Decluttering Why's (Wise) pt. 3
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
Another mental obstacle (besides perfectionism and procrastination - see the last two blogs) can be “aspirational shopping.” I love this term. It’s so spot on. We shop for what we aspire to be or do. Our kitchens are filled with gadgets for healthier cooking. Closets are filled with clothing that doesn’t match the life we actually lead. Basements and bedrooms house exercise equipment that act as an expensive clothing rack. Our craft area is bursting with wonderful projects “when we have time.” I’m guessing there isn’t one household out there that doesn’t have a hint of this somewhere in their home. I’m guilty of it, too. (See my blog on my Creative Memories failure!) I love that we want to be the best version of ourselves we can be. We see something and say, “I can do that!” We want to try new things and grow and expand our horizons. As the English say, “Good on you!” However, if this desire to be your best is actually causing you to be overwhelmed, then an adjustment needs to be made.
I have worked in homes where there were piles and piles of books on cooking, gardening, crafting, decorating; closets bursting with new clothing, tags still on, packages of curtains, bedding, decorative pillows. Each item more beautiful and lovely than the next, but all of it was over taking the home. They wanted to be their best, but they were slowly burying themselves in their aspirations.
My very wise mother-in-law says,
“We can’t all be good at everything.”
It’s a simple statement, but so freeing. It’s okay to let go of those things we aspired to, but really are not who we are anymore. It’s okay to pivot. When I was paralyzed with perfectionism around making beautiful photo albums, I pivoted and simply put them in a regular book with photo sleeves and a space to write a brief description. I aspired to be “wonder mom” and create works of art with photos, but that’s not who I am. It’s okay to recognize that and work with your true strengths and aspirations.
Take a moment here. No, seriously. Breathe deeply. Now breathe again. Stop and focus on who you truly are. You don’t have to be as crafty as your friend, or a foodie like your neighbor. Don’t fall for the false reality of Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook. We don’t live picture perfect lives. God created you to be uniquely you. He thinks you’re pretty great, just the way you are. Focus on who He created you to be - strengths, weaknesses, interests, apathies. It’s all good, because it’s all in His plan for you. I was in my 40s before I realized it was okay to not have one bit of interest in sports. I no longer fake that. I also know that, while I can cook, it is not intuitive for me. I have to have a recipe and I follow it to the letter. It’s just who I am and I’m comfortable with that. I don’t usually like to do crafts. I can’t draw and my sewing is laughable. But God has given me the ability to sing, to be organized, to write. I don’t like to exercise, but I am incredible fast race walker. He has made me to be an encourager and hopeless optimist. I may not fit in the Pinterest-perfect world. But I do fit in to who God created me to be. This has allowed me to shed all sorts of stuff that doesn’t fit me. It’s so freeing!
As children, we try all sorts of things. Dance class, volley ball, rocketry, painting. We try on activities like we try on clothes. Eventually we learn what we like best and focus in on that as we grow. Well, the same thing happens when we are “adulting.” You wouldn’t berate a 12 year-old for switching from soccer to basketball, would you? Of course not! Now give yourself that same grace. Take a look at all the things around you that don’t fit who you are. (Some of them may have been given to you by well-meaning friends or relatives.) Give those items associated with aspirational thinking/shopping to someone for whom it might actually fit. Be a blessing in your growth! I pray that this has been encouraging to you.
Laura ~ your non-athletic, but highly-organized girlfriend.