07 Oct Enough Shoes…Enough Stuff…Downsizing Literally and Figuratively Post50
By Lauren Chesley
How much is enough? Once upon a time, I lived my life in complete excess. If one pair of shoes was good, two was better and three pairs in different colors—well that was complete euphoria.
I was a salesperson’s dream come true. Who else was going to buy a pair of hot pink python shoes—just because you never know when you might need them? (Come on…you know what I’m talking about!)
Over the course of years, I am not proud to tell you I probably racked up over 600 pairs of shoes. Boots were my specialty. Tall boots, flat boots, wedge heeled boots, black suede, brown suede, leather ones because suede gets ruined in the snow. I am not sure why I have the leopard print boots. They were Lanvin, and on sale—probably because nobody in their right mind would buy them! Then there was the new “bootie” craze… They really look better on a 25 year old!
The point is I had stuff on top of stuff—in boxes and stashed in hiding places. My ex-husband once bought me one of those needlepoint pillows that said “Less is More.” I bought a needlepoint pillow that said “More is More” and laid it right next to the pillow he bought. (Might be one of the reasons I am not married anymore.)
Needless to say, the pillows didn’t make the move–in fact; neither did most of the shoes.
I don’t need a therapist to tell me that my life of excess was less about stuff and more about filling up an emptiness inside of me. I also don’t need a therapist to tell me that “stuff” does not define us. Let it go— become the clearer thinking 50 year old that you are. You define you.
It actually feels so great to unclutter. The truth for me and most of us is that we have a favorite pair of jeans that always fit. I don’t need 20 white t-shirts. I wear the same one because it has the perfect neck and it’s still crisp white. Now that I walk everywhere I only wear shoes that are comfortable. I am past the point of being in pain because my feet hurt.
I challenge you to become uncluttered and unburdened by your “stuff.” Donate it—sell it —give it to your daughters, or your daughters’ friends, or your friends’ daughters. Besides, I have found that getting dressed every day is so much easier when 10 pairs of black pants that don’t actually fit (but might someday soon) are staring at you.
A friend of mine recently referred to these 50plus empty nester years as transformative. I would have to agree. Yes—I am changing. I have more creases in my forehead. Somehow there is less space on my eyelid to put on eye-makeup. There are creases there as well. Thanks to menopause, losing 5 pounds is nearly impossible. The list goes on.
But I would honestly say these are the years to transform into the better, well intended, grateful, meaningful and purposeful you. I am really enjoying the gift of time—and the gift of getting to know myself better—and the gift of learning to love myself without so much “stuff.”
Yep—I love shoes. What I love even more are the ones I chose to keep. I also know how many people are happy with their new boots I gave them for the winter ahead. Unclutter and unburden…
I hope you go to your closet today and pick ten things to purge.
Journey on…feeling a little bit lighter…