Letting Go

by jennifer


I spent a few hours in the basement today attending to the neglected task of purging the worldly belongings that are clogging my life. A good friend was there to coax me along and challenge me with raised eyebrows every time I lingered on an object too long. I didn’t exactly enjoy myself, but it went better than I expected and we’re still friends.

I’ve tried to do this myself many times and it just hasn’t worked. I spent a whole day down there once and basically wasted time moving junk from one place to another. Today progress was made and stuff was removed and I’m still upright and breathing and feeling pretty good that I took a big step toward creating a clutter-free home environment that will inspire me, spark creativity in my children and make my husband very happy.
I’m not a compulsive shopper or collector of trinkets and treasures, I’m just the sort of person who keeps stuff that I have no immediate need for. The key here is self-awareness. I know this about myself and I’m making a very serious effort to change. I’m trying to get rid of the things I’m not using to free up space for creative living and writing and crafting in a roomy atmosphere.

Those familar with my clutterbug ways, probably don’t believe I can clean up my act, which actually makes me more determined. I’m one of the most determined people I know, so I do believe I will attain my goal to be clutter-free by the end of 2008. It sounds ridiculous, but this is actually more difficult for me than losing weight.

The photo at the top of this post features one of the relics I’ve been storing in my basement. It’s a mosaic I started roughly five years ago on the lid of an old sewing machine table that I bought at Goodwill for $5 (without the machine). When I got it home, I broke up some plates and glued the pieces into a flower motif. The plan was to paint the table white (which I should have done first), grout it and use it somewhere in my home, or maybe place it in the garden or something. I didn’t know for sure. Nevertheless, this unfinished piece has been sitting in my basement ever since. We moved it to the garage today — its last stop before a return trip to Goodwill. It feels like unfinished business, but I can’t justify keeping it around any longer, right? (I’m still having a bit of trouble with this.) It might seem silly, but of all the things we pulled out of the basement today, this is the most difficult piece to part with.

And because I look for “signs” everywhere, I felt a sense of comical reassurance when I found an old postcard in a stack of paper notes and nonsense. It was a photo of a pair of men’s underwear. The text read: “Change is good.” So true.

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