Sunday, March 18, 2012

Living With Less...Containment

I went to the Container Store today to return a “cord keeper” I bought a few weeks ago.  The Monkey’s desktop in the basement is a soul-crushing mess of wires and I thought I’d use the keeper to deal with them.  In the end, I decided that it was unnecessary.  The computer is now old enough that I can probably just deal with the corded chaos until the time comes to upgrade his system (to a laptop – cord free).

I had some time today and decided I’d take it back (three cheers for being proactive!).  Also, since the Monkey wasn’t with me, I thought I’d have a leisurely poke around the store...maybe find a thing or two I missed when we were there before and pressed for time.

The Container Store is kind of my Mecca.  It’s shiny in there.  The whole store is filled with neatly stacked boxes and attractive storage whatnots.  They have pretty little glass jars just begging to be filled with some treasure.  The displays of organized closets make me drool.  I’ve (half) joked that I shouldn’t be allowed in there unsupervised (or with my credit card in hand).  Every fiber of my OCDelightful being vibrates when I walk in the door.  I want to take it all home with me!

Today was different.  I only poked around for a minute or so before I gave up and got in line to make the return.  It turned out to be a fairly joyless poke.  I thought maybe I might find something else I “needed,” but I realized that now that I’ve shed so much of my stuff, I really don’t have much to organize.  I don’t need as many clever containment objects because there’s not much left to contain.

I can’t decide whether I’m happy or sad about this.  On the one hand, it’s incredibly liberating to not be saddled with stuff to organize.  On the other hand, I really like to organize!  On the other (other) hand, maybe now I’ll have space (literally) to discover something else that I really like to do.  On the other (other, other) hand, I’m now feeling a bit unanchored.

Like the story of the frog on slow-boil, the weight of needless things kind of crept up on me.  I carried them around for so long, they seemed more like fixtures than superfluity.  I slowly grew accustomed to the stuff.  The weight became familiar.  It felt normal.  Now that I’m suddenly in its absence, I feel like I’m drifting.

This transition is uncomfortable, but I recognize the opportunity.  I have a moment – this moment – to exercise careful intention about what I do next.  The default, I fear, would be to find some other anchor…something to replace the weight of the things I’ve shed.  The better choice – the more intentional choice – would be to grow accustomed to the feeling of lightness…to learn to live with fewer tethers…to find out what happens when I fly.

I took a big breath as I walked out the door of the Container Store today.  I knew, on some level, that I won’t be back there anytime soon.  The parting was a touch bittersweet, but the fact remains:  I simply don’t need my life to be contained anymore.

1 comment:

TondaM said...

How beautiful you are :) thanks for sharing the cool breeze that crossed your path today,