This week we’ve begun cleaning out closets in anticipation of our move to England. We’re desperately trying to organize our lives. And with each closet comes a new discovery or re-discovery perhaps. Some of this has just been grunt-work; pulling stuff out, boxing it up or trashing it and moving on to the next pile. We’ve already given away tons of clothes and household goods but we find some things cannot be so easily tossed aside. I believe that there’s a reason most of that stuff is still with us (and not just because we’ve been too lazy to toss it out).
Our closets seem to me to be like a little microcosm of our 36 years of marriage. There are treasures packed away for sentimental reasons and safekeeping. There are mistakes (regretted purchases, unwanted gifts, ill-fitting clothing) jammed into the dark recesses but not quite forgotten. There are the everyday items that are always needed (and sometimes taken for granted until they don’t work or fit or simply wear out). There are the ‘surprises’ – things long ago forgotten but now given new life and purpose.
I think marriage is like that. We often hold on to our treasured memories and locked them away for safekeeping. And our regrets and disappointments are very likely shoved into the dark recesses of our consciousness. And of course the everyday experiences; probably taken for granted and rarely given the respect and appreciation so rightly deserved. But then there are the ‘surprises’; those special moments when your love is rekindled and you see one another in a new light or experience something about your life-partner for the first time (even after all these years).
So take some time to ‘clean out the closets’ of your marriage. Clear the cobwebs; get rid of the junk; pack up your regrets and let go of them; treasure your golden memories and make some room for the new ones. And don’t forget to appreciate the everyday experiences – the smile; the warm embrace; the shared laughter; the love delivered in so many ways…