Do My Pants Still Fit?
People have returned to their offices at varying points over the last several months. The question on my mind this past week was most likely no different than many. We not only worked from home; we worked from the waist up.
I asked, “Do my pants still fit?” Sure, I had put on a skirt every now and then that used to be worn regularly to work, but usually the same pairs of jeans worn with such frequency they would not be reliable indicators of changes in my body. When putting away clean laundry each Sunday, I paused to consider every now and then, two pairs of dress pants in my closet that had remained untouched. Somehow, I had convinced myself they were the ones that would tell the story of fit.
On the first day back, I packed the outfit to follow my shower at the gym. It was risky I told myself, because I would not have access to any other choices in my closet should the pants not fit. Showered and breathing deep I took the plunge of the first pair. I nervously pulled one leg on and then the other. I sensed no unusual tightness as I buttoned the inner waistline. They fit.
On the next day I did the same, and again, the pants fit. Yet in front of the bathroom mirror in the office I paused to look at the second pair. They fit. But, did they really fit the same? I lingered a moment sideways in front of the mirror.
Several more questions came to mind.
· Am I the same weight but a different shape?
· Am I a different weight but the same shape?
· Did I eat too much at home?
· Did I become accustomed to new things? Or, the same things at new times?
I settled back into my desk chair, which was considerably kinder to my back, but not necessarily on my nerves. I glanced around my office, eyes lingering on several boxes I was grateful were no longer on my bedroom floor. Where did they go? What still fit? There are many definitions of fit after all and questions around the actions that get us there. Though these piles had come from this space, like my second pair of pants, their position most likely was not the same.
I began to clean my office of the clutter. Some papers were programs never started. Others remembered ideas unfinished. And, I kept asking questions.
· Do I need any of what I thought was important prior to the disruption?
· Maybe I need it, but it needs to go in new folders? New uses?
· How do I get to the ideal fit? Is it a matter of letting go? Or returning to old hope?
· Are there aspects of change I am simply going to ignore? Or, will I dig in and make changes that were needed long ago?
The final question is the most important for moving forward and I was turning it around in all directions looking for its space long before seeing it in a new space. The question goes back to the closet and the selection of the clothes at all. Those two pairs of pants were unworn for over a year, so I didn’t need them to get dressed. The question really is even when something fits, do you want to wear it?
I looked around and recognized certain disorganization or build up I had previously allowed. I had told myself I was okay with those pieces just barely out of place. Now, I knew, without doubt. They also needed to go.
The second week, I went back to skirts. Skirts I had also missed and ignored. I told myself they were impractical at home between the climate zones of my house and dog walks. Besides, no one saw them during endless zoom calls. During my first meeting, I caught myself in my camera reflection. My top was monotone, not flashy. The polka dot skirt with pockets and accent yellow shoes could not be seen. In that moment, I answered my own questions. Fit was not about what anyone else saw. When I chose what mattered, everything fit.