My friend just stopped by to drop off a NY Times article she thought I would enjoy. She said she didn’t have time to chat because today was the day she was going to clean out her junk drawer. The door no sooner closed behind her and I found myself standing in front of my junk drawer, aghast! It appeared that everything I ever owned had found its way to the perfect hiding place. Surely if I had found any one of these items on my coffee table or my precious new, navy-laminated desk, I would have tossed it out.
A junk drawer? In my very neat and well-organized apartment? Heavens! Years ago I always had a junk drawer but back then there were way too many kids, a husband, a business to run, and a tennis competition to get to. Back then there was no time to clean out a junk drawer, as a matter of fact, I think I had several!
But today, I am retired, by myself, and I have all the time in the world to make sure a junk drawer never occurds. My OCD about keeping order just doesn’t allow for a junk drawer! Right now, it you were to open my refrigerator you would see all my water bottles, neatly in rows like soldiers, one behind another, labels to the front. The same is true of my yogurt containers, all in neat rows, like flavors with like flavors, allowing one to easily select the flavor of the moment. Further, my socks are all paired and neatly arranged in my sock drawer, my shoes are organized by type (heels, clogs, sneakers, Jack Rogers, and the like. So how is it that a pizza cutter, an old sales receipt, post it pads, two screws, pens, an outdated coupon, a UND laminated name card, scissors, a paper clip, and broken rosary beads all gravitated together in one drawer.
And so the project of organizing the junk drawer began. The first few items were easy throw away decisions: an outdated coupon, a used theater ticket, an old sales receipt from Pottery Barn for furniture I purchased when I moved here to Bethesda. But then I came upon the broken Rosary beads from my visit to Philadelphia with Helen and Leah to see the Pope. With tears in my eyes I recalled a very meaningful and faith-driven weekend. I miss Helen and Leah and thought about planning some sort of weekend reunion with those women who were once part of my daily life. My Notre Dame lanyard reminded me of a workshop I delivered there for Catholic school coaches, as well as the football games we enjoyed while Michael Jr, was a UND student. Again, more tears. A theater ticket from Thurgood, an incredible look into the mind of Thurgood Marshall, a ribbon left behind by my granddaughter, and a photo of Michael, my former spouse had also made their way to the drawer. How did these very special things end up here in a so-called junk drawer?
I couldn’t throw out the photo, the Rosary beads, the lanyard, or the theater ticket…they weren’t junk, they were…um, uh,…they were part of my story. So what am I to do with them? I looked around my small apartment and could not find a suitable place for any one of them. And then the only logical thing came to my mind: rename my junk drawer. I went to the trash and retrieved the furniture sales receipt, the theater ticket that led me to better understand a very conservative mind. I left the old screws right there in the trash because I could not remember their significance. My new “Special Things” drawer looks the same as its predecessor, but now the things that are in there belong there and nowhere else. As I closed the drawer, I realized how much pleasure opening the Special Things drawer brought me, I will have to do so more often.
Women with High SUCCESSTROGEN are organized because they need to be in order to do all that they do. But they, too, allow themselves the luxury of a Special Things Drawer where stuff just lands, not junk , but really good stuff that is part of their story. The stuff in this draw cannot be organized or labeled, nor can it be discarded. But it can bring them back in time occasionally, to recall parts of their story that reminds them of how they got to today.
Have you thought about taking a trip down memory lane lately and reviewed the contents of your junk drawer?