I woke up yesterday to more clothes in my living room than Trump has haters. The reason? My kids had the duty on Sunday of moving every stitch of them from my closet upstairs to the couch to make room for my daughter to move her clothes into her soon to be “new” bedroom. This would not be a problem except I was now faced with the task of putting 1000 pieces of crap into a vintage armoire that holds – at best – 100 pieces.
I could, of course, do what most normal people would do and get rid of some items. But that would be a tragedy. First, there was my mother’s size 11 gold wedding shoes from 1969. They will never fit me, but I take such great joy knowing that she once wore these sparkly clod hoppers with a bright pink wedding dress. Oh, that dress? I have that, too.
And then there’s my nana’s size 2 navy pumps. I’ll never fit in those either, but they make me smile. How did such a tall granddaughter come through her genetic line?
Add in the wool overcoats lined in bright plumages of pink and purple Victorian roses… the silk panda scarf… the “I Love My Crazy Friends” tee shirt…the XL puff skirt to wear under a dress I don’t have and the mis-matched China tea cups picked up from a thrift store for $1.99 each.
Yup, that’s a whole lot of “crap”. And yet, that crap fertilizes my heart and keeps it blooming. Running my fingers through the fabric reminds me that it’s okay to slow down just a bit and just enjoy.
When I was 11, I’d spend hours sitting on the floor of my bedroom, sifting through my hope chest. In it I’d place all the trinkets I hoped to use in my future life of awesome sauce: handkerchiefs, tea sets, lavish picture frames or art books.
While I’m not 11 anymore, there’s still a girl inside the grownup who longs for the stillness of dreaming. And so, rather than just shove all of my items in an over sized bag and donate it to the local Good Will in impulsive “THIS HAS TO GO NOW” fashion, I took one section at a time. Hats in one bag and belts in another. Those would go at the bottom of the closet until hooks were purchased.
Winter stuff went in the garage. That would go in the attic until I could afford adequate outdoor storage to access it more easily.
Mom’s wedding dress, grandma’s sweater and all the shoes – they would be placed in a box in the attic until shelves were made in my new room to store them.
Underwear and bras – side table of the bed.
Tee shirts, pjs and pants – TV room! Cause where else but a 3-drawer plastic Target bin would my every day clothes go? I would not stress. I would find a better spot another day.
Everything else went in the armoire or in a bag to donate.
The result of this process was nothing other than good old fashioned intention – that intention being that while I want to honor my needs at this time, I’m passing the baton to another 11 year old who has hopes and dreams. (Out with my salmon, in with her pink!)
This 11 year old loves music and singing and art. She loves tea cups and lace and books.
She dreams of a corner nook to sketch with her stuffed animals and a roll top desk to correspond with her Aunt MaryAnne (whose name she still writes as “Anut MaryAnne… who am I to argue?). No one understands dreams and goals this better than I, and so accommodations will be made. Yes, there will even be space for a bright pink carousel horse named “Pink DiMayo” because who doesn’t need such an animal in their Victorian Palace?
I might not have a hope chest anymore, but when I look at my daughter’s face, I have more joy than can ever be housed in a cedar box.
And that, my friends, makes living in my new tiny box of a bedroom worth every single bit of lost space.
(my little Pip, performing as Wendy in Peter Pan a few weeks back. She was radiant if I do say so myself!)
What about you?
What do you dream of? What makes your heart sing?
Until next time, May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.