When We Serve Systems that Were Meant to Serve Us

The Calculus of Clothing 550


I loved all the comments I received on yesterday’s post. I want to mention one in particular. Carolyn wrote about how she feels free from having to take care of so many clothes.

My comment to her was: 

“Carolyn, I love the reference to being free from having to take care of so many clothes. I totally get that – even though on one level it doesn’t make sense in that it’s not like kids who need to be fed everyday whether you engage with them or not. For me, the clothes stopped serving me and I found myself serving them. That’s changing.”

Somewhere in between Jeremy and his girlfriend Sara in the above cartoon is the perfect balance where clothes serve us instead of us serving them. That balance is different for each of us. 

And just like everything in life, a functional closet does require care and maintenance. It becomes dysfunctional when we find ourselves serving it at the expense of balance. 

Clothes are a tool. So are planning systems, appliances, food, jobs… you name it. When you stop dressing for life and start living to dress, when you stop working to live, and start living to work, when you stop eating to live and start living to eat, you’ve got an addiction going on. 

It’s possible to abstain completely from alcohol and recreational drugs. There are other forms of “substance abuse” that we need in life – in balance. That takes attentiveness.

The phrase: 

  • Does this still serve me, or am I serving it?

Can help restore balance. 

It’s a freeing phrase. 

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