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Spring Cleaning: It's Not What You Think

In the spirit of Mother’s Day coupled with spring fever, I’m letting go of the very things that hold me back and don’t allow me to be “present” to enjoy my family now. Like many of you, I hold onto things---old clothes (that still fit,) books, piles of the kids’ schoolwork, awards, and innumerable mementos from a past life.

I have spent countless hours trying to reconcile what to do with it all---where to store it and how to classify it. What is really important? So overwhelming had become this unfinished task, I was paralyzed and unable to keep up with life at times. I felt stuck.

Because sorting through it all, my mind would wander and get lost down memory lane. Too much has happened. Loved ones have passed on. And feelings of nostalgia would consume me. I felt old and cheated by time. Life raced by. And it still is and I haven’t been paying attention.

And unwittingly, I burned through hours, that turn into days, then weeks and even months, trying to hang onto something long gone.

But no, I cannot do this anymore.

Today it dawned on me. The very things I’ve been stressing over, namely, how to preserve all these beautiful family memories, were preventing me from living spontaneously in the “here and now” and advancing with the march of time.

And the present is wonderful and worthy of my full, undivided attention. My life is better now in many ways.

So that is why today, I confronted several of my “stashes” of keepsakes and discarded most of it. Tomorrow I will toss more. And I will continue this “cleansing” until I am left with a bare minimum, representing only the most important moments.

I feel lighter already. I feel free. Not that I don’t love my past and all it entails, but it is time to adjust my focus. Because if I’m not careful, that, too will slip away and become tomorrow’s newest pile of treasured memories.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m a textbook case for Julie Morgenstern. You’re right and people like me justify her profession and fill up her bank accounts.

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