Tuesday, January 12, 2010
#11 Everything has a Shelf Life
So, would you eat what’s in your closet? Closets of all kinds, especially clothes closets, are another area of our homes that need to function efficiently at all times. We go in and out of them many times a day and they need to be filled with things that meet our needs. The refrigerator analogy works so well for thinking about closets because we are smart about the stuff in the fridge. When we find an item in the fridge that’s not healthy, we throw it away but when it comes to our closets we get weak. We forget about the rules of making healthy decisions. Does it fit me? Is there a hole in it? Do I even like the way it looks? Is it still in style? Healthy decisions about clothing are about what’s good for your mind and your spirit. Spoiled food makes you sick, but staring at a closet full of clothing that has passed its shelf life makes you feel guilty, self conscious about your body, rushed and frustrated. That’s just as unhealthy as eating spoiled food.
Why is it so easy to throw away wilted lettuce and so difficult to let go of the unflattering green cardigan? Part of it can be that the lettuce cost about $2 and that sweater might have been a big purchase. The investment of time and money we spent on that sweater brings guilt and we force ourselves to hold on to it for the wrong reasons. If it looks great on you and it serves your needs, it should be hanging there. If not, it should be tossed with the wilted lettuce. We fix the leaky milk container before returning it to the fridge but let the skirt with the torn hem hang there for months with no attention. The potential mess is easy to see when it’s the milk container that has a hole. It's not so simple to see the mess caused by a torn skirt hanging there week after week. The damage is two-fold. You are wasting your valuable time passing over that skirt every week. It takes time to pull it out, realize its torn and hang it back up. Those moments add up and you have better things to do with your time. Leaving it there might also cause you to feel ashamed or burdened by the fact that you haven’t gotten around to fixing it. Let these feeling go. Toss them out, they’re not healthy. Fix the rips or get rid of the clothes.
My point. Why is it so simple to read the expiration date on the yogurt and toss it when it gets old, but those acid washed jeans and that blazer with the huge shoulder pads continue to hang in our closets long after they have passed their prime? Don’t you wish clothing came with an expiration date printed right on the label? The most important thing about healthy clothing, is holding on to things that make you feel good. If you reach for it over and over again, if you put it on and tell yourself you feel great and if it serves a need in your current life then it should stay. If not, it should go. It’s not healthy for your mind and your spirit to let it take up space in your closet. So, would YOU eat what’s in YOUR closet? Are you holding on to things that are past their expiration date? Do you have items in your closet that are unhealthy? Feed your spirit with the same healthy stuff that feeds you body. If it is past its shelf life, let it go.