gratitude-a-thon day 416: letting it go


What is it that makes those of us keep stuff that we don’t really want to keep anymore? Why, for some people, do we hold onto particular items like they were appendages, even though we want to shed them like unwanted body hair and cellulite?

I am cleaning. Cleaning like I’m moving. Getting rid of shit I don’t want, and allowing myself to let it go, buy bye. It makes me feel like I’ve lost weight. And that’s always good.

One problem I have is sentimentality. The blankets Jake and Ally carried around as toddlers, their “Bi’s” as they were called, and don’t ask, maybe they were bisexual blankets, I don’t know. Those are ok to keep, right? They might even like them when they’re older, but what about every piece of paper they ever touched with a marker, pen, pencil, crayon, paintbrush? Um, not so much. What about all those books that signify a time when we read to them, over and over and over again before bed? What if they want them for their own kids? Buy ’em again, I say, and purge. But these are the kinds of things I run into when I’m trying to get clean. These are the nagging decisions. An old soccer shirt collection of Ally’s, a million photos (and seriously, I think there might be a million), a puppet theater, a high end electric organ. I just recycled a pile of home magazines that I’ve been collecting over the past decade, if not longer. I believe, if I’d counted, I would have been at around 400, at least. It was like my hands were magnetic, with the pull those magazines had on me. But out they went into the blue bin. My kids think I might sneak out in the night and bring them back into the house. But they’re wrong. It feels good to liquidate. A little piece of my brain has opened back up for business.

And so, I will keep up this commitment to clean for as long as it takes. And I will float around feeling lighter, better, more organized. And I will try to stop being that person who keeps things because they signify a different time. That ship has sailed. And unless you allow it out of your harbor, no other boats can come gliding in.