The singlet from a Falmouth Road Race was the hardest to let go.
Same with a great-fitting track club technical shirt circa 2003, the one with a weird red stain that everyone thought was blood. I admit, I still wore it to get a reaction.
On the other hand, my Boston sweatshirt proved a much easier parting. It had a big brown spot I'd never noticed.
I have spent the last two weeks purging my possessions. Now that I can see a difference, I’m starting to feel it too.
I’m not comfortable around clutter, having been raised in a home that friends use to call "House Beautiful." And yet over the last few months, I let everything -- and I mean everything -- pile up, leading me to conveniently ignore decisions and deadlines until I was in full-blown freak-out mode.
So, for the new year I [re]committed to compressing my belongings. For inspiration, on Tuesday night I attended the book launch for a local author who whittled his personal possessions down to 100 or less. I won’t be there until I’m in a nursing home, but in the meantime, I can certainly make it easier on my heirs to find the good stuff by getting rid of the bad.
You learn a lot rummaging through long-ignored shelves, drawers and boxes. For instance, I sometimes saw friends on a Food Network show and thought, “How’d they get on there?” Then last weekend I found an old NYCRR magazine column with a Post-it note from said friends indicating this was the nutritionist friend I’d met on a 1995 visit. Mystery solved.
During Tuesday’s book signing at Border’s, Dave asked me how it was going. I told him I was having trouble parting with useless yet highly sentimental items. He agreed it is tough and that he didn’t have such attachments when he underwent his challenge.
That led me to read a New York Times piece by a rather ruthless professional organizer who suggested taking a picture of such items, especially articles of clothing that remind you of a person or place. Moving through old photo albums in search of said pictures really helped me whittle down the number of running shirts, shorts, bras, socks and tights. For starters, I looked really fat in that Falmouth singlet.
The only running-related collections I intend to keep complete are my marathon medals and race bibs. Somehow, over all these years, I’ve managed to keep every single one of those numbers. It wasn’t always easy to find the box of them in that crowded closet. Now it is.