Simplicity, thy name is woman – NOT. What woman does not want just another pair of shoes, another silk shawl, another shade of lipstick? What female turns down an offer for a free cosmetic bag if she only buys $50 worth of some chi-chi cream and makeup? How many of us gals just simply will not resist the call of a little statue of a cute little goose girl, milkmaid, or boy herding sheep? Is there one among us that has not entertained the idea of two piercings in one ear, especially after a margarita or two?
Basically, we of the gentler gender love to acquire, feather the nest, make the home even more lovely, our persons even more desirable. After all, does not Proverbs speak of the good woman going about busy, busy, bringing in good stuff?
Okay. Enough already. I’ve done all those things and probably to greater excess than most of my sorority sisters. Time was, my floor was so covered with projects to be done (for the closets, shelves and drawers were much too crowded already) that I could not navigate my way across the room to right a makeshift shelf that had tipped over because I placed a newly acquired large glass stand on it. After all, my good friend was moving to France and I did him a favor to take it off his hands for twenty bucks. Was my motive not altruistic? Never mind the VCR I bought from the same fellow, the one I never used. The VCR, that is.
Fast forward to another time, another place, possibly another life. At some point, and I can’t tell you just when it happened, my giant tote bags as I exited the palaces of merchandise, became leaner and smaller. Was it age, pocketbook, or a minor miracle? Can’t really figure this one out, because in my innermost self I still have a strong need to acquire, get, buy… you know what I mean.
Yet, little by little, my life style has whittled down to much less, more practical, less complicated. In a word – simplicity. Daily, however, I challenged the demons of clutter. At the end of a week the shelf that had three books on it has suddenly acquired two more, plus some papers and notes.
Vigilance – that’s what it takes today to push back imaginary packrat creatures that forever reach their bony claws at my best efforts to simplify and thus free me from feeling like the world is crashing in on me and I will never find that other shoe that would go so well with today’s outfit.
The fond and lifelong dream of being someday able to find something in my possession, is moving toward being realized. Although this morning I could not for the life of me find those papers I had so carefully put aside to deal with. Is it true that weird little creatures show up when we sleep and either steal, misplace, or chew up our important things, just to be mean?
There is no doubt in my mind that clothes hangers, especially the metal kind, are vindictively entangled during the night by unwelcome visitors, and sure enough, snag that favorite satin dress just in a spot that is most noticeable. I won’t even go into the socks, pens, cell phones, or keys scenarios.
But the end of the decluttering rainbow is not all gold, either. Lately, I have noticed the tendency to try to line up things which don’t really need lining up. I have become intolerant of a picture hanging at a bit more than 90 degrees. Water drops in the sink, too many flowers in the vase, dog-eared papers, coffee stains? Uh-oh, am I getting that dreaded disease of OCD?
That reminds me of another condition that usually hits seniors. It’s called furniture disease. That’s when your chest falls into your drawers. I guess that’s the answer to all my problems – laughter. If I can keep a chuckle in my heart, nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, and a stiff upper lip, my crusade toward simplicity will be uphill all the way.