Give it away

I came across this today:

startliving

It made me laugh.

I sit here, surrounded by my family of seven and the seas of ‘stuff’ we possess, with more tidal waves coming into the house every day, and dream of a minimalist, non-cluttered life.

But that’s all it is. A dream. Because with five children (and a terrible yarn habit), I have resigned myself to being surrounded by these oceans for years to come.

There is a pertinent observation to be made, though – when the decks are clear(er), the energy flows much more creatively around this house. It takes an enormous effort of will; one that I don’t often possess, preferring to focus instead, rather myopically, on the work in progress and feign ignorance of the chaos around me. But on the rare occasions that I actually do it, I confess to feeling much more positive about life and much more energised.

Nor is there much difference between the physical and the mental junk we carry around with us. I sometimes think of it as a kind of Marley’s Ghost of a situation, with ropes and chains dragging around from our ankles, each lugging some past incident; with present anxieties flapping like Hitchcock’s Birds around our heads, and with future fears throwing tree trunks across our path, slowing us down and distracting us from where we are in this very moment, from making the most of now.

It’s a neat trick to let it go, to ‘give all your shit away’. But in the same way that a physical clearing of the decks makes way for an unfettered focus on what is here, and important, a mental and emotional letting go is the quickest way to take the first step towards actually living.

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2 responses to “Give it away

  • Lin Cook

    alas, who can I blame for the sunami of clutter that follows us around? We came to Penwith 16 years ago with a dog, two cats and all our wordly goods in a tiny van and the in-laws’ back seat – how? don’t ask me! We’ve moved 4 times in the intervening years and every time we recycle/dump/give away far more than that and we’re still falling over stuff. we blame too many activities – the painting and crafts, winemaking,remedies and herbals, the business paperwork, the gardening stuff, the books, photography and music, the burgeoning kitchen contents..not to mention being unable to pass a charity shop…and not a boy in sight…Alice,are you sure it’s them? in the end it blocks you doesn’t it, all that stuff? finding what you need to do something creative can be such a struggle that it’s easier not to… with a loded fourth house I look on it all as some kind of ‘insulation’ against abandonment, poverty, hunger, boredom etc..and know that I don’t really need it all but I’m still rather fond of it and, like the clutter in my head, it protects and conceals some lovely treasures as I’m sure does yours – love your ‘yarn habit’ and love you as well, M x

    • RightMotherhood

      Heavens no! It’s not all them! It’s mostly me! šŸ™‚
      I seem unable to contain my *own* possessions, so I haven’t a hope against theirs, too…
      I’m looking for appropriate furniture solutions to try to create some organisational capability, as well as chucking out as much as I can bear.
      And as the house is cleared, so the mind (we can hope) šŸ˜‰
      Love you, too x

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