If you’re like many of the rest of us over fifty, we’ve gathered a lot of “stuff” over the years. Let’s be honest for most of us the only times we have a really good clear out of things we no longer use or need is when we move. Even then many of us just pack and go to leave things sit in boxes until the next time. We have our own stuff and often things belonging to other family members that have left their belongings behind.
Sometimes we have friends or family that move house and don’t have room to take everything with them. Being a nice person you offer to let them store things in your garage or basement until they get settled. Except, they forget about it and so do you, until you try to find something and have to move all this stuff. Then too, you have your own boxes, closets, and garage full of those half-completed projects that you’ve never quite gotten back to; those tools that you haven’t used since 1983; the not quite empty cans of paint or stain left over from the remodeling you did three summers before last that you didn’t want to waste; and the skeins of yarn, scraps of fabric, and all those clothes that your diet never quite brought you back to. It’s time! Face the facts. You aren’t ever going to use that paint, that is, if it’s not dried up by now. You know. All those skeins of yarn you have left from the afghan you made for your grandbaby that is now twelve … Give them to someone who can use them. You’re not going to wear those clothes either, even if they are still in style. Give them to someone who needs them and will fit into them.
You see, it isn’t the “things” that are the problem. It’s us. We hang onto things for two reasons: We convince ourselves we’ll need them later, or we attach memories to them. As we grow older, we sometimes look back instead of forward and hang onto more of the past than we should. Often those days were happier and simpler so of course we enjoy remembering. We should. What we shouldn’t do is think that if we get rid of the “things” from our past, those wonderful memories will fade. They won’t. They’ll be cherished.
Naturally there are things you want to pass onto your own children, or even grandchildren, but why keep them until you’re gone? Why not give them now so you can share the memories that go with them? Wouldn’t you rather see the appreciation on their face today rather than waiting for tomorrow and leaving them wondering why you saved that memento for them in the first place?
When you de-clutter your home, or your desk you are also de-cluttering your mind. You’re actually making room for more living in the future.
In order to really feel free we need to make amends with those who we’ve had friction with. We need to forgive past wrongs, stop holding grudges, and clear the air. If the apology needs to come from you, then do it. Yes, it is humbling, but the rewards of clearing a burdened heart and mind are so worth it. It takes a person with character to take the first step, especially when our nemesis isn’t willing.
Once that step is taken and an apology is given, regardless of the offense or the willingness of the other person to accept the apology, your heart and mind will be free of that heavy weight. You can hold your head up knowing you’ve done the right thing and be able to honestly enjoy all the other aspects of your life with vigor and excitement once again.