Archdeacon Michael: Shock discovery in my sock drawer

The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster
The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster
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"Dad, have you got any of my socks?" was the cry from my 20-year-old son as he was packing to go to Germany for the year. Life was easier when he was younger and smaller.

My socks were dark and sombre, his were small and colourful. However, as I reached the age of people giving me ‘novelty socks’ for Christmas and his shoe size became the same as mine the potential for confusion as to whose sock is whose increased.

I duly rummaged in a sock draw and found a token odd sock that was his and promised to do a proper ‘sock audit’ before his return at Christmas. Looking for something else this last weekend I decided to empty the sock drawer. Oh dear, there was one sock that I know I have had for more than 30 years, (laundry markings from an old college gave it away.) The usual collection of widowed socks were located and others paired up, and paired up and to my embarrassment paired up.

I try to live a fairly simple life. I like the mantra, “live simply so that others can simply live.” However, my sock drawer which revealed that I have enough socks for a football team, a rugby football team and squad and away kits and possibly going home as well. The linen basket is overflowing with the newly paired socks. I never knew I had over the 32 years of being an adult accumulated so many socks.

Our shops are beginning to encourage us to shop for Christmas. I am using my sock drawer as an opportunity to request for “no socks” this year. However, it has shown me that it is easy to accumulate beyond what is needed. I am embarrassed at the mornings when I “couldn’t find a sock” when I had more of them than a centipede would need. I wonder how many other things will fit into that category.

My wife is hinting that I need to look at the shirts in my wardrobe next. To declutter and simplify my life and my possessions is clearly more needed than I thought. So from the bottom up, beginning with the socks I need to begin.

And Christmas will need to be more about its real meaning than the novelty socks of late.

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