February 19, 2011
I love Peter Walsh. I’ve loved him since his days as the organizational expert on TLC’s Clean Sweep. Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit organizationally OCD myself (my spices are alphabetized, my closet is separated not only by season, but also by color and type – ie. tank tops/short sleeves/three-quarter sleeves/long sleeves/you get the idea). Even my bras and chonies are organized by color categories. I like to think it’s because I’m the product of an emotional/I-can’t-get-rid-of-anything-because-I-like-options-and-I-might-need-it-someday hoarder, and a passive/enabler-turned hoarder. Because of that, I’ve gone the other way. I’m always looking for things to take to Goodwill or sell on eBay. It feels good to purge.
I think this is why I have always enjoyed shows like Clean Sweep, While You Were Out (I mean, come on. Who doesn’t like the idea of leaving your house and having it magically cleaned/transformed/organized while you’re gone? You mean, I can leave, not do any of the labor, and come back to a place that’s more fabulously decorated than I could ever have afforded or done myself? Uh, yes please!), Clean House (“Who wants a clean house?” in my Niecy Nash voice), and now, Enough Already!, by Peter Walsh. On a side note, I do not particularly care for shows like Hoarding, and its evil step-sister Hoarding: Buried Alive, because 1) they make me uncomfortable (but not in the good, I’m expanding beyond my comfort zone and growing, kind of way), and 2) they don’t have the fairytale, all wrapped-up-in-a-pretty-bow happy ending, like the other shows.
I actually just finished watching an episode of Enough Already!, so am feeling rather inspired. YES, Peter. Enough IS enough! If it’s not enhancing my life, bringing me joy, or loving me back, I don’t need it! Get it out of here! Simplify, simplify, simplify! Less IS more. But, wait. Wai-wai-wai-wai-wait. Not THAT much less.
I mean, I AM a woman. A woman who likes options herself. And yes, purging feels good, but options feel good too. I happen to like shoes. And handbags. I believe in the transformative power of a great outfit. I believe hair, and make-up, and clothes, make a huge difference in the way we look, and subsequently feel. I like all types of music, so have a rather extensive collection. I like movies, and books. I have a lot of dishes (because I never wanted to be the mother that freaks out when God forbid somebody drop a dish on accident, and now my whole set is off because I only have 7 plates dammit!). I mean, I suppose I could whittle my shoes down to the basics – nude, brown, and black, but what’s the fun in that? Is there really harm in having shoes in every color?Then on the other hand, I’m also trying to live more consciously. Consume less. Leave a smaller footprint. Care more about people/animals/the planet, and less about things. So, this has left me somewhat torn. Torn between my desire to have a lot of the things I like, and my desire to simplify my life and focus on what really matters – people, relationships, charity, community service. Ugh. Why does life have to be so complicated?
But that’s the thing. It doesn’t. Life, like most things, is as complicated as we choose to make it. Perhaps my problem lies in being a Libra. We like balance. Why can’t I have both? Why can’t I indulge my material side, and my conscious side? After all, aren’t they both dualities of me – my physical and spiritual sides? I think this theme is exactly what I loved so much about the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. In it, she says “What if you could somehow create an expansive enough life that you could synchronize seemingly incongruous opposites into a worldview that excludes nothing? … I wanted to experience both. I wanted worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence – the dual glories of a human life.”
So do I.