Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What I've Been Doing

I've been at home now for 14 days. That's two weeks. The thing about staying home is, there is so much to do! I've got the chance now to get caught up with unpacking and sorting all my things by either finding a place for them in the house or purging them from my life.

It sounds really dull, but the act of organizing my stuff is really a good feeling. To know where everything is, to have things put away and accessible when you need them, and to not have too much stuff....that is NOT the way I have generally done things in the past.

As a kid, I would hang on to most items people gave me and save it for later. When was late enough, I don't know. I came across a sticker that has made, oh, five moves with me in my adult life. Five! All because I was saving it to use on something really special. *Pregnant pause while I take in just how riduculous that really was*

I finally threw the sticker away because it was no longer special. It's specialness had passed.

My daughter doesn't have this problem. In fact, quite the opposite: give her a package of stickers and a piece of paper and she'll have the stickers gone in minutes. I am so proud of her, while at the same time I feel how new this concept is to me, and how obvious it is to her. Using what you have and getting enjoyment out of it in the moment, it's elemental, but it doesn't always come naturally.

It has only been in the past few years that I have really learned that life is about the now, not the tomorrow. Since then, I've been practicing letting go of the burden of Things. When I see something I really don't want but think I should keep, I ask myself if the person who gave it to me would want me to be burdened by something they gave me, or if they would want me to be happy. I decide they want me to be happy, and then I can chuck the item with a light heart. I don't feel like I'm insulting that person, which is how I used to feel. That's right, I kept things for the benefit of others.

I don't want to be a packrat. I want to have a clutterless house that feels good to occupy; a home with a few lovely items instead of a museum crammed with stuff just because I have attached so much sentimental value to everything that nothing has any actual value.

That's what I'm doing now, and I'm happy. Well, that plus taking care of our small garden and figuring out where to plant some new flowers. Nothing earthshattering, but it's all things I didn't have time for when I worked full-time. It doesn't make for very interesting small talk, but it does work wonders on the soul.

1 comment:

Former co-worker said...

Hey OT: you sound like you're adjusting--I won't say thriving just yet. It will come. Things at your workplace are about the same as when you left. I looked for you at the bureauwide this week--I thought SURE you'd come for old-times-sake. A couple of your other former co-workers have asked about you, and I've sent them the url of your blog. Hope that's ok? I heard BlogHer was sold out. I'm still jealous. We miss you.