Cleaning Out the Mind’s Closet

Photo: Rubbermaid Products
Photo: Rubbermaid Products

I was chatting with a friend the other evening and I had an epiphany, of sorts. We were talking about square footage and small living spaces when I realized that my house is probably closer to 700 square feet. It occurred to me that my incessant domestic purging is masking an underlying desire to refine myself.I’ve learned that living in a very small space means you must carefully consider everything that you possess. Everything must be the most perfect for you thing, ever. Otherwise it doesn’t merit the space. What if that applies to life as well?

I used to think it was pretty swell to be interested and engaged in about 50 things, at once. Now, in my thoroughly adult life, I’m feeling spread thin and ungrounded. It’s time to refine everything about myself and distill it into the most complete and most true-to-myself version of me.

The problem is that I like lots of things, which isn’t a problem in and of itself but I tend to adopt things. I feel that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gathered many interests around myself like statically-charged socks on a sweatshirt. There are so many socks clinging that I can’t see myself anymore and I feel mentally heavy. So it’s time for a mental purge where I keep the socks I really truly love and cast off the others, to admire from a safe distance. So, these are the socks I am addressing – in no particular order:

Sock No. 1 – Domestic Style.

This is going to be hard because I like everything in the right context. However, I am not getting rid of my house and I get most excited about Federal row houses because they’re urban and old, really old. So, I will retain the colonial-style domestic style sock and pass along the others, such as the Scandinavian modern design sock, usually found at IKEA.

Sock No. 2 – Handcrafts.

I will keep these socks and continue to sew, crochet and cross-stitch. However, I will throw away the desire to make money off of handcrafted socks, among other things, and will only embark on projects that will not take over my kitchen for months. I will also not crochet any more queen-sized blankets. I will, however, remember that small handcrafted things make lovely Christmas presents.

Sock No. 3 – Music.

This sock has been thoroughly smothered. I am trying to air this sock out by joining the church choir. Hopefully the choir master will be kind while I try to get my voice back into shape. I haven’t decided if this is going to be enough. Maybe, as I reduce other socks, I will find room for some creative process.

Sock No. 4 – Religion.

This is the sort of sock that has been covered up by many other socks. Now that I’m passing along several, I can put this sock back where it can be readily available.

Sock No. 5 – Running.

I keep falling off the wagon. If I had not stopped, I would probably be running half marathons all the time by now. I think swimming feels better but pools are hard to come by and running is easy. I can also run when I’m half asleep. The running sock has so many benefits, it’s an absolute keeper.

Sock No. 6 – Web Design.

Strangely enough, I think I am done with this sock. Drexel has a MS degree in project management and I think it’s calling my name. I would rather work with artistic geniuses than try to imitate them, poorly. I really like organizing things instead and there seems to be a real lack of good organizers out there.

Sock No. 7 – Small Living.

I am not budging. Article in Yahoo today says more people are living small. Small is good. I don’t think I will ever live large.

Sock No. 8 – Personal Style.

I have so many personal style socks. Depending on what day of the week, or the event, or which way the wind is blowing. It’s out of control. Without a sense of personal style, I have no style period. Of all my socks, this is the tricky one to develop. Even if I took everything out of my closet, I don’t think I could pin a theme down. So, this will take some work.

It’s thought that human beings are happier when they have less options available. I am hoping that by focusing what I like on my absolutely favorite things, will lighten my spirit and clear my mind.

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