The day after Christmas, I had an eyelash so wedged up in my eyelid that no amount of poking, washing, blinking, stomping, swearing, or kicking my husband did the trick in removing it.
2 hours later I told the eye doctor I loved her. She had plucked it out with tweezers after bending my lid inside out. We shared a look at the tiny lash and marveled at its size and how set it had been in staying in my eyeball. The amount of relief I felt at that moment was like nothing I had ever experienced. The crazy adrenaline rush of happiness was, I imagine, tantamount to what one must feel when one reaches the peak of Everest.
After I told Christian 4 different times how relieved I was, I realized I had been experiencing a milder version of that feeling with every throw-out session I held at home lately, which were many. I’m on a tear- partly because I’m trying to practice being more mindful- of my thoughts, my actions, and my possessions.
Holy Hell. When you open your eyes to all the shit you have, overwhelm floods in immediately. This is accompanied by guilt, a bit of disgust, and a dash of anxiety.
I’m on a mission to majorly simplify our home- not just for the hopefully impending move, but for our mental well-being. The relief and happiness I feel with each giant garbage bag taken to the trash or Goodwill adds up to the same rush of relief I felt at the stowaway eyelash. I didn’t want it there, I resented it, I battled it.
Have you read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I’m putting some of these principals to work as I take a good look at each item I come across and see if I can bid it a compassionate goodbye.
The other impetus for such a drastic purging is the need to shed the physical reminders that tie us to the past. Jim Bunch, in his interview with Srini Rao, spoke of the massive importance of designing our environments to positively affect our lives. He talked about the power of objects to trigger strong emotions based on what we associate with them, and boy oh boy oh boy, when I glanced around my room I was flooded with emotions and memories from most of the furniture and objects I looked at.
Many filled me warm, fuzzy feelings of love for my family- especially Christian. But just as many left me cold or just plain puzzled. Why was I still lugging around the random nasty plastic drawers I bought 8 years ago that were barely holding anything?
I’ve always loved a fresh start, and I’m pushing for a big beautiful one this year. I’m aiming to look around and love everything I see- even if we have to live in a half-empty house for a while. In fact, I love the idea of living in a half-empty house, running around and twirling like a maniac at all the emptiness.
Then, slowly, piece by piece, we can rebuild. Mindfully acquire- only letting in items we absolutely need or love. I can’t wait for that brand new giant Crate & Barrel sectional.