A Life Reset

I know it’s been a while since I posted. Truth is, I haven’t been able to get motivated to write much of anything until just recently.

As I look back, I can understand why.  2019 had such major health issues for me.  When I started 2020, I was really looking forward to getting back to my old routine.  I was healing well, I had some energy, and I had plans.

We all know what happened next.

I really think I have to look at for my need for a plan. Small plans are fine, for things like projects. But not so much for life. In all of my 60 some odd years, not much of my life turned out as I had planned.

In the long run, that was actually a good thing.  Life has a lot more imagination than I do.

So, what is all this talk about a reset? What do I mean?

For me, it means taking my life, every aspect I can think of, back to a neutral point. It means dropping the expectations, the plans, the beliefs, the should and should nots. It means letting go and pulling things in. And it means taking myself to a point where new things can happen.

I started this in September. And it started with decluttering.

I think I just heard a big sigh.

Don’t’ most things start with decluttering?

If you are drowning in an ocean don’t you look for the nearest foothold? The one thing you can stand on firmly so you can catch your breath, look around, and keep your head above water? Maybe it’s a piece of rock, or wood floating by.  But you look for something that is more stable than you feel right at that moment.

When I was sick, and the chemo treatments left me more tired than I ever thought I could be, I couldn’t do much else other than think. When I think, I tend to make plans. It kept my mind busy, so I felt productive.

But the plans I made were for a life that I was living then. I had no way of knowing that my life would be different than what I could see at that moment.  It wasn’t wrong to dream dreams or make plans. It wasn’t wrong to go in a direction based on those thoughts or make choices that supported them. It made sense at the time.

What I didn’t see was that I was in another season of life. It was a temporary phase. Just like dealing with a pandemic is a temporary thing. Life altering, yes, but still a temporary season. And while you flow through it, and learn more about yourself from it, it will slowly morph into something new.

During the summer, I began to realize that I was feeling way off kilter. It had been ages since I had seen friends, physically volunteered at the Arboretum, or gone out for dinner. Everything that I promised myself last year, that I would do this year, just hadn’t  happened.

I felt lost.

I had to do something that made sense.

And so, I began to declutter.

Now my house was not a mess. I tidied my home years ago and I had not backslid. But I didn’t feel comfortable in my home anymore.  I knew what the feeling was. And I knew what I needed to do.

These last two years had really changed me. Not in terms of my values, or my love for my family and friends, but in terms of what I needed around me. I had survived so much and in doing so, I am so much stronger. I am more confident. I am more hopeful. I am more determined. I am more mindful.

What surrounded me in my home were things I had needed to comfort me in times of pain, sadness, and struggle. I had now grown past them and it was time to let go.

I took my time though. I mean, it’s not like I was going anywhere.

Taking my time was a good thing. Quick passes have their time and place in tidying. But I needed mindfulness this time. I really thought about everything I discarded. I reflected on relationships, my past, thought about the choices that worked for me and the choices I regretted. I also started to fix things in the house that needed repairing. I gave a lot of thought about how I wanted to care for the things I kept. I also tried to make intentional choices of how to discard my items. Some were easy, and those things went into the donate pile quickly.  Sentimental items that were left, were harder and took longer to do. I had to say goodbye to past hurts and resentments, as well missed loved ones. Most of those went to the donate pile too once I had made my peace.

By December, most of the cobwebs had cleared from my mind. But, I’m not done. I probably see this going on through January.  I’m not in a hurry, really.

I’m still trying to find that reset spot. I’m almost there. Each item I discard or donate, or item I paint and repair, brings me more peace.

And the peace brings discovery.

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