Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Stuff was made for people

 Yesterday, I purged and straightened and organized my side of the closet.  My side of the closet is home to a lot of miscellaneous items, and stuff had been creeping outward for a while.  The stuff was still contained in the closet, and on my side of the closet, even, but creeping.  I had had enough with the creeping, so I dealt with it.

As part of dealing with it, I folded the clothes that I keep on the shelves.  I folded them neatly.  Extremely neatly.  We're talking Marie Kondo neatly.  This is the neatly-est my clothes have ever been, besides, possibly, when they were not yet mine and still lived at the store.

And today, I don't want to wear any of those clothes, because I know what will happen.  I know that once I remove and wear one of those items of clothing, those neat stacks of clothes will never be the same again.  And it's so pretty.  It makes me feel calm, and proud, and accomplished.

Here's the thing: clothes are meant to be worn.  Our stuff is meant to be used.  Our things are supposed to serve us, not the other way around.  And yes, my clothes are currently serving me by giving me the satisfaction of looking at all that order, but that's not what they're meant to do.  It is not my job, necessarily, to keep my clothes folded in a state of perfection*; it is my clothes' job to, well, clothe my body.

I think sometimes we get caught up in serving our stuff instead of letting it serve us.  We want and research and purchase and store and save and keep pristine and manage and let stuff take up space both in our physical surroundings and in our mental inventory.  We forget that stuff is not worthwhile to own unless it's doing its job for us.  We work so hard getting stuff and maintaining stuff that we don't have time to enjoy the stuff.  

At the risk of sounding irreverent, it reminds me of Jesus' words when his disciples were accused of breaking Sabbath by plucking grain.  He said, "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.**"  Stuff was made for people, not people for stuff.

* But if that's what you want to do with your clothes, have at it.  More power to you.
** Mark 2:23-28

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