Today was a long, long day at work, followed by a nearly-panic-attack-inducing 15 minutes upon my arrival at home, during which I could not find a pretty large insurance check for car repairs from a recent collision. I found the check and immediately clipped it to the refrigerator door, where it should have been in the first place. (I have intentionally toned down the drama of this story. Trust me, it's better if you don't know. :) ) Tonight was my reminder: This Is Why I Need A System. This Is Why I Must Have A System.
Fifteen years ago, when I was on a summer youth group trip, I had a strong emotional reaction to shoes. I was in Poland at the site of the former death camp, Majdanek, and several of the barracks buildings now hold piles and piles of shoes that were worn on by Jews before they were brought to the camp and gassed. I had such a visceral reaction because I had recently had an argument with my parents about a pair of shoes I wanted to wear to prom...and here were thousands of shoes that made our squabble petty. I have never forgotten that day, and I still have those shoes, those gorgeous black ribbed pumps with only one tiny flaw--the shoes don't fit my feet.
Fast forward to 2010. I have a shoe organizer hanging out the outside of my bathroom door, and mostly it just hangs there, holding lots of shoes that are worn seasonally or not at all. Tonight, I went through the shoes to determine which pairs to toss.
Yes, I'm throwing away old shoes. They're NOT perfectly good shoes. They should NOT be donated anywhere. They are old, falling apart shoes that I have worn into the ground and then some. The black ribbed pumps remain in the shoe organizer. They will be donated.
This process was much less emotional than I had imagined. As soon as I was honest with myself about what I really do and don't wear, it was easy to throw shoes into the bag.