Here we go. New year, new you? New decade, new you? Having been alive for 40-something years now has taught me, there is no new me to be found. It took me a long time to recognize, and even longer to own, the personality traits I may not love the most but here we are - with perhaps too many books piled around the house (a reading next pile, a reference pile, a reading after next pile, and want to read someday pile, a shelf full of books I’ve loved and can’t part with, some others that have no category. It’s not hoarding if it’s books), unmatched coffee cups, and too many of my children’s toys saved when they haven’t looked at them in quite some time. We love our house, but it’s not fancy and not overly organized.
At 40+, I’m over it. There are more important things to me than an orderly home.
Having said that, this time of year always has me on a recycling rampage. I have one child purging her closet (necessary) and another sorting through a bin of toys and deciding what to part with. We are headed to IKEA for a new dresser for one of the kids (necessary; his hand-me-down dresser from the 80s is falling apart) and I’m wondering what else will catch my eye. I’m betting it’s something for organization of stuff … and I hope to resist and instead just get rid of the stuff that needs organizing. I read somewhere that if you look at your impulse purchases or near-purchases, it’s always the stuff you “wish” you’d use. So, you go to Target to get paper towels and a birthday gift and you come home with four fabric-covered bins, your impulse purchase shows you want to be organized or orderly or whatever. Case in point: I got two planners for Christmas, because I’m always looking at planners and paging through planners and crushing on planners and then I never am a planner. In the endless pursuit of balancing the urgent and the important and getting to the bottom of the to-do list, planning my meals or my hours never seems to work out the way I want it to. A girl can dream, but we live in reality and my life runs me more than I run my life most days.
So maybe it’s time to purge not only the clothes we’ve outgrown and the toys we’ve outgrown, but the pressures of becoming who we are not and the stuff that does not serve us.
Except for the books. Never the books.