Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Simplify your life

At what age is it that you realize it is just not that important? And by "it" I mean... pretty much everything you thought was important?

Think about it: a fire erupts in your house. What do you grab as you run out? It's an age-old psychological move to show you how "things" are replaceable, the fact that you left the house was what was important. You have yourself... your friends, family. A year ago we discovered that my 86 Barbie dolls were laying in a moldy water-soaked box in my basement. Now, if you know me, you know these were the complete signature of my entire life. They were all I ever loved. I would once-in-awhile let an old boyfriend's daughter play with them but only after she washed up first. Then to come and find out they were all gone.... there goes my childhood.

I'm not sure what I was planning to do with them. Give them to my non-existent daughter one day, perhaps? Be buried with them? All I know was that I wasn't about to EVER toss them. So the decision was taken away from me. I had no choice but to let them go. After I made the long procession to the trash can with the box, quietly humming "Be Not Afraid" to myself, I realized that I just threw away the one absolute thing I wouldn't ever throw away. I realized then that I could let things go.

Now "things" has a pretty wide description. I do keep samples of Michael's pictures he draws, copies of some of his work from each grade, just so one day he can look at them and see how smart he was. I am learning I don't need to keep the statement of every electric bill, phone bill or credit card after reconciling. Shred, shred, shred. I am letting go of baby clothes that I know I wouldn't dress my children in, but kept because they were decent wearing and fit. Donate, donate, donate. I am not volunteering for every event the school has or going to every Scouting or sport or whatever event either. Rest, rest, rest!

I have to remind myself every so often to simplify things: to let go of projects that aren't working, to relinquish control of ideas that don't help, to clean up and throw out, and to realize when sometimes you have outgrown people, places and things.t's not sad... it's a little exciting to know you are moving forward with less to hold you down.


Stefanie said...

Well said!!!

Lisa R said...

Lucky for me I am not such a pack rat. I keep Emma's drawlings and Tatum's now only if they have handprints or footprints. I have had to start opening mail over the trash HEHEHE.

Good thing for shuteryfly I'll still have all my pictures in case of a fire :)

Nancy said...

Great post, Kerry. If decisions weren't sometimes made for us, I'm not sure what the world would be like. It's sad but liberating, too.

Aspen said...

I too am now figuring this out. If it wasn't for junk mail old bills and sweet cards that my loved ones have sent..I would have FAR LESS JUNK!

Great Post Kerry. Brilliantly said.