As I work on freeing myself from the emotional chains that had kept me in financial and other bondage for so many years, I find myself once again facing a time of “stretching”. In other words, you’re not done growing yet, Laurie.
My realization today came from J. Money’s recent post about giving away something he realized he was way too attached to. We’re in the process of a major spring cleaning here. And as I’ve been looking around the house the last few days, I’m seeing more and more things that make me stop and think “What on earth are you keeping that for?”
An example: Every goal, task, budget and other thing I need to remember gets written down in a notebook. Yes, I know that we’re well into the 21st century and that people nowadays have smartphones and other electronic gadgets for writing things down. But I’m a writer at heart and there’s something about seeing ink on paper that makes me feel all mushy inside. 🙂
This is not a problem. The problem is that when I use my notebook up, I grab a new notebook and shove the old one into the desk drawer. You see, I might need to refer back to some notes from the old notebook for some reason. The only problem with that thinking is that I rarely do refer back to the old notebooks. So I’ve got a small stockpile of notebooks hanging around the house for no reason at all.
Do they really need to be there? I’m not sure that they do, so why can’t I throw them away? (This is a rhetorical question, no psychological diagnoses in the comments, please. 🙂 )
I’m not saying that it’s not okay to hold on to stuff. I think it’s very important to hold onto things for a variety of different reasons.
What I’m saying is that – at least for me – it’s time to be more thoughtful about what I hold on to and why I hold onto it. I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination, but the little part of me (and it’s a very little part of me: my lack of commitment to having an ultra-clean house will attest to that 🙂 ) that wants my home to look like something out of Better Homes and Gardens or This Old House sometimes wrestles with the nostalgic, romantic part of me that files every drawing the kids make me into a three-ring binder and saves every photo for scrapbooking.
And for me, spring cleaning is not only a time to tidy up the house, it’s a time to work to discover if I’m holding on to some things for the wrong reasons.
Although it’s not always fun to work through those discoveries, the end result is usually a happier, more peaceful “me” as I learn to let go of old fears and memories that really don’t need to be there.
And bonus: I’m one more step closer to that Better Homes and Gardens feel. 🙂
Do you feel like spring cleaning helps you to clean out your mind and heart too? Is there a physical item or two that you think you might be too attached to?
*Photo courtesy of John Verive