It's that time of the year when I'm thoroughly disgusted by the amount of junk I have in my home, and I am anxious to get rid of it. I remember our home in Petaluma, that darling little one-bedroom, one-bathroom duplex, and I guarantee all the things we have now would've never fit in that tiny place. Why do we always fill the space we live? Sam and I survived just fine in our "'Luma Loft" (nay, we thrived), and we have accumulated much more stuff in that time, stuff that we assume we "need". I had the smallest, itty-bitty closet in Petaluma, and suddenly I think my walk-in closet is too small for all my clothes, shoes, and hats. Reality check: it's time to get rid of the excess.
I love the cleaning out, the paring down, the simplifying. It's freeing to not be tied down with belongings I haven't used in a year and forgot I even owned. Maybe it's because of how often we've moved in our nearly twenty months of marriage, but when I look around at everything in our home, all I can think about is what a headache it will be to pack it all up and move it again. (Sidenote: I am utterly amazed when I encounter a couple who have been married about as long as we have been, or longer, and they're still living in the same home as when they first married. What must that be like? To be able to fully settle in, never once considering the fact that in six months or a year you may be someplace new? Dear wives who've been granted this luxury, enjoy it. You can fully decorate without the least bit of hesitation! I am, obviously, jealous of your position.)
Forgive my digression. Back to spring cleaning.
All this cleaning makes me want to do a cleanse of all the other "unnecessaries" (is that a word?) in my life. I want to stop eating so much sugar. (Dear Lord, if only sugar had gluten in it, I would be fine!) I want to stop watching mindless television and reading nonsense online. I'd rather fill myself with whole, healthy food, and fill my mind with insightful words with depth and wisdom. More literature, fewer magazines. I want to rid myself of the waste to make room for the meaningful, the necessary, the healthy.
Yesterday I was in the middle of cleaning out my closet. Clothes were in piles all over my bed - to keep, to give away, to decide whether or not to keep or give away - and I had a pile of clean, unfolded laundry on the floor. That morning, while getting ready for church, I pulled a little too hard on my dresser drawer and it toppled to the ground, scattering socks and exercise shirts everywhere. Sam and I had just returned from spending the morning at church and the afternoon running errands when some new friends from church stopped by. It was the first time they'd been to our house, and of course, it was in shambles. Even though 90% of the time my house is in order, it seems people only come over in that other 10%.
As I gave my new friend a tour, I found myself wanting to explain that it didn't usually look like this, that I was cleaning everything out, that I swear I'm not a slob. I knew she wouldn't care, but I was bummed she was seeing my home for the first time in the shape it was in. It was especially mortifying because I had just been to her home a week earlier, and it was spotless. And adorable.
I wanted it to appear that I was a great homemaker, but I realized that I don't have to play those games, always trying to look perfect. My long-time friends know all the ugly parts and love me anyway, and that level of comfort is refreshing. With new friends, it's easy to want to hide those less-than-perfect aspects of our lives until it's impossible to hide them anymore, until we feel safe. I've had friends, or acquaintances, who've never fully dropped all their facades of perfection, so I've never known them on a real level. I want to be known, and pretending to have a perfectly together life is exhausting. I'm actually relieved to be past that point, and I think friendships can be forged more quickly when we drop the act and just be real.
So sometimes my house is messy. And that's why I want to give most of the mess away. That, and because I'm not convinced mine and Sam's moving days are over. The only things I want to keep accumulating are more friends, more wisdom, and more people to love.