It has mocked me from the end of my bed for years. Day after day I feed it’s maw with offerings of hope and it just sits there. I keep hoping the rest will show up. They don’t. It’s just a black hole of guilt and procrastination. I can’t even tell you how long it’s been there.
it’s been at least since we’ve been married- in one form or another. White , blue, five dwelling places- but always at least one. I don’t exactly remember packing them up- they’re just always- there.
No, not my husband. I like HIM. And no- it’s not some weird animal I’m keeping chained up that could get me arrested or protested by PETA. (Although I’ve briefly considered keeping a sea otter in my bathtub.. they just make me smile. That. Much.)
Nope. it’s not alive. It’s a black hole I keep tossing things into. Useless things. Things that make me crazy. (Okay- crazier.)
The mismatched sock basket.
(Full disclosure that will probably cause you to judge me as a sock hoarder- but I’m being honest- it’s 3 laundry baskets- not just socks… mostly socks, but also random other things I don’t know what to do with. There. I said it. 3 baskets full- just like the baa baa black sheep…..only not. Honesty is so freeing. )
I keep MEANING to go through it and match up what I can- and toss what I can’t. But something always stops me from actually doing it. Like laundry that people actually need cleaned. And vacuuming. And knitting. And writing. And reading. And just about anything BUT, sorting those evil, guilt overflowing baskets.
Saturday morning– I tried to just bag the junk up and throw it all out. But, I could’t do it. What about all the naked footed children in need? What about my own kids- who are probably sharing the same 3 pair of socks each that I keep rewashing because they keep being thrown into the hamper already matching? What about the waste?
Instead- I gathered them all up- tossed them into the washer (I’m sure there are a few less after that… ) re-washed and dried them- then sat down in the living room. Pile before me- iPod on my ears.
And yes- I played the worst game of “Memory” ever. For at least 90 minutes. So long that my feet fell asleep and my back ached. So long that Christmas music came up on shuffle.
When I was finished- there was a basket of neat little sock balls- and STILL a sickening pile of mis-matched socks.
UGH. They are like foot shaped ragged little bunnies- multiplying faster than I can roll them up.
I went through what was left, and THREW OUT anything with holes or stains that didn’t resemble anything worth putting for sale on Ebay. (No socks stained like Michael Jackson or, Jesus. Bummer.)
There was still a pile sitting in front of me.
I put the pile in a bag. JUST in case I find more socks. You know- the missing ones. Then I started the dark load. OY. yes. A whole second batch. And I did the same thing all over again. the next day.
Now, I have a basket of white sock balls and a basket of dark sock balls and 2 piles almost as big- of STILL mismatched socks.
I suppose that’s progress. Right?
Here- the thing- I’m sick of these baskets taunting and mocking me. I’m sick of my bedroom looking like a laundry museum. I’m sick of holding onto things that are useless. Things I don’t need. Things I haven’t used and probably never will.
I’m also tired of holding onto the guilt.
So today is the deadline. I’m letting it go.
All of it. It’s time.
I think we all have things we hold onto and hoard that make us feel like these sock baskets. They sit in a corner and taunt us- and we just keep feeding them. Not dealing with them- just adding to them. And they just grow bigger. They take up more space in our heads, hearts and lives than they deserve. What starts out as a simple temporary place to store mismatched socks turns into a huge vortex of self condemnation.
Maybe, it’s not about socks. Maybe, it’s something else. Something else you keep feeding and avoiding dealing with. An addiction? A pile of bills? Another mess? Or something from your past. Pain. Sin. Anything. Something you keep feeding and holding onto…..
What would happen if you sat down, did the work you can, and then- let the rest go?
I’m not actually sure what would happen. It could be risky.
- What if we run out of SOCKS??? We’d have cold feet!
- What if the Other sock shows up and it’s too late? What if it’s heartbroken that I didn’t keep it’s mate? Could I live with that guilt?
- What if there’s a miniature flood and we could have used those mismatched socks as tiny sand bags?
- What if there’s an urgent crisis for single socks on a yet to be discovered island of one footed orphans and I miss my opportunity to bless them with my abundance?
- What if someone posts the perfect use for them on Pinterest?
I just don’t know.
But, I’m willing to find out. How about you?
Are you willing to do the work to clean out that mess you’ve been avoiding? Are you willing to let go of that guilt you can’t do anything about?
Me too. And I’m starting with the sock baskets. Really. Today. I Promise.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
Dear lord- somethings are overwhelming and frustrating. Like the guilt I keep feeding and the mismatched socks. I don’t even know where to start to clean them up. Help me to know what to hold onto and pry my fingers off of the things I need to let go of…. I need your help- I love you lord- amen.
PS: For the really smart and intuitive among you- yes- this was yet another way to avoid actually throwing out what’s left or finding something else to do with them…..I’m just. that. good. at avoidance.
But, I’m doing it. TODAY. I’ll post pics. I promise.