letting go

I lost about a hundred pounds in one day and it felt great. The organizer/declutterer came on Wednesday and we worked together for four hours. I was expecting to just I tackle the upstairs front porch but we also made it through our bedroom. We got rid of a lot! Five big bags of trash and four large bags to donate to the Vets.

She kind of works like a personal trainer, a non-judgemental presence encouraging me to keep on going through things one item or bin at a time. It’s something in theory I could have done on my own, but I never do so it was worth the expense to have someone here to make it happen. 

It’s hard to let go of certain things, there’s a lot of sentimental value to what I keep: a letter from my grandmother filled with love, obituaries of my maternal grandfather, an assortment of cards and letters from my parents and friends, reports and articles from back when I was doing a lot of consulting, letters of appreciation from when I was an arts funder – a reminder of when I used to get thanked for the work that I did. These are things that no one else likely will ever care about but they mean a lot to me, they tell my story. So while I get rid of a lot there is still much that remains, it just feels more manageable.

We throw out most of V’s files representing years and years of visits to specialists and all sorts of evaluations and reports and hopes and disappointment when treatments didn’t help.  Things I no longer need to hold on to, into the big black trashbag they go. It is so good to let go. 

And then there are the photos, the ones I need to scan or organize into albums, so many old family photos I need to do something with. They elicit so many memories, bringing back moments: my two great aunts on either side of me, the three of us beaming, a big family reunion in my cousins’ back yard from decades ago, my siblings and I as children, smiling with innocence and love, hundreds of photos of people I care about, more and more of them gone as time goes by. Yet the rest of us persist as best we can and for that I am grateful. We are all growing older together.

I still have things to go through: bags of summer clothes and a few small bins of writing I need to read and sort; though it’s easy to procrastinate getting to it all I’m hoping to be inspired by this spring cleaning and keep on going. It feels gratifying to make such a big dent, to know that she can come back and help us get through all the stuff in the attic and the basement.  Little steps that can add up to a lot, eventually the whole house can be cleared out, with time and focus. I feel more hopeful that I can keep shedding things that no longer serve a purpose, to winnow down my belongings to what feels essential. I breathe a deep exhale to no longer be drowning in stuff that doesn’t fit or work or need to be in the house anymore.

The downstairs porch is now a sea of bags, some for pick up by the vets next week, the rest for trash pick up.  It feels so satisfying to see it there, to know it soon will be out the door.    

3 thoughts on “letting go

  1. It’s so hard to choose what’s essential. If it helps, I give you permission to throw away this comment.
    Well done.


  2. You’re so funny Dan. I savor every comment. 💜And glad to be getting closer to what’s essential…


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