To Keep or Not to Keep.

I painted my closet last week end and managed to wind up in a moral dilemma. No, it wasn’t the fumes, the paint was water-based. But maybe spending a few hours in a small space, all white, and making it whiter, lends itself to these reflections.

One of the tasks was to sort through clothes before putting everything back-neatly-on the shelves. A good exercise to tidy up an overloaded closet and give away anything still wearable. But here’s where I found myself in a quandary. I have clothes that are still good, meaning definitely wearable. I don’t follow fashion, so nothing is really out of style as nothing was ever the in thing to begin with. In a thrifty, non-consumerism mind set I should wear them.

But I don’t want to. Usually because I have had them for a while, and when I say a while I mean I keep my clothes for years. Or they there’s something about the fit that just isn’t right or comfortable or flattering. But in terms of non-consumerism I should keep what I have, wear it out, stop spending, not get over involved with appearances.

I’m always reminded of a teaching assistant I had at university. He dressed at thrift shops, in brown polyester slacks, called Fortrel back in the day. “Clothes are a means of protection for the body. Anything else is a social construct.” Did I mention I was a sociology major?

Sending Yourself the Wrong Message

On the other hand, how can I manifest success and abundance or creativity while sending myself a subtle message of non-abundance by wearing out clothes I don’t like. ‘Keep that, it’s still good’, was a mantra at my house growing up. “Make do” was my mother’s favorite. That’s having parents of the Silent Generation, those who have known the Depression Era or the WWII years.

I don’t want to buy more clothes. I have enough for the rest of my lifelong days. But I don’t want to reflect an image of barely-getting-by to myself either. I don’t want to run a self-defeating program. But then, how much and how new do we need? Where’s the balance?

It’s a Mid-Life Thing

On a side note, I don’t want to buy much more of anything. This is a mid-life thing apparently. Enough consumerism, enough stuff, enough taxing the environment with producing material goods, enough living on the outside.

Astrologically it also corresponds to the Neptune square natal Neptune years, the apex being at fifty-five. A heavy spiritually influenced transit. A time of reevaluation. I’m a few years out but it’s been going on for a while now.

I have no answer to this. For now I got rid of what was really a no-go. And I haven’t bought anything else. I wonder what would happen if everyone, including me, evaluated every purchase they made. Would there be en economic revolution or something?


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash