Biscuits

I just bought something. Five somethings, actually. I don’t feel great about it and I am not looking to justify it, but honesty is important and I am not perfect.

I know how close I am to being “done”, but this was not a purchase that could wait. Not even 12 days.

(I’m going to talk about undergarments now, so if that’s not your deal, then thanks for showing up. The next one will be about something different, I promise.)

A few months ago, in the midst of the Longest Winter Ever, I decided I was going to take myself to Walt Disney World for my birthday. This trip was not cheap and not necessary. It was also not against the rules, and I can think of no better place to spend my 35th birthday than in the Magic Kingdom, so I regret nothing.

My birthday, unfortunately, is at the end of August, which is hot and humid lots of places, especially Central Florida. Those who’ve been following along will know that I have rid myself of a good deal of clothing in the past year, leaving me with few choices that are appropriate for both theme parks and stupid hot weather. It’s mostly dresses.

Some of you can probably see where this is going.

If I’m going to walk for ten miles a day, in 35-degree weather, in a dress, then I need a little help in the foundation garment department.

I would love for this not to be the case. I would love to have lost a bunch more weight by now and not have my thighs trying to kill each other under my skirt. This was my plan! Progress in this area has been slower than expected, although I have turned something of a corner and I plan to share my thoughts on this at some future date.

I did a pre-pack of my luggage last night, and discovered that I also own zero suitable bras for this trip. I own enough for normal life, but none that I could wear all day in that heat and not risk some kind of severe skin irritation.

It was at this point that I decided that purity of purpose was not more important than avoidance of actual physical pain, so I went to Walmart and I bought three stretchy, comfy bras and a two-pack of boy shorts. It was $50 (argh).

This was a clear rule-break. It was not an accident. I am not going to make excuses for it. I chose physical comfort over (nearly) perfect abstinence and I would do it again.

This is how much I cry at Disney when I’m wearing shorts:

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Just kidding. That’s right after my brother-in-law proposed to my sister DURING THE FIREWORKS. He’s laughing at me pretty good right there.

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The Life-changing Magic of Throwing Stuff Out

kondoI read this book ages ago. I’ve had it on my Kindle since November, and I even encouraged my book club to  read it. I know loads of people have already read, adopted as practice, and written about Marie Kondo’s book on the internet so I am admittedly late to this party, but it has made such an impression on me that I would be remiss not give it some inches.

First off, the title doesn’t lie. My life is changed. I am changed.

In the past year, I have become a person whose space is less cluttered and generally tidier, and the effects of this shift in my environment have spilled over into all other aspects of my life.

Back in late fall 2014, friend of the blog Steph Johns came over to help me tackle what Marie Kondo suggests should be Step One in ditching excess: Clothing.

When we started, I had my half of the walk-in stuffed with current season clothing, plus a cedar chest, plastic tote and the guest room closet full of off-season stuff. My side of the closet was so crammed that the hangers probably would have stayed in place without the benefit of a hanging rod. And I was using those terrible felt-covered skinny hangers that permit even more hoarding of clothing. I hate those things.

The Konmari Method requires that you start with all your stuff on the floor. Okay. I would normally use the bed, but I went with it. I didn’t take a before picture, although now I wish I had, for shock value. The pile, she was large.

Next step in deciding what to keep is to pick up each item, one at a time, and discern if that item “sparks joy” as you handle it. This is a hard concept to explain, but an easy one to grasp if you play along. If you feel joy when you interact with a garment, then it stays; if not, out it goes. I know it sounds a little weird, but it really resonated with me.

I’m not going to get into the mechanics of the whole day, but once we were done, I was left with a pile on the floor…wpid-wp-1439818924312.jpg

…and all of my remaining clothing hung in the closet.

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That’s all four (or six, or three, depending on the year) seasons on one hanging rod.

All my folding fits in two drawers.

That was how my closet looked for a good three months, until I decided to take another pass and pruned even further. It’s now at about 2/3 of the above and I am this close to being able to ditch all those rotten felt crap hangers forever. I didn’t move two boxes of wooden hangers to the new house for nothing!

Once I’d completed Step One, I didn’t follow the rest of the Konmari method too precisely. I felt equipped to handle the rest of my space and its remaining stuff at a more methodical pace, and I’ve managed to de-clutter MOST of my house. I’d say 90%.

Marie Kondo’s book doesn’t really address one of the most prolific causes of clutter in my home: my child. It’s definitely a book written for the individual, but since this whole year is about changing MY habits, it was a perfectly appropriate place to start.

I find I am now able to enjoy having people in my space much more, since every occasion for guests is no longer accompanied by a week-long cleaning spree whereby things start out orderly, but end in a dozen “miscellaneous” bins being shoved in whichever room I don’t think people will see.

So that’s a little glimpse into how my life has changed in a very real way this year. Progress, not perfection.