Friday, August 28, 2015

Holding Onto What is Good

Holding onto what I have verses letting go of the excess and that which is no longer needed has been my challenge of late.

It sounds easier than the reality.

But when I find a good home for items which have been collecting dust for years on end, it does my heart good.

It was almost five months ago when I started a mini decluttering spree. I boxed up and donated a lot of the excess.

At the end of that burst of energy, I ended up with a large box of papers to be shredded, two bags of various electronic equipment which no longer worked (but may be fixable) and an "As Seen on TV" random purchase which could hold some value to someone.

Yesterday was the day I finally dealt with "all of the above".

Kijiji is a wonderful thing. One person's garbage is another person's treasure. I have had close to 100% success with giving away &/or selling most everything I've advertised.

We live in a throw away world. It is cheaper to replace than repair most items. Appliances, electronics, furniture, pens, relationships ... you name it, it is easier to toss out the old and start anew.

So it is with great pleasure that I tell you that there are people out there willing to adopt a broken computer monitor, antiquated bathroom fixtures, printers and disfunctional DVD players. You people are my heroes.

I have only scratched the surface of the excess within our home but since I have been met with such success, I feel encouraged to rummage through the closets to see what else I can donate to the world at large.

Then there was the box of shredding that I just couldn't conquer.

We have a shredder that is on its last legs. It can shred two pieces of paper at a time and the motor heats up and dies after approximately 100 pages. I quite likely had over 2,000 pages of paper within that box sitting beside the printer in the kitchen. I have been chipping away at that task for almost five months and each time I looked at that incompleted task, I chided myself for procrastinating over the world's simplest job. I finally completed that task last night.

Another weight off my shoulder.

In this life of excess, I have been looking at my employment situation wondering which job I can let go, to give myself more breathing room.

My daycare is not only my bread and butter. It is my groceries, my mortgage and my life. My little daycare is equivalent to oxygen. Non negotiable. It stays.

My bookkeeping is a little bit of a thorn in my side. I feel good when I complete a day's work but I am so grateful it is not my "bread and butter". It is more like the jam. Nice to have on the side but not necessary.

My writing feeds my soul. Even when it isn't good, it is therapeutic. This writing out loud gig has been the one weighing heavily on my mind. When what I write isn't relate-able, encouraging, uplifting, thought provoking or slightly humorous from time to time I think I should give this up. Throw it away.

I have my foot in the door with five different publications out in this big, scary world. Do I throw that opportunity away? Or do I capitalize on it?

When I have the energy, conviction and confidence to do so, I normally go out there and "sell my writing" to the world. In the past, I have tried to add just one or two more publications to that list every spring. This past spring, I was depleted. I could not sell myself, let alone my "soul". In fact, I started to believe maybe it was time to throw in my pen and call it quits. I've been hovering in that place of indecision for quite some time now.

Then came my epiphany.

Last week, I decreased the credit limit on one of my credit cards. The one that I plan to utilize for on-line purchases only. The person on the other end of the phone line tried to talk me out of it but I knew it was best to keep my potential for overspending intact so I went ahead and decreased my limit.

Then, this very credit card company had a 0.99% interest offer for seven months, to pay off another credit card (which in turn, would have paid for my recent home renovations). I would have taken advantage of this offer, had my credit limit been what it was last week.

What you give away easily is not readily given back. I called this company to see if I could have my previous credit limit reinstated and it was not as easy as that. I had to apply for this increase of limit and due to my present net income, I would not qualify for that which I already had.

I gave that away so easily. And they would not give it back.

What if I had given away my privilege to write for these newspapers? I suspect it would have been much the same as my credit card company. They would not welcome me back with open arms if I changed my mind next week.

So I have decided to nurture that which I have. I am going to feed my soul by continuing to write. Whether it is good, bad or ugly I shall remain true to myself. Writing about what I know (and feel) best has always served me well.

The biggest compliment I have ever received is when someone on the reading end of my words replies with the simple message "I feel that way too!" It is better than any pay cheque in the world. Knowing we are not alone in our feelings, emotions and life's little challenges is worth its weight in gold.

The "Me too!" connection is the greatest friendship enhancer I know. Go out and spread your honesty with those you know and trust. Feel the connections grow when you put yourself on the line.

I do it (almost) every day. And the days that pay off the best are the days when just one person says "I feel the same way..."

Get rid of the excess emotions of guilt, anger, envy, hurt and whatever else may be weighing you down by saying the words out loud. It releases the pressure. And do you know what? More often than not, you will hear the response "I have felt the same way ..."

You are not alone.

Hold onto that which is good. Don't get rid of that when you are decluttering your life. It's hard to know what you have until you give it away and wish you hadn't.

Maybe that is why I have been having such a hard time with this job of getting rid of the excess. Do it in small increments and only when you are ready. Too much at one time may be a shock to your system.

Think of my paper shredder that overheats when it has done too much. Don't let it get to that point. Just whittle away at it and eventually one day the box will become empty. Only to fill up again ...

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