I’ve maintained an impressive sock collection since I was a teenager. Patterned socks, themed socks, toe socks (remember those?), I had them all. I selected socks to match (or not) my outfit or my mood. When it came time to give gifts I usually added a fun pair of socks to the present. Those who knew me best gifted me new socks. My Beethoven socks were my most prized possession.
When I was teaching school my fun socks became a part of our classroom routine. When I sat on the stool at the front of the room for read-aloud time my students would crane their necks to get a peek at my socks. What socks are you wearing today, Ms. Phillips? I had socks for every season, striped socks in several colourways, socks in any variety I could find. I did not have any socks in a plain, solid colour. (At the back of my drawer I did have two pairs of plain black socks from my waitressing days. I didn’t wear those unless I was required.)
Both when I moved away from Hawaii and California I found joy in knowing that I could return to my beloved sock collection. However when I wintered in Virginia and Texas respectively I discovered to my dismay that my socks weren’t as pristine as I had remembered. Between the wear they got before being put in storage and the passage of time, the socks were aging. It made me sad, but I held on to those sad socks.
Some of my beloved socks have holes, some are just very threadbare. I’ve held on to them regardless. I’m nostalgic that way I guess. (I’m also very thrifty so I convince myself the socks still have life in them.) These socks have stories, they have memories. But there are new, different socks in the world and it is time to make room for them.
This year’s resolution is no more holey socks. I love myself enough to gratefully let go of the ones that have served me well all these years and make room for some new acquisitions. It’s an act of self-love to release those that can no longer serve me and make room for socks that will comfort me and keep me warm. This summer I picked up two pairs of literary socks: one of Peter Pan and one of The Little Prince. I received a pair of fair trade crazy socks for Christmas. These new socks make me happy. I am ready for new sock memories.
What do you hold on to that you should let go this year?