Happy New Year, Greenville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 2, 2002

But the best, the most important, the most anticipated of this annual ritual is the cleaning out of the clothes closet. It is the most satisfying of all my organizational undertakings. And that particular love I have passed on to my daughter. She and I, in fact, already plan a cleaning orgy when next I'm in Greenville. There is something deeply soul-satisfying about paring one's wardrobe down to the barest minimum. Admittedly, there have been some fits of discarding frenzy that have been regretted later when the frequency of doing laundry rubbed against the number of retained pieces of clothing. A friction fire was started that only a trip to Macy's could extinguish. That, as you know, is a totally different type of pleasure that we may consider another time.

But the problems created by the minimalist approach are of no concern just now. I strictly apply the "one year" rule and do not bend. If an item has not been used in a year, it goes. This of course does not apply to children's clothing that can be passed down to younger siblings nor to anything that was worn in a magic moment. I am not totally without sentiment and feeling.

But for the most part, I am a ruthless closet cleaner. I actually get more pleasure from bags and boxed that leave than from those that come in. To this end I have helped friends and family over the years with this discarding process. Some people cannot bear to part with their belongings no matter how disreputable they have become. They view me as some sort of alien creature from an extraterrestrial race having no heart. I look at them as potential contributors to a needy charity. I do love to call Habitat For Humanity so they can send out a truck to pick up all the discarded goodies. After all, to my way of thinking, someone has to do it.

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And so I am ready for this New Year. I pray for peace and contentment for us all. I long ago quit praying for prosperity. Serenity is far more important to me. I hope the best for you, the readers, and say, with a little bit of Christmas still lingering in the air, "God bless us, everyone."