By Dave Markwell

I’ve been on a bit of a purge lately. I’ve been going through closets of crap and getting rid of it. I have too much stuff, much of which serves no useful purpose. I don’t even know why I kept some of these things. Watching the bags stack up is cleansing. Understanding that the things we own, own us, it feels nice to get rid of some things and gain some other things.

While digging through some shirts, I was mystified as to how or why some of them have remained so long. They don’t fit or I just don’t even like them. I have a sweet spot for shirts and these duds have failed. They’re too short in the sleeves, or too long, or too tight, or too baggy. They just don’t fit and will never be worn. Since it’s unlikely that my arms will be getting shorter any time soon, it’s time for them to go.

As I enjoy the liberation of clearing some closet space and making room for new, better-fitting shirts, I consider how these shirts may represent other things in life- ideas, philosophies, and people.

Throughout life, we collect things. Some of these things we hold tight and guard them as truth. And, though they may have spoken to us at some point, other things wear out their utility and it’s time for them to go.

Some people in our lives just stop fitting. We can try to make allowances for time and history, stretch the collar a bit or attempt to find comfort in the scratchy material, but they’re not going fit right again. They simply occupy space which could be used for more fruitful efforts.

At this point in my life, I know what fits me. I know where I’m comfortable and I have many people who will remain in my top drawer until my dresser ends up in the dump. They fit. Others will be respectfully placed in a lower drawer, or the back of the shelf for consideration later, and some will go in a sack to be donated to someone who may appreciate them more than I do.

So, while I am happy to be letting go of some shirts, and other things, I am even more happy for the ones that remain. These are the tried and true, never-fail, right-fit, perfect-for-me things upon which my world spins. They have a special place in the drawer of me and I am grateful to know that they aren’t going anyplace.

In a world of much change, it’s nice to have a few things that live as our anchors, while the harsh winds of life stretch our mooring lines. These items are the most valuable and last the longest and carry our sunshine in their pockets, and I have a closet full of them. I am blessed…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). He also runs the Waterland Arcade, located at 22306 Marine View Drive South. Dave extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, Dave desperately needs more friends – find him on Facebook here.

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