July 16, 2010

This morning, I was determined to make room for the clothes that have been hanging on my chair for the last week or so. Now, this may seem like a simple thing to do and, in theory, it is. But, my husband and I share a wardrobe from the 20s and making room requires a lot more than pushing existing clothes to the side. Making room requires time; it demands that things be sorted through and bagged up to give away; it requires me to make decisions and consider how often I wore something in the course of the year. This is something I really love doing, but like any intense housework, I really have to be in the mood to do it. Now, I know my "problems" would be solved if we'd just install a wall unit running the length of our bedroom and get rid of our antique wardrobe measuring less than two meters. But, I just don't want to. I adore my little piece of the past and I am afraid that if we install a closet-like unit (in Germany you rarely find built-in closets like in the States), I would neverever get rid of stuff. Sorting through my things gives me peace; I not only free up physical space in my house, I free up space in my head. I re-discover things I bought in anticipation of a new season; I find things I thought I lost; and I remember moments in time when I re-fold, re-order, and happen upon things I've worn. This morning, I slowed my life down to unclutter my "closet" and, in doing so, have uncluttered my head. Time really is of the essence; this is something living in Germany has taught me. Taking the time to do things, whether it be cooking dinner, raising children, getting from point a to point b, savoring sweet moments with loved ones, or cleaning out a beloved two meter wardrobe, is what life, I'm finding, is all about.

One of my most favorite sayings in German is, "der Weg ist das Ziel" (the journey is the reward). Happy journeying on this beautiful Friday afternoon.

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