I gathered up my slightly used winter clothing, shoes, socks, and other paraphernalia, packed it all up and took it to the ARC Thrift Store. After having been turned down by the stores giving away items for the Marshall Fire because they were overwhelmed with new clothing donations, they turned me away. They did not want any used stuff. It was nice to know how generous people were to help the victims, but I felt a little rejected. Therefore, I went back to ARC, where I always go, to help in the way that I could.
I made a list of what I had to donate. I had filled two large plastic storage containers by the time I completed my task, sorting through everything. There were coats, shoes, purses, women’s business clothing, and finally two grocery bags filled with thirty-seven (37) pairs of socks that I had recently collected. 37 pairs…. I began to wonder why I had so many socks. My sock drawer had turned into two overflowing sock drawers. Therefore, I knew it was time to purge. I sorted the socks out and identified what I really needed to keep. I threw away the ones that had seen better days or was missing a mate, disappearing into the dryer dimension, never to be seen again. In the end, I produced 37 pairs to give away. It made me think about my shopping habits and continued search for the most comfortable and perfect sock.
I posed these questions: Why do I continue to buy? Am I hoping my purchases will help me achieve perfection? While some people might have an endless pursuit for the perfect bag, or the perfect pair of shoes, my search continues to be one of comfort for my poor feet. Years of abuse such as cramming feet into poorly designed shoes and ever poorer designed socks have wreaked havoc on them. Age has determined my fate. I am forever searching for that perfect fit and creature comfort – no pinched toes in shoes (wide sizes only!) and no ridged seams in socks (brands that are soft and seamless!). This makes me wonder why production of these ill-fitting items has not changed. Why do we as consumers continue to buy them? Why don’t we complain to the companies when they don’t feel comfortable? But, that is a blog post for another time.
If my house and my closet is still the same size, why do I keep all this stuff? I don’t want to take a bedroom and turn it into a closet like what we see on those home makeover shows. Therefore, I needed to re-evaluate my purchasing decisions and be comfortable with less, only choosing what clothing works for my body. Clutter can do us in, whether it is physical or mental. Throwing out items or thoughts that do us harm is satisfying to our mental health.
Striving for perfection is a noble goal, and we should continue as a society to do so in every endeavor. Yet, when we become obsessed with that goal, or that goal harms others, it is time to take a step back from the frenzy, be thankful and satisfied with what we have today. We can choose clothing (or causes) that are worthy of the expense – in both time and money. We can give away so much more, albeit slightly used, to others which will help them along their paths. It is time to strive for a better outcome and getting rid of emotional attachment to all things less important. It is time to step up and say it will be okay if we do the right thing through our thoughts and actions. It is time to give up on old ideas, stop fretting about the small stuff and give it away. When we can commit to positive action, we can be satisfied with our lives (and our belongings). Overall, we are better human beings for always doing the right thing. Welcome to Spring!