Looking around my home this morning, it’s hard to believe that we are on our way to a less cluttered life. Boxes have been brought out of storage and piled in corners, waiting to be weeded through. Bags of baby clothes are waiting to be picked up by or donated to friends over the next few weeks. Books and magazines will be driven to groups to be sold for charity and old computers will be taken in for re-purposing in training centers. But for now, it seems like we have more than we did before we started the whole process.
Maybe it is because I refuse to put them back in storage, believing that keeping them in plain sight will motivate us to send them out more quickly. But maybe, just maybe, it’s because a part of me is still holding on a tiny bit to some of the memories.
If you realize that all things change,
there is nothing you will try to hold on to.
~ Lao Tzu
I used to be a hardcore keep-sake collector. Nothing ever big : I would travel and barely bring back anything, but I was big into postcards of places I’d been, matchbooks or business cards of places I’d eaten, brochures and pamphlets of places I’d visited… I had it in my head that I needed to be able to come back and “touch” everywhere I had been. Like a badge of honor, I would periodically sit down and reminisce. But as I started moving around from apartment to apartment, city to city, all my “treasures” ended up in boxes, carefully marked and placed in storage… and there they stayed.
After I got married and we had kids, I quickly realized that all the places I had gone, the restaurants I had eaten at, the nightclubs I had partied at, were no longer relevant. And as I embraced the Tao, I realized they were absolutely in my past. It’s hard to imagine myself doing a tour of Napa Valley anymore or spending nights gambling on the Vegas strip. It is not who I am now and I will never be HER again. And what I’ve come to realize more than anything is that it’s OK.
Me – One month before my wedding – 2006
So, this time around, cleaning out my home to make room for things like a sewing space, a playroom for my kids, a cold cellar for my canning and a warm safe place to start my seedling waiting for spring to be warm enough to plant my garden, I realize that the person I was is not gone, she’s just changed. I’m reminded that all things are impermanent and that through change we grow. Holding on to things creates a yearning for things past and that can only lead to longing and regret.
Embrace who you are, remember who you were, let go of the clutter and embrace the now. Because you are HERE and now is GOOD.
Me today – Happier than I ever thought I could be.
Wishing you all a happy, lovely, peaceful day.