The Purse That Changed My Life
Do you ever wonder how some people just seem to have it “all together”? I know I do. That’s why it took me by surprise last fall when one of my co-workers expressed to me that she wished she could be like me and be so organized.
I smiled at her politely and said “Thanks” and then went on to remark about how close we are to Thanksgiving vacation and made other small talk to move on from the compliment. Do you do that too?
Instead of walking away feeling so good about the compliment she just gave me, I walked away in a haze of disbelief while the voice in my head was laughing and saying “If she only knew…I’m not organized at all! Clearly, she hasn’t seen my garage, car, closet, pantry, or my purse”.
Her compliment stayed with me and I let it sink in and fester rather than let it lift me up. I should be more organized. What’s wrong with me that I constantly fight this battle of being organized?
At what point are you actually organized rather than pretending you are organized?
When will this elusive organization show up at my house and stay for good rather than just being an overnight guest?
These are all questions I pondered for a while as I attempted to “organize my life”.
Then it happened one day. I was shopping in the dollar spot at Target and I spotted her. The organized woman. I could just tell by looking at her she had it together.
Her house? Totally organized.
Her car? Spotless…with Kleenex in the armrest.
Her pantry? Organized and labeled.
Her closet? I could tell it would be organized because she had on the cutest dark denim skinny jeans, a beige knit cardigan poncho, and camel colored driving mocs. Have I told you I love driving mocs?
Then it jumped out and grabbed me. Her purse. The most gorgeous Dooney and Bourke purse I’ve ever seen. It was casually hanging from her bangle clad forearm just above her perfectly manicured nails. It took my breath away. It was the most beautiful purse I had ever seen.
The gold zippers.
I lurked around the dollar spot studying her purse when she wasn’t watching. I said to myself, “If I had a purse like that, it would be totally organized. A purse like that would change my life”.
I went home on a mission to find the exact same purse…and was successful.
I e-mailed the link to my husband and declared if I received this purse for Christmas it would literally be the last purse I would ever ask for…like ever. I’m pretty sure he rolled his eyes when he opened the e-mail.
Nonetheless, come Christmas morning, a beautifully wrapped box containing the most beautiful purse was waiting for me under the tree. I carefully put my belongings in it deciding which amazing zippered pocket would hold each of my possessions.
It sat on the bench at the end of my bed all day and as I walked past I would stare at it lovingly and imagine myself shopping in the dollar spot invoking envy from other casual shoppers. #bigdreams
I even painted my nails.
I put it on my arm and walked into the bathroom so I could gaze at myself in the mirror with the stunning purse on my arm.
Hey! We’ve all done it and don’t pretend you haven’t. We’re family here.
I imagined this was going to be the first day of the rest of my organized life.
It all started off swimmingly. Everything stayed in its zippered pocket and it hung delightfully from my arm adding what I thought was an air of sophistication to my life.
Checking out at the grocery store became a joy as I plopped my purse up on the counter to have the cashier say, “Oh! I love your purse!”.
As I would walk out of Publix I all but waved the beauty queen wave to the common shoppers with regular purses who I imagined were totally full of old gum wrappers and receipts.
As time went by, a funny thing happened. Items began to roll around in the bottom of my purse and everything didn’t stay where it belonged. Life became busy and receipts had to be put somewhere when you are wearing shorts that don’t have pockets (why, oh, why?). Before I knew it, the most beautiful purse in the world looked like every other purse I had ever owned.
Then it dawned on me. Maybe it’s not the purse. Maybe it’s user error.
You see, this purse should have come with a warning, “Do not use under the influence of denial”. It was time to stare a few truths down, eye to eye.
1). Never judge a book by its cover…or a purse. Just because our exterior appears one way, does not always make it so.
2). Everything is a work in progress. This includes me and you. Each day is a new day to clean out the gum wrappers, receipts, and toddler socks out of our purses and make the day just a little bit better. The best changes don’t happen overnight…they curate over time.
3). When friends are dishing out compliments…take them and let it lift you up, you don’t know when the next one will come your way.
4). When you see greatness-speak truth to it. I so wish I would have told the woman in Target how much I loved her purse. A compliment is a mighty thing.
In the end, this purse did change my life. It may not be the organized symbol of perfection in my life but it is a symbol in my life. A symbol to keep going.
To keep working on my interior.
To clean out the clutter in my life and keep the important things where they belong.
To give and get compliments like they’re free, because they are.
YOU are so
smart…now go clean out your purse. 🙂