Growing up in a Chicago bungalow meant my sister and I had the finished attic as our bedroom / shared playroom. Being a large space that my mom rarely ventured, it usually looked like we carpeted with toys and cleared paths to key areas like beds and stares. In 5th grade, my mom threatened to donate some of our toys if we didn’t pick them up. I got curious. What objects would I give up? I thought about it and decided I loved them all equally and I couldn’t let anything go. I wasn’t an abnormally bright child, but I do remember taking one of my favorite toys and placing it in the back of my closet. “If I don’t remember to play with this in a week it can go”, I told myself sliding the doors shut. It was found as I was rifling through my closet a month later. It went to goodwill that weekend. I learned that 5th grader Becca was wiser then 23-year-old Rebecca. I unlocked the key to letting objects go. The trick is showing yourself you can live quite happily without it. I tend to keep things out of my perceived need for them.
What’s worse is I often reflect on how sharing a name with the lead in Confessions of a Shopaholic may not be so ironic. When I am sad I head out to the mall. They say we take after parents. Well, my dad is willing to spend big money on big things he sees ARE needed and my mom will spend little bits of money on things that are on sale or a great deal. So I ended up spending a lot of money on little things that are a great price. I am not in debt and the money isn’t from my supporters, but I could be using that extra bit to treat people to coffee, to bless someone with gas money, or bless the homeless.
Last Sunday I had ended a rough week and felt really defeated. I was on autopilot heading towards Old Navy and suddenly realized something had to change.
I walked into Old Navy and found three shirts (on clearance 🙌). I purchased them and went home to use my crutch as a new challenge. I put my keys away and headed to my room. Pushing the door open 3/4ths of the way (since it had only been able to be open that much from the pile of laundry discarded behind it). I put the bag on my bed and asked: “what would 5th grade Becca do?” I told myself that if I didn’t clean my room to the point where I could take a picture of it for a house tour then I had to return the ADORABLE things I bought.
I began washing four loads of laundry and organizing what I needed and what I didn’t. Now, usually, this goes very poorly. I am the QUEEN at convincing myself to keep, buy, or save something I have or want. Like when I was younger. “I loved all my toys”, but this time I didn’t have the time to put everything in my closet and wait a month. But maybe I didn’t have to. I realized, as I went through my closet, I was willing to let go of a lot more because A) I had better clothes to compare it to and B) I was in a bad mood. Bad Mood Becca 👏Gets 👏It 👏Done. I ended up with: 1 clean room, 1 bag of garbage, 1 large bag of donations, a LARGE reading chair I had lost in the piles of clothes, and a door now opening the way it was intended.
We won’t be 100% each and every day. There will be days we feel like we need our crutch. Use those days you’re down and buy that pint of moose tracks knowing you’ll eat it all in one sitting. Go ahead and try taking that time to get something done. It doesn’t have to be huge mountains of achievement. Workout and use those emotions to push through 10 more push-ups, sit down with God and just be real about what’s going on by seeking him, give God an area in your life you’re holding onto, seek guidance with a relationship, or thank God for the blessings that we easily take for granted. Take those moments captive. Use them to pinpoint whats adding to your stress levels. Grab your pint and Get Something Done.