Age versus Purging: Enjoying the Collections of Pretty Stuff

Aging is slow and fast and each change hits like a ton of bricks.

In my head I’m around 35, maybe forty. But at 35  and 40 I was supporting a family, commuting to the City from leafier suburbs. Like many mothers, I was always “on,” constantly addressing responsibilities and warding off exhaustion.

Eastbound 7 train approaching 23 Street/Court Square 5/11/15With time now to celebrate come the small inconveniences. Flatter, wider feet. Laugh lines. Grey roots. Slight hearing loss from (1) decades of taking the train to work and (2) decades of blowing out my hair. Think of it: You’re holding a noisy machine to your head.

So as I ponder packing away the summer clothes, I decide that I will use the good stuff. Henceforth, I’ll wear what makes me feel confident. I’ll go to work in dresses more often. At home, comfy clothes with happy histories. I  won’t be perceived as oppressed but instead, lively.

We didn’t grow up with much stuff so it’s a luxury to stare into the closet and have an actual choice. And what was I waiting for? If not now, when?

As long as I don’t have to rent a storage unit or pay off credit card debt I have my not-so-lavish spending under control. If it all fits neatly in one closet, it’s not excessive. Not just attire: I now have the gift of time to do what makes me feel content. Read. Spend time with family and friends. Dance. Learn new skills. Write.

Women get invisible  as we age. At best, we’re glanced at with disdain. I’m fortunate in that cities foster anonymity due to the vast numbers of people in them. Being anonymous in New York is nothing new to me. There’s plenty of room for sartorial play.

With the inconveniences of aging come the rewards. Let’s live them to the fullest.

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