I have been looking for the perfect lipstick for nearly 40 years. It has been a frustrating and till now, fruitless quest. Each tube purchased, and I’ve bought many, is too bright, too pale, too orange, too blue, too dry, or too sticky. I’ve come close a couple times but have never found The One.
Athletic footie socks have presented a similar challenge. They are either too thick or too thin, or as I walk they wiggle their way down the back of my heel and bunch up under my foot. I have purchased socks in fancy department stores, in discount stores, in athletic stores, and online but I can never find the perfect sock for me.
So, here’s the thing. In the last year I found both the perfect lipstick and the perfect footie sock, for me, but I still have drawers filled with the lipsticks tubes and uncomfortable socks that I do not like and never plan to use.
Why do I hold onto all those tubes of color which actually make me sad when I rub them on my lips? Why is my sock drawer so filled with socks I don’t like, that it is hard to find the pair I love when I open the drawer? I have a couple thoughts…
Maybe my “perfect” lipstick will one day let me down and I’ll need to go back to one of the not so great ones and try again hoping that this time it will look different to me. Maybe in the moment I won’t be able to find my “perfect” tube and will need to grab one of the “ok” ones to make do. Maybe, if I keep those extra socks, I won’t need to do laundry as often, even if wearing them rub blisters on my heel when I walk.
But what if I let them all go? What if I throw away the used tubes of vibrant colors and donate the socks to someone who could benefit from them. What happens then? I’m not sure because I have not done it yet, but I’m thinking I’ll feel a bit lighter, freer, and happier. When I pull open my sock drawer I won’t feel the touch of dread wondering if I’ll be able to find the pair I want. I’ll reach in and grab it easily because it will be the only option. When I get dressed in the morning I will simply do as my mother used to say, put my smile on. I’ll reach for that one tube knowing it will be perfect, for me.
Living the Dream in our consumer driven society has brainwashed us into thinking more is more. It’s not. I’ve been coming to that realization slowly in recent years. I wish I’d come to it sooner. But this is my journey and God has opened my eyes now for a reason. I need to lean in and figure out what that reason is and follow the path He has planned for me. So these musings are part of that process. These thoughts came to me as I got dressed this morning, as I rummaged in my drawer for my favorite socks. Now that I’ve written these thoughts down, it is time to go clean out my sock drawer and throw away some tubes of lipstick. Someday I’ll let you know how these two simple acts made me feel.
In the meantime, if these thoughts resonate with you too, I encourage you to watch the Netflix original, “Minimalism: A Documentary About Important Things”.