The Purge

I didn’t quite know what to do with myself yesterday. I shied away from Facebook as I debated whether or not to call my mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and check in on how she is doing. I had already sent a card.

It’s not a no-brainer. Our relationship is practically non-existent and it works for me. When I do call, the conversation never lasts more than a few minutes and it tends toward the repetitive and awkward. My mother does not ever call me.

The only reason to call would be out of guilt. Everyone else is doing it. I eavesdropped as DH called both his mother and stepmother and I was a bit jealous of the warm reception to his calls and Facebook posts. I didn’t call.

Instead I started pulling things out of my closet to donate to the upcoming Frock Swap one of the girls from the last show is organizing but which I cannot attend. As long as I was there, I started pulling the items that I was keeping merely out of sentiment. Since I did not wish to frame any of them, I put them in a separate pile for Salvation Army type donation. I kept the two items that were my father’s: a funky striped vest and a great big tribal print cardigan that zips up. I won’t wear these often if ever but I am not getting rid of them. I pulled clothes that no longer fit me because they 2014-05-11 22.12.02are too big. I re-organized into types (sleeveless, sleeved, cardigans, jackets, casual jackets), and then hung each item in each type from light to dark.

I made quite a lot of room in the closet. It felt great. I don’t understand what I was holding on to some things for. If I don’t keep the ill-fitting Syracuse University sweatshirt I got for Christmas when I was 17, will I really forget where I come from? I won’t. I really won’t. I will never forget buying those lime green pants at the Mexican store despite my good friends telling me not to and then back-tracking on later, admitting that they were fantastic. I don’t have to keep them to remember; they are a size too big and about four inches too long. None of those friends live here anymore, but I don’t need the pants to remember them either. Looking at this picture, I cannot wait to replace all the hangers.

2014-05-11 12.38.41I turned to the dresser next. I have two drawers, both stuffed with t-shirts and sweaters. The entire bottom drawer is all novelty t-shirts (the ones I might actually wear, there is also a whole storage tub under the bed filled with the ones I won’t wear anymore). First thing I did was purge a few. Then I rolled all of the novelty t-shirts into small, easily-identifiable cylinders. Then I squished them into the smallest possible space. Look at all the room I made!

reogranized drawersI purged and organized the other drawer and was able to make enough room to store all of my surviving pullover sweaters in the upper drawer (sorry for the crappy pictures, the lighting in our bedroom sucks).

I feel lighter today, less weighted down. I think a purge like this is necessary every couple of months. Next up is reorganizing the workout clothes drawer.

The Frock Swap pile:

2014-05-11 17.45.13







The donation pile:

2014-05-11 22.12.34This all felt refreshing, like I said, but more importantly it occupied whatever part of my mind was resisting working through whether or not to call my mother. The conclusion I came to is that I accept my mother for exactly who she is, strengths and limitations. I understand that she was always doing her best based on what she knew at the time, and if she hasn’t found her way to doing better now that she knows better, that’s her choice. I respect it. The natural consequences of her choices include a limited relationship with me. I put no judgment on that. Right now, where I am, the best way I can honor the good stuff, the things I learned, is to try to choose a life of conscious happiness. Yesterday, that did not include making a phone call I did not want to make and that would appear to be unappreciated. Best I got right now; maybe next year will be different. Maybe it won’t.



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