Drink More Water; Wear More Cashmere


[Full Disclosure: the next few paragraphs definitely relate to my downsizing efforts but were written in mid-February. I stand by their relevance, unfortunately, as you will see.]

Yesterday was mostly a really great day. I spent five hours in the basement organizing! That’s the great part. The not-so-great part is that it was February 10th and I was only then stowing my holiday decorations.

Several things leap to mind:

  • Life has been hectic, so slack must be cut.
  • A lot of energy has been devoted recently to the gluten-free effort.
  • We have too much crap.

I am embarrassed even to posit that first excuse.

I am busy, life is hectic, blah blah blah. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was/is to embrace and personify the adage, “Energy Begets Energy!” This can be a tough concept for me in the depths of a wretched Chicago winter when a good book and a sweet white kitty warming my lap make me about as happy as I can be.


But Productivity in all its Vigorous Protestant Work Ethic manifestations puts the zip in my spirit as well. So, I decided to tackle my tedious winter inertia by committing to drinking more water and wearing more cashmere. Hydrated and hyperthermic [my spell check says, “really?”], I would conquer life’s to-do list with zealous industry and peerless efficiency.

Disclaimer: I have read 16 library books and 2 Christmas gift books so far this year, and my two black cashmere sweaters are covered in Sweet White Kitty’s fur.

I do find it tolerable that 2 of those completed books have to do with my second excuse. Now, I’m not saying this truly counts as productivity. I haven’t started a gluten-free revolution by my example which isn’t the point anyway, but I have reassured friends and family that I can still be included in social gatherings without requiring irksome accommodations and just maybe some of my GF treats are even pretty darn tasty. So there’s a win-win.

Now for that last bugaboo…

I definitely admit that I can be quite a judgmental pest about people possessing too much crap. Some see tchotchkes; I see waste, profligacy, spiritual turpitude. And don’t even get me started on the scourge of mini-storage facilities! A more insidious blight on our physical and moral landscape does not exist.

Enter my Achilles heel: Holiday decorations.

a tidy excess of holiday shame

Personal inventory (physical):

  • 8 large plastic tubs
  • 3 extra-large plastic tubs
  • 1 large flat bin for wrapping supplies
  • 7 large shopping bags
  • 1 large wicker basket of wrapping paper
  • 2 book-packing boxes
  • 1 three foot Christmas tree, permanently decorated
  • 3 seasonal wreaths
  • assorted holiday themed crockery and crystal

Personal inventory (spiritual):

  • 8 tubs, 2 packing boxes and 3 holiday wreaths’ worth of hypocrisy

Well, that was an illuminating exercise. Past time to drink the water and put on the sweater…

Stay tuned for the reckoning.

And I need a gluten-free cookie.


2 Responses to “Drink More Water; Wear More Cashmere”

  1. Donna Says:

    I’m on board with your denigration of storage facilities, for sure. We have at least four within a couple of miles of our house, as you well know. The only positive use I can see for them is a temporary holding place for household belongings waiting to be moved into a living space not quite ready for occupancy. So when one’s “stuff” (an apt word) goes into such a place, a timer should automatically begin ticking down. At a pre-arranged time, the whole thing should begin to smoke and shutter and then, twenty-four hours later, it should self-destruct. Now, about those large basements which perform the same function as a storage facility? A slightly different problem.

  2. Sean Says:

    I would say that Halloween costumes are our Holiday Decorations. I am particularly susceptible, having found myself purchasing plastic swords, axes, spears, and other AWESOME accessories at a whim. The big consumer of space are the manufactured costumes. Jack loved his Transformers costume, but can you imagine how much shelf space it consumed? And with two growing boys coming up, how can we part with it? I finally did chuck the legs, but mainly because Jack courted personal injury every time he tried clunking around in them.

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