Me and my biggest girl, dressed up for our "fancy" New Year's Party :)
I started cleaning out my closet the other day. We have a sofa in our master bedroom, and it was pretty much covered with clothes that were clean and folded, but had been sitting there, not put away, since roughly mid-October (kind of kidding, but probably pretty close). So I got everything organized, started hanging up clothes, and as I was putting each piece in it's proper location (my kitchen may be a mess, but my closet is always tidy), I got the familiar urge to try on the old clothes that haven't been worn in so long, and start getting rid of some things.
Now, it's not that I don't have the space. We are SO lucky to have great his-and-hers walk in closets in our home. So I don't have to share my closet with Scott, and I can organize it however I want. It's really awesome (I have certainly been on the other side of things; in our condo that we lived in before this house, I couldn't get one season's worth of clothes in my teeny sliding-door closet). But as I started going through the pants that are still too snug from baby weight, and the sweaters that are stretched out in the shoulders, and the dresses whose hemlines are far too short now for this modest mama, I got to thinking, "why go through all this effort? I have plenty of room in my closet, I don't need to get rid of this stuff yet. I can just leave it in here, and do it all later." But, everytime I step into my closet, I get this nagging feeling that I just need to clean house. I need to purge. I kept on thinking, about why I am always so insistent about cleaning out my closet. Why do I always feel like I need to get rid of the old stuff that I just move from house to house, even though I never wear it anymore? Why do I walk in my closet and feel like I have nothing to wear, though I constantly buy more, and certainly have plenty of options.
Then I had a realization about my closet, and about my life.
The reason I always feel like I need to clean out my closet, is because when I walk in there every day to get dressed, I end up focusing on all those clothes that I can't wear, instead of my new clothes, and the beautiful things I can wear. I look at the clothes that are too tight, the clothes that I wore before I had my darling babies, and remember that I do not have that body anymore. I look at the pieces that at the time were necessities, but now are just reminders of past credit card debt. Looking through my closet I see all the things I'm not, the pesron I usesd to be, not the things that I am. I focus on the negative, not the positive. I think the fact that I have this urge to clean out my closet is some instinctive, self-preservation mechanism; my mind encouraging me to clean out the old, clean away the negativity, and reduce the clutter, so I can focus more on the positive. My closet is a metaphor about my life and how I see myself sometimes.
I can sometimes focus on the negative things about myself, as I'm sure a lot of other women do too. My thighs are too big. My house isn't clean often. I don't do enough with my kids. I'm not enough. These thoughts surround me, and instead of focusing on the things I am good at, the good things about myself, my positive physical attributes, I focus on the bad. And why is it that I focus on the bad? I really do think there are more good things about myself than bad (I feel the same about all people), and yet I am drawn to those few bad things. And what I'm realizing, is that I think I do that because I keep them around, just like the ill-fitting clothes in my closet that I just push to the corner. I have those thoughts in the back of head, and when I am vulnerable, I go into that corner and feel sorry for myself.
Well, no more. I usually make a New Years Resolution or two, but never really stick to them for one reason or another. So this is not as much of a resolution for the New Year, as it is a new way of thinking. I am going to clean out my closet. I am going to clean out the pants that are too tight, and I am going to get rid of the old stretched out sweaters. I am not going to focus on the person I used to be, or the person I wish I was, but the person I am now. Big thighs and all. The things that I am good at, not my weaknesses or the things I don't do. I am going to focus on the positive, on the "clothes" that do fit and make me feel good, and not the things, the people, the situations and experiences that make me feel bad about myself. I will simplify, and quit carrying around the old baggage that can make me feel insecure at times, and embrace the good, the things that make me me, the place I am in my life, and the amazing blessings that I have in my life right now.
There's no doubt that there will be somethings that are too sentimental to get rid of (like the jeans and tunic I wore the night Scott and I met, and the pair of pants I had on when we got engaged :)), and that's okay too. There will even be an item or two that I keep for one reason or another, hoping I can fit into before long. And that's okay. There will always be times that I feel self conscious; that's just going to happen. And I think it's also okay to have reminders of where I have been, and also goals to focus on. But in 2014, in this New Year, I will keep my energy focused on the present, on the positive, and embrace the beauty in my life as it is right now.
And I'm going to keep cleaning out my closet.
Happy New Year, friends!
And P.S...even though I am cleaning out my closet, I will be back to regularly scheduled What I Wore Wednesday posts next week! :)