At this time of year we start to sort through our heavy sweaters and wool socks to make way for tank tops and sandals. This morning, while combing my closet I found two items with price tags still attached. Both were quite nice, quite pricey and I wondered why they had not yet been worn.
At a library sale recently, I purchased a book entitled, ‘Simple Abundance – A Daybook of Comfort and Joy’ by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Each day of the month speaks to creating a manageable lifestyle while living our lives with grace…something too many of us struggle with.
March 26 – The Unspoken Language of Authenticity
“To choose what clothes to wear each day is to define and describe who we are and how we are feeling,” says Alison Lurie. It goes on to say how we announce ourselves daily through the clothing we wear. Makes sense.
In my closet, I have ‘poet/teacher clothes’ (batik prints, flowing skirts, ‘hippie’ styles, lots of deep purple and black) and my everyday clothes (loose, comfortable t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, baggy fits, no heels, no cleavage). To see me coming, you generally know where I am going.
Now, back to the two pricey-tagged items in my closet. I do not recall purchasing them and given some thought, had probably been saving them for a ‘special occasion’. A lot of money was spent on both tops and yet they were hanging in my closet so long, I don’t remember them.
My mother used to do this all the time. She loved to go shopping (at Kohls…grrrr). Not that she needed much or had a lot of money to spend, but she enjoyed the outing (usually complete with a stop at Dunkin Donuts) and would sometimes buy something for herself.
Over the years, I’d find clothing in her drawers or closet with tags still on and she’d say, “Oh, that’s too pretty to wear.” Or, “I don’t want it. You take it.” Looking back, it makes me sad to think she didn’t believe herself special enough, didn’t recognize how beautiful she was, how much she meant to so many. It is sad to know she would bypass the pretty, new sweater for a second-hand natty sweatshirt, complete with appliquéd cat (she hated cats).
And when she died, many of those new clothes were still unworn, still being saved for that special occasion. Right? What a revealing example of how she thought about herself.
I want to stand in front of my closet and breathe, “Yes!” Close my eyes and choose without hesitation. Not wait for the ‘right’ day to wear a shirt that makes me feel lovely or shoes that make me dance. To live life as if each day was a special occasion…