Journey to a sustainable future

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Homeostasis of Stuff

love this shirt!  have owned for more than one year!
I have discovered that getting rid of items, stuff, junk, even things you really liked, is easy.  What is hard is not replacing them. 

I sold a bunch of my tank tops to a local consignment shop, and relegated a few t shirts to my pajama drawer (really: a white t shirt when I hang out with a toddler all day?).  So, I went to that same consignment shop to go buy more tank tops--pretty ones, feminine ones.  Came home with some great shirts at great prices. 

And then my drawer was full again.

Well, some of the shirts are difficult to breastfeed in.  Steve informed me that he didn't like a few of the others.  So I sorted through all my shirts, and selected stack to sell to the consignment shop. 

And my drawer is kind of empty again.  And I was convinced that I needed to go shopping, because I didn't have enough shirts anymore.  Thankfully, I thought about this a little bit more, and decided that if I still feel like I don't have enough shirts in a few weeks, then I can go shopping.  It is like I am used to have x amount of whatever, and so when I have less than x amount, even when that was thoughtfully and deliberately done, it feels...uncomfortable.

orange nursing tank top September 2011

Of course, I have plenty of shirts.  And I still wear the same 5 ones over and over.

I try to enact the "one in, one out" rule.  But I have fallen into a trap of minimalism: if I only have a few of something, be that mixing bowls, bath towels, tank tops, or socks, then they need to be the perfect ones.  They have to be exactly what I want; clothing needs to exquisitely reflect my style and taste.

In Oregon, the rain jacket is standard attire
Now for some things, this makes sense.  If you only have a few pots and pans, then you need to have what you use: no sense in having a double boiler if what you really need is a sturdy stock pot.  But if you have the 5 qt pot with steamer baskets, is it necessary to also own the 6 qt stock pot?  Maybe it is; only you can know that.

But clothing has become an issue for me.  Which is kind of funny, because clothing never used to be my "thing."  Ask my sister; she deplored my selection of clothes every morning in high school.  In college, I routinely wore the same four pairs of pants, the same 6 long sleeved t shirts, and the same black fleece jacket to class.  And I seriously never thought twice about it, and I don't think anyone else did, either.

I have had good reasons to buy new clothes: none of my pre-baby clothes fit post-baby.  It took me ages to lose the baby weight.  I am now under my pre-pregnancy weight.  All of these do, in my mind, necessitate, or at least validate, wardrobe editing.

orange nursing tank top July 2012
I have to come to accept that at any given time, my clothes may not perfectly project "me" because "me" changes.  And just because I do own fewer clothes/shoes/purses than the average woman in America, does not mean that I have a right or need to go acquire more of those items.  I am learning to let empty space be ok.  I am learning that just because I am not full, does not mean I am not satisfied.  I am learning to be content with "enough."

No comments:

Post a Comment