When more isn’t better, and when it is

I spent an hour or so last night composing an entry for an online contest, the theme being “Five Little Luxuries.” And I really started thinking about how much my definition of “luxury” has changed over the last few years. When I was younger and broke, it used to mean having nice things. While I still am appreciative of quality, I realize that I’ve developed a much more “Goldilocks” outlook; I’d rather have a few things that are “just right” than a whole bunch of “not quite.” And right now, my closet doesn’t reflect that. It’s full of “almost-but-not-quite” clothes, items bought on sale or because I needed something at the last minute for an occasion or because it was kind of like the one that I’d loved and not bought until it was too late and they were sold out of my size, or because the style book I’d just read said it was a classic. Some things I never wear but am hanging onto out of sentiment like the Hawaiian shirts I bought in Hawaii, or the lavender cowl neck sweater I bought on a ski trip. I’m at the point where it gets to be overwhelming deciding what to wear in the morning because there are just too many choices. (One of my clothing purchse “rules” is that any item has to go with at least two other items already in my closet.) Stuff has been accumulating for years now, and it’s time for a really ruthless closet purge. When it comes to my wardrobe, “luxury” to me would mean having just a few items I can mix and match, that all look great on me, and that would make getting dressed in the mornings a no-brainer. It’s going to take some work to get me from here to there.

But in composing my “Five Little Luxuries” list, the number one thing that popped into my head was Time. More specifically, time to myself, to read, to work in the garden, to write, to have brunch with my girlfriends. And that’s what I don’t have enough of. I wonder if I could trade clothes for babysitting somehow?

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  1. June 19, 2007 / 5:14 pm

    I’ll bet you probably could. Do you have a radio station that people call with things to sell and swap?

  2. June 19, 2007 / 5:57 pm

    Not that I’m aware. Most of the radio stations around here are big, slick, corporate affairs.

    I got inspired after writing this, and spend a couple of hours over the weekend “culling the herd” and dropped a couple of garbage bags off at the charity thrift store yesterday. I have more to do, but it’s a start.

  3. August 4, 2007 / 12:07 pm

    I just found your blog through tPF, and what a delight it is! I’m also over 50 and just this week found myself pondering my wardrobe and my life. Your musings on accumulation struck just the right spot. Clearing out a closet is part of finding out who we are . . . now. 🙂

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