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In a section of her book The Puppet or Puppeteer Nell M. Rodgers discussed de-cluttering as Decreasing Possessions. In de-cluttering our possessions those that we need to unburden ourselves of are those “things that no longer assist you to function fully in your life”.
Won’t this job ever be finished…
While I took half of last year eliminating just those things that no longer fit in my life I realize this process is never really complete. When putting my holiday decorations away recently, I grabbed an over night bag that I had stored unfinished projects in. One of my past-times since my disability began to limit my physical abilities has been cross-stitching, yes in addition to my real passion of reading anything I get my hands on. I thought I would pull out one to finish, winter is a great time to do just that. When I began to go through these projects I realized that while I loved them when I started them, and have quite a bit of time invested in some, they no longer speak to me today.
Guess I will never be finished purging if I keep changing my life
I realized that I no longer wanted these things around me, only a few months ago I had planned to finish them and hadn’t purged them with the rest of the things I wasn’t going to bring with me to my new home. Yes, I may have hours of my life invested in creating these to this point, but I don’t have any desire to finish them. My new home feels different than the last home, so what felt perfect in my last home, they don’t here.
Time, my favorite commodity
I had thought briefly about finishing what I had started then selling them on Ebay, but then I wondered why I should. I tried to think of someone who would love one of these, but I can’t think of anyone who’s taste would match perfectly. If I had the perfect person to gift these to, I’d gladly finish them. What do we do when the project doesn’t speak to us any longer? I decided if I am not gaining any pleasure from finishing them, then I would be wasting my time. Time I could be doing something I love, creating something new that does speak to me, and who I am today. Or as a gift for someone I care for.
Would I be wasting my time if the end result would be a finished product I could sell to someone who might love it more than me? The answer is yes, I would still be wasting my time. The amount of money I would make from each wouldn’t be enough to replace the time I lost working on it. I have all the money I need, I would rather earn money doing something I enjoy, the end result (the earnings) would mean more to me this way.
Deciding enough really is enough
Couldn’t everyone use a little more money? Sure, I could put it away with my savings which are meager, yet enough to get through any rough spots that may come my way, but why should I judge every thing I have, and what I do with my time, on whether or not it can bring me more money? That is part of the process of letting go, I downsized my life so I wouldn’t need to stress myself over where the money was going to come from, or how large a savings I would need.
So what did I do with these items? I bagged them up, with the instructions to finish them and sent them to the thrift store. Someone else can finish them and keep them, sell them or give them as a gift to someone who would appreciate them.
By eliminating these items I have opened more space in my small (yet feeling bigger every day) home, making it easier to get to what I do want when I go to my closet. With this finished, I know it’s now time to go through all my pattern books, things I wasn’t ready to part with a few months ago. By putting my priorities first I have begun to see my de-cluttering process will probably never be finished. No, I don’t shop much, it doesn’t hold much allure for me, but that doesn’t mean things don’t find their way into our homes just the same.
Life is not static….We are not static
We change and grow every day and every year we are alive. Who I was a year ago is completely different from who I am today. That’s okay, it’s actually fun to see who I am becoming. When I was younger I figured we reach an age (although I never defined what that age would be) where we are just one day who we were supposed to be. I didn’t realize then that to stop growing and learning, to stop changing would only come when we stop living.