Day 16 – my home doesn’t look any different and I feel like I’ve been at this forever. Wearily I cast a Bigelow Green Tea can in the giveaway box after comparing it to the other green tea box I have which my daughter gave me one year for my birthday – I can still remember her rushing up the fronts steps with her dad, gift bag in hand; she was so excited. I wonder why I even have to think about this. No one needs two green tea tins and not only does the one she gave me have such a wonderful memory attached to it, it is a much nicer tin.
Day 17 – the entry on my calendar looks pathetic – a gift bag? That’s all I managed to eliminate? and on a Saturday. I’m embarrassed for myself.
Day 18 – a pair of white shorts, Dockers, really good quality, but a retro style that doesn’t flatter any body type – high on the waist, full at the crotch, wide in the legs. It’s the extra fabric at the crotch that has always mystified me – who were they made for? Maybe they’re men’s shorts and I’ve never realized it – “boyfriend” shorts. Why do men feel the need for all that extra space between them and their clothes?
Day 19, 20, 21 and 22 – I gird my loins and go into the basement where I know there is a field day of stuff to get rid of. Many photo frames – I once collected them to put family pics on top of the piano the way they do on the soaps, but it was too dusty; Gems jars – like for pickling and preserving – I had gathered them for a wedding that got cancelled; there were two boxes so I counted them for two days. Three smallish black cork boards, purchased for an office I once leased – stylin’, but no use to me after I ran away from the business after 2 hellish years of trying to manage other businesspeople.
The basement is exhausting, because everything I handle represents a project I once had in mind. To give it up is to admit something – like I will never be an astronaut, or a concert pianist, except in this exercise, the aspirations were so low: to display photos in eclectic frames on stands meant for you to pick them up and touch them lovingly while music plays in the background; to organize your working life in a stylish and sophisticated manner – no giant jar full of pink messages for you! to marry in a purpose-built shop decorated in gauzy voile and fairy lights while you danced the night away under the 3-dimensional foil stars in your sparkly shoes. The shoes I still have.
Day 23 – back upstairs I put a salmon coloured Top Shop top in the giveaway bag.. Salmon is not a colour anyone should ever wear and Top Shop should apologize.
Day 24 – Clothes are low hanging fruit in this exercise. Pull something out of a closet, try it on and realize it doesn’t fit. I have several closets to work with – a San Fransisco white tshirt with a shirred neckline goes. I bought at least 4 of them at the time, thinking that the shirred neckline would make them a suitable work-at-home option, but still feel that t-shirts are not appropriate. And then I outgrew them. Sometimes that 5% spandex is so cruel.
Day 25 – Bonus! I’m sitting in my backyard on a hot day with a friend, explaining why there is a green hump in the corner of the yard – a collection of furniture I once thought I would refinish and hauled between residences, now shamefully kept under a tarp. She asked me if I had any mirrors there, she had a wall space in her small home which required a reflective surface. I did not. But then I remembered there was one at the back door, waiting to be hung (for the past 10 months). I walk by it every day. She demurred, at first thinking it was too heavy for her to handle, maybe not the right size, I should use it, hang it up the way I had planned but I insisted until she took it home with her. I felt so blessed.