I have officially begun life at a new address within the same small town in Southern Orange County. The moving process has made me reflect on life — just like our homes that become cluttered and overpopulated with stuff/junk, our minds, bodies and souls become the same.
The moving process was wild for me. I began the process by taking my huge library of books down from their shelves and didn’t realize how many I possessed until half of one room was filled with boxes reserved for them. Also, I was amazed that I had either half-read – or not read at all – at least half of my inventory. I wondered to myself — how did I become the owner of such an unread library? Why didn’t I take time to savor each book before buying the next?
Next, I went through drawers and shelves and was overwhelmed by the many things I had forgotten I own and would never buy in the near future. As this process unfolded, a wise man’s words rang through my mind – “You only really need 20% of what you own.” I giggled at first as I started to strategically place like items together so that I could make sense of it all. But as time went on, I found myself wanting to bring in a huge garbage bag, heap everything within them, go down to a deserted beach and hold a huge bonfire.
Today, I am sitting on my balcony overlooking the Saddleback Valley. The sun shines above and I’m finally feeling like things are coming together. As I’ve unpacked, I have tried to stick to the 20% rule — what do I really need??? I’m trying to stick the the essentials…and am leaving various knickknacks and duplicate items packed in boxes. And I’ve vowed not to buy more until I’ve gotten rid of as much as I can.
Before leaving my home for near four years, I stood within its four walls surveying. All furniture was emptied — appliances gone (replaced by the dust that had collected underneath them). – pets moved over to our new home…it was just me and 1000 memories. I sat down in my old bedroom and tried to own a moment in which I could reflect on how my little home (surrounded by green trees that were inhabited by birds of all shapes and sizes) had been my friend and protector for almost a half-decade. I recalled the many special moments that it was host to – pictured my cats sunning in the balcony – thought of my neighbors and friends that I wouldn’t see quite as often & gave thanks for the growth that I experienced while living there. Finally, I walked around and told my old friend that it had been nice and said a silent prayer for good times to come. A few tears fell from my eyes as I locked the front door and looked back one last time.
Life is bittersweet – a mix of the fantastic…clutter…newness…oldness…memories…future hopes…tears of joy…tears of sadness…and elation when you wake up in your new home and brew a fresh pot of coffee in a brand new kitchen while looking out of the window and seeing your beloved cat sunning on a new patio (upon his favorite couch).
I hit the reset button and it feels right. My thoughts are that I need to do it more often — in small ways. To declutter more regularly — both mentally and with the things/junk that I own. I need to loosen my grip on the things and become more focused on grasping the moment — the people in my life — the sunshine — a good book (Just pick one of the hundred that I own and have forgotten about!!)
Where are you at in your own life? What are you gripping onto? In what areas do you need to hit the reset button?
My favorite yoga teacher would always say – “It’s time for new places cooking.” When he said this…he was referring to pushing yourself a bit harder when engaging in a yoga pose and in life…because what is life without a little growth? Stagnation. And stagnation breeds discontent.
Here’s to new places cooking! And a new outlook – every morning of our lives.
– Post by Jen Engevik