"Although we can get to know ourselves better by sitting down and analysing our characteristics or by listening to others' perspectives on us, I believe that tidying is the best way".
I just finished reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying". An inspiring, and sometimes quirky read. And as Marie is a self-confessed eccentric I can make light of what I find harder to relate to as so much of it really struck me in ways I found very useful. She has the psychology of the decluttering process in hand. As someone that can endlessly muse about days past, exploring how it contrasts with my present, what I want in the future... and the growth, or the amount of "re-learning" I still realise the limitations over time that this pastime has. Let's face it, little I learn nowadays I didn't already know about myself... Yip, "sitting down and analysing" I can do. Overdo. I know it is time to actually confront the relationships I have with my things - nostalgia, longing, wanting to preserve, or document, or remind.... and to be more creative with the present, in a clearer space. Time to use this opportunity to amass the volume of materials I have amassed to understand what my relationships are with them. What can my clothes reveal about an attachment to the past, or a fear of the future?
I work with clients that have difficulties around decision-making in ways I realise I can only relate to on a bad day, when tired or overwhelmed. I possibly sound glib with some of them. However, I understand them, albeit in other contexts. Changing patterns is challenging, even the ones that clearly don't give us more of what want, undermine us in front of our very own eyes. "Letting go" is my bastion of resistance. And not least of clothes.
"... our possessions very accurately relate the history of the decisions we have made in life. Tidying is a way of taking stock that shows us what we really like"
Yip, clothes that are literally the tapestry of my life, and which has been reason enough for me to hold on to them. Helped by the fact that my taste has little changed and that I was never a follower of fashion. Some items I have had over 3 decades. I still remember when, where, with whom and why I bought them...
I know I am good at identifying what is truly important to me. And I can be very categoric about cutting out the crap in my life. When grounded, this is near effortless for me and there is little to no looking back. Especially when it comes to non-tangibles. It is the middle ground between truly important and crap, especially where it comes to objects that I have far from mastered... Head doesn't help either. So good at justifying with all kinds of rationale relating to not wanting to fill landfill, contribute to consumerism, waste not want not. Sigh.
And it is clear that my mind will benefit from flexing my decision-making muscle of keep / discard, as I bombard it with the mass of clothes that I have accumulated over decades. I am curious to see them all in one place, on the living room floor. A part of me even looks forward to the overwhelm. I am relying on the exhaustion to weaken my strength to cling to them.
So, yip - as I launch belatedly into my clothes-sorting-a-la-KonMarie weekend - I can feel the truth in those words - tidying is the best way. A weekend significantly curtailed by my glands that have been threatening to strangle me since yesterday. Trying to rescue me, or have me fight for what is important? I guess the latter is what is revealing itself as I am still bent on this not being a non-incremental Saturday.
And as I sat down to journal, a design for a business card proof I created caught my eye. Working on design I was getting lost in the images that I felt so drawn to. Inappropriate for the purpose, and yet so, so attractive to me. A fractal of a pattern that shows up in not just in business card or web design areas of my life ... Anyhow, it was this text "ready?" that stopped me in my tracks of journaling. And had me create this blog instead. The text on the business card was address to others. And now I turn the question on myself.
Ready to overwhelm myself and place all the clothes I have - from walk-in wardrobe, under bed, cellar? Knowing I have opportunities and time constraints that make this particular weekend opportune for the bi-annual changing-of-the-wardrobe activity, along with my imminent need to pack for a camping trip, and leave my place decent for others to feel at home in, along with the ever-growing desire to really only be surrounded by what brings me joy in the present moment. The mantras of "start before you are ready", "you learn in the action"... are ones as relevant as much to my own life as those of my clients.
Marie dissects the elephant with good sense advice. First, make the keep-release decision. One that is going to be one hell of a workout of that all-important muscle of discernment. Then, later, figure out how best to store or ensure future use in a new home - not beyond my competencies.
Still feels mammoth. Then again incremental change is not what I am after...
"Allez c'est parti!" Ready. I am ready.