Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Changed

My goodness, I really have changed. My MIND has changed. It has never been more obvious than as I am decluttering my house. I know I just blogged about this yesterday, but the change is so drastic I want to share more.

All these years... even as recently as last year... I'd go open a box to declutter and get all teary eyed and emotional. I'd look at the soccer clothes five sizes too small for my boys and think about selling them, but I just COULDN'T. I HAD to have those. They reminded me of all those days sitting in lawn chairs in the fall and spring watching my little ones play soccer. And I COULD NOT get rid of those clothes. If I had tried, it would have been extremely painful.

For over a decade, a pretty wooden crib has sat in my garage. It's the crib I picked out with my husband when we found out we were having our first baby 21 years ago. That crib held all of my four older children in their most tender years, as well as a darling foster baby I raised for a while. I saved it "in case I ever have another baby," but when I WAS having another baby after almost a ten year gap, I wanted a new crib for her... a lighter colored, more girly crib that a friend purchased as a gift for her. Besides, I couldn't find all the bolts for the old one. So then, after she graduated to a toddler bed, I had TWO cribs languishing. And then they were recalled! No use in saving them for grandkids in 10 years, and I am certainly NOT having anymore babies, yet those cribs sat, and sat, and sat, taking up much needed space. Finally 2 months ago I did get rid of the newer one, but that old darker wooden crib still sat, dusty and unused in the garage. I just couldn't let it go. My babies were in there.

Something is drastically changed here. Yesterday, I went in the garage and looked at that crib and thought, "why the heck have I been hanging onto that old thing? I want it gone!" And out it went. I decided to sort the baby clothes, too, and the huge tub of stuffed animals I saved from when I was a child. Sacred tubs of stuff... I haven't been able to purge one item from those tubs in all these years. I'd open them, get all sad, put everything back. I HAD to have those things. My babies were in there. My childhood was in there.

Yesterday I opened them and thought, "wow, geez, why did I save all this junk??" I started flinging baby clothes left and right into bags for Goodwill, saving a few newborn outfits for my daughter to use on her dolls and also saving one particular baby outfit that gave me a huge smile when I came across it, because it reminded me of my youngest son and his giant grin as a baby. Two huge bags of baby clothes... donated! Painlessly. I had NO desire to save them, keep them, hang onto them anymore. Same with the stuffed animals. I picked out the old stuffed poodle my grandpa gave me before he died when I was 4, and I saved a few other special ones for my little girl to play with. But the rest went into donation bags, without a second glance. And NONE of this hurt my heart to do.

What has changed? My babies are not in those tubs anymore. My babies aren't in that crib or those clothes or the old rattles. My babies are RIGHT HERE in front of me, a lot bigger, yes, but they are HERE and NOW and I can enjoy them every bit as much as I did when they were tiny. I have the memories but more importantly I HAVE THEM. Somehow I didn't see it before. Maybe because I was so wrapped up in my head, drowning in 'issues' and unable to play with them, hike with them, or even get down the flight of stairs to kiss them goodnight that it felt like all I had was the beautiful past. All I had was in those tubs, those things. And now I live in the present, and I have a future.

I cannot express how freeing it is not only to be rid of so many *things* but to be rid of the *desire* to keep them all. I have zero resentment about purging this stuff, no regrets as I dump it off in a donation box, no sense of loss whatsoever. Life is AWESOME and while I had some lovely times in my past, living in the present moment beats memories all to heck. When you're ready, you'll see. It is a beautiful thing.

21 comments:

beerab said...

Feels good doesn't it? I agree- the memories are the important things, not the material items. :)

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

Oh my gosh... I am experiencing the SAME thing! Seriously... I am letting things go that I have hung on to for YEARS. I wonder if, for me, if it has to do with learning to let go altogether... like letting my weight go, letting my hurts and heartaches go, letting things go and learning to live in the present and embrace the future! Maybe that's too deep but I really think it all ties together.

I realized that my memories don't lie in THINGS but in my HEART - and I don't have to let that go!

God bless!!

~Margene

midlife_swimmer said...

