wield absolute power over me, which I am sure added to the appeal. The feeling of power invigorated her and kept her going way past the time of fatigue.
Cindy said I had to try everything on. Everything. I showered, put on make-up and fixed my hair.
We began by pulling everything out of the closet. It was overwhelming, yet Cindy was scarily energized.
Here were the rules:
• The item had to fit properly.
• The item had to be flattering.
• I had to love it.
This is what I was tired of:
• The same style I have worn since high school (Yes, I have worn the same type of tees since high school.)
• Pieces that were good “fill-ins” but really did not excite me.
• Things that just didn’t work with my life anymore.
I had categories for the rejected clothes and accessories.
2. Trash It
3. Dress-up Box (Yes, I am already setting up the play things for future grandchildren.)
5. Consignment Shop
These were the ones I started with, and as it turned out, there were additional categories as we neared the end.
The power went to my sister’s head, but since this is what kept her going, which in turn kept me going, I let her enjoy it.
Note: It was really, really nice to have someone tell me flat out if an item looked good or not. The cold, hard truth is often necessary.
Additional Note: I did fight her on one or two items. I got her to agree I could keep them for “writing days inside the house.” Actually, since she lives out of town, I could wear them out if I wanted to. Wait, she reads this blog. Just kidding, Cindy. Heh,Heh.
We worked for 6 hours and I said goodbye to 110 items.
I didn’t even know I had 110 items in the entire closet!
The categories changed a bit.
• I decided not to go with the consignment shop. I had some very cool stuff that I thought would be a true “find” for someone at Goodwill, and I liked that idea.
• I had four items for Dress for Success and since I am speaking for them on Monday, I can drop them off while I am there.
• My sister was able to use a couple of skirts and jeans.
• I also had some items that I wasn’t sure if I would wear. I turned the hangers the opposite way. If after six months the hangers have not changed direction, they will go the way of their former companions.
We loaded the trunk of my car and stared in amazement. 110 items.
I had to keep looking at what was left in my closet. There were only clothes that I would feel good in because they fit and were the right colors. (With the gray hair, there are different colors to consider now.) The clothing and accessories are all items that fit with my life right now.
In the morning, I was pleased to realize that I had no regrets. The only thing that worried me was that my only pair of black pants was gone. Worrisome, not a game-changer.
This “cleaning out the clothes closet” is symbolic to me.
I have found that at this point in my life, age 54, everything is changing.
I have likened the body changes to going through a second adolescence. Every day a new adventure in the game, “What will my body do, show me, exhibit TODAY?” This isn’t fun, but when you think about it, who cares?
Also, I am different inside.
My spirit remains the same, but my brain feels different.
I have lived a life of many, many adventures.
I don’t know about the wisdom people talk about, but I know that I am a different person than I was even five years ago. I am wiser, but it goes beyond that. I have knowledge that I have gained that I can use in all different ways.
I hunger for even more knowledge and I enjoy feeding that hunger.
I ask myself, “what fits me now?” I am not just talking about clothes.
I went through a period this past year of freaking out a bit. I think it started with the summer of hot flashes, boxer shorts and tank tops. (See earlier blog) I worried because I didn’t know what was going on.
I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have to know what is going on.
It’s ok to just see what happens.
If each day, I decide what will work for me, TODAY, I can continue to enjoy my life.
This approach is working for me.
I will not have a twenty-five year old body ever again. That’s totally ok. My body has done wonderful, incredible things for me and I love it. (I sincerely would not want to be twenty-five again. Too confusing and young.)
I will not have the same energy I had when I was racing after kids in my thirties. That’s ok. The thought of it makes me weary, though I had fun at the time.
I don’t have to know the reasons for anything. It’s fun to wait and see what will happen next.
Who knew that a closet cleaning would become the symbol of who I am now and who I am becoming?
I encourage all of you to do some serious closet cleaning. Do not allow anything into your closet or your life that doesn’t work for you. Please let me know your thoughts and experiences. I will ask Cindy if she can come to your house if you need help! ☺