Monday, January 13, 2014

Letting Go

"All the art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go and holding on."
                                                                                             ~ Havelock Ellis

I've been on a letting go binge since Christmas, fueled by two things; the first, a remark from an old friend, who looking through our guest bathroom drawers for something she needed, said with a touch of awe, "Wow, you are really organized!"  The second - my internal reply, "But we still have too much stuff, it's just well-organized stuff."

So, when I sat down to write goals for this year, I decided that it's time to complete the project I started 13 years, yes, 13, ago when I was diagnosed with cancer.  At that time, I had a concern, among several concerns, that were I not to pull through, what would John be left to deal with.  Whenever my energy levels permitted, I began to toss, to donate, to organize.  It proved to be a worthy project, not just for the results, but for the sense of achievement and control it provided at a time when I felt so out of control.

But once in remission, I slacked off.  Oh, faced with a move, I stepped in the ring for another round, emerging much better organized, but still too much stuff.  Now, just better-organized, labeled stuff.  In two homes, no less.

So, it wasn't surprising that when we decided to move into one home in St. George (within 27 days), we had boxes and crates and furniture in the garage, on the patio, and in the courtyard.  Not surprising that it has taken us almost three years to toss, and consign, and sell, and donate.  

Along the way, I have continued to reorganize and rethink our use of space, our need for stuff, how I want to spend my time - not cleaning, not packing and unpacking, not searching for something I know I have somewhere in a nicely labeled container.  This time around, I intend to simplify and focus on order and easy retrieval.  To end the year knowing that all we have is what we really NEED and USE.  That we know what we have, where it is, and how to easily retrieve it.

Therefore, I've been on a letting go binge since Christmas.  This bout, however, I've taken some time to reflect on what I've learned along the way.  To address why I've resisted this final purge.  To fess up to what this stuff means to me, about me.  (That's the next posting!)  To enroll, not badger, John for his help.

I'm still driven by my concern for leaving John with organized chaos, (and yes, I recognize I could be the one left behind), but more than this, I do not want whatever time we have left together to be spent on stuff!

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