I started purging like this a year before my weight loss journey began. I didnt want to be burried anymore. I wanted things to be easier and more freeing and it is in physical. mental and all sorts of wonderful other ways :)

-J.Darling said...

Purging is to theraputic and a great sign that you're ready to move forward with your life. First, it's purging the stuff. Then it's purging the people you really don't need (and being all the more grateful for those you do have in your life that are healthy for you). Way to go!

If you cling to the old, you can't make way for the new. :)

big_mummy said...

so positive! Love it! Thanks for sharing, has made me think xx

Cindy said...

half way through reading your post I was gonna say, "it's because you are living in the MOMENT and enjoying YOURSELF and your family". but then, you basically came to that conclusion.

:)

Vee said...

I want what you have! Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

spunkysuzi said...

I hope whatever it is you've got is catching :)

Katie J said...

I have been doing the purge thing for about a year now. It is so freeing - I highly recommend it to anyone.

NewMe said...

Congratulations! Something wonderful is happening to you!

Keeping a few things is lovely, but purging the many is truly liberating. The memories and the love are safe in our minds. We don't need all that stuff, clogging our environment.

Julie said...

I've been a chucker for years....feels wonderful doesn't it! And it feels good knowing that the stuff is going to ppl who need it. BTW, the word verification I will have to type is "courag" which is totally appropriate, don't you think!

Gin22464 said...

CONGRATULATIONS!

Anonymous said...

Do you think the reason you might have had a problem with purging these things when you were heavier might be because of a fear of abandonment? I know your father and mother are gone, and you have had a couple failed marriages (haven't we all) and the children are getting older and you have been through a lot in your life, more than your fair share; maybe holding onto the baby clothes was a way for you to hold onto something? At any rate, you are clearly on the right path and we are all glad to see it. Happy to see you so happy :) Keep it up :)

Cheryl said...

My husband would love to see me do this. That would mean we could see the garage floor.

Nawlinz Lady (Dee) said...

I am a new follower, I loved this post especially since I am doing the exact same thing now. Hint:: I donated all my baby supplies to our local Battered Women's Shelter, I will never forget their appreciation and the love they showed to my donations.

Reitmans Fat Girl said...

I bet it feels great. Just FYI - I love your cabbage soup recipe...and for a person just starting out, it really has that comfort food taste without the guilt! It's my lean and green meal (although I'm not on medi-fast...).

Thanks for all your posts! Check out my blog sometime :) I've got a picture of my behind as motivation. I'm too scared-y to show my face.

Anonymous said...

Your posts about purging really touched me. You described my emotions perfectly about my children's things exactly. I too had to purge to get out from under it all. I have found that taking pictures of items that move me to be helpful. I get to keep a reminder of the memory without taking up the space.

Lori said...

Oh Lyn, thank you so much for sharing that. I am a saver too. I have had the same experience so many times, just like you describe, deciding to purge and then not being able to because the item has 'sentimental value'. Most of the time, to an untrained eye, the stuff is a bunch of junk. It is so good to know that one day, I'll shed the stuff and actually have closet space again!

mommygonemilf said...

Lyn, I'm glad you have moved from a negative place to a more positive place and are able to process in a more healthy way. You don't need to be bogged down physically or emotionally. The two are tied together and both improve as you work towards a healthier you. Thanks for the comment you left me. You are correct - to our health, both mental and physical!

leanqueen said...

hey I have really enjoyed reading your blog :) You are truly an inspiration. I myself am starting out my own journey, please take a look at my blog www.learningtobethin.blogspot.com
It would be a lot if you could leave a comment or follow me :)

I wish you luck on reaching your own goal weight and I congratulate you on your tremendous success!! :)

L A U R A said...

I'm so glad that I came across your blog. It's good to see another person who finds it important to stay fit and healthy. I have lost over 125 lbs. myself and will be featured in the November 2010 issue of Shape magazine. This is VERY exciting for me! Anyway, my blog is located at www.LauraGetsFit.com if you'd like to check it out. I added your blog to follow, so feel free to follow mine as well. I look forward to reading more of your journey. Take care! <3 Laura