Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Clearing the Cobwebs

Lately, I have been enjoying quite a bit of delving into the past *and letting it go.* I have mentioned before about how I have a lot of *stuff* in my house... too much stuff, stuff I never use, stuff I "can't" get rid of. Suffocating stuff. Well, it has gotten a lot better over the last couple of years as I shed the physical and emotional weight that was holding me down. I sent a lot of stuff to Goodwill, or sold it on Ebay, or gave it to people who needed it. But still, some things linger. And clutter.

So lately, as I said, I've gotten another urge to purge! I get in a mindset of *becoming more free* sometimes (which shows up as me doing things like going out to a public pool in my bathing suit or swinging on the park swings with my kids) and I just want to be rid of those nagging little things in my life that have been bugging me.

Example: I have a lot of old computers lying around. Or I used to. In fact, I had every single PC and laptop I have owned since 1997 sitting around the house.  Why? Why. Well there are always the obvious reasons for what we do, but then there are the secret (real) reasons, too:

I needed to get the files off the hard drives.
It's broken but maybe I can fix it and one of the kids could use it for something.
Maybe I can get it running and sell it.
I don't want the info on the hard drives getting into some stranger's hands.

There are memories I am afraid of on those computers.
There are files full of painful emails and pictures and reminders on those computers.
Maybe I will see something I wanted to permanently forget on those computers.
My exes used those computers.
If I look at the Favorites I will be transported back in time... I will have to relive it.
But I just can't trash it all. I just can't let it go.

You know, it's not all that complicated. It's not that terribly hard. Okay, maybe it is for a few minutes, or an hour, or whatever, but then it is done and you LET IT GO. And it feels really, really good to be completely rid of those ghosts... let me tell you.

My son has been helping me. We've been dismantling computers, hooking hard drives together, transferring data, using cables and flash drives, deleting, formatting, recycling. Computers have been going out the door to their new destinies left and right and I am not done yet. But when I am done it will be so nice. No more hard drive ghosts. All of the files in one place. All the stuff I wanted to forget, erased and I never have to think about it again unless I choose to.

Isn't all our stuff like that? We have our reasons and then we have our *Reasons.* It seems like certain tasks are *so* overwhelming, like sorting boxes of personal things or going through pictures or making that phone call. But we have to face the *Reasons* and just get through it and live. You know? Not sit and languish in the ominous shadow of that stuff for years.

I do need to address my weight and eating and exercise; that is actually part of my *stuff*.  But instead of formulating a plan and writing out a schedule, I just go get on the darn bike when I can. I look at the food in front of me and try to be reasonable with it. I can't obsess about diets and schedules and hours at the gym because my mental energy needs to go to other places... important places... but my PHYSICAL energy can be channeled into walking and biking and active living as well as healthy shopping and food prep and eating. I am finally learning to separate the two: mental energy and physical energy. I no longer have to figure it out; I just have to do it. I have done the mental work and am able to refocus that mental energy now onto the things that have nagged at me for years. For *me*, this has been key. I no longer feel pulled in every direction. I am freeing up my mental resources this way, and it feels really good.

I have more to say, but it can wait. Good night!


Amy said...

Awesome post! I felt relaxed and rejuvinated reading it. I can tell that your personal growth has really expanded since you've had your period of reflection. You are right, it takes a lot of mental energy (and some of it becomes noise) to be focused on rules and formulas, living your life off "approved" and "not approved" food lists, it becomes exhausting! I love how you've simplified it, it doesn't need to be complicated to work. For years people have known what to do, eat better and move. Simple and sustainable. And, freeing.

Anonymous said...

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn:
You sound great since you came back from hiatus, like you are really on top of things. Your last few posts have been exceptionally inspirational. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to do a little purging myself! I have 2 boxes of letters from old boyfriends that "bug me" but for some reason I hung onto them. I am ready to let them go and be free.

I agree your personal growth has been phenomenal!


KB said...

Hi Lynn,
Wow...I've been reading for years - I started my weight loss process with you as inspiration - and this journey of yours is so full. You leave no stone unturned. Corny as it sounds, your bravery is astonishing. Just started blogging because writing it all out seems to help and I want to thank you for sharing your path with us all.

Mary said...

Great post. I actually need to do this in some areas of my own life. A little purging and letting go is a smart idea.

Vickie said...

getting rid of my stuff was an important part of my process.

I know it is hard, but I do think it is a necessary part of the long term process.

I had over done it, big time, with quilting stuff. there was a lot of time and money invested.

Quilting was very much an eating while I did it sedately, as much as I could, many hours a day, every day, thing while I was fat.

75% of my quilting stash went in several garage sales. The rest I gave away.

It was painful to get started in purging it. Not because I was losing it, but because of how much I had over done it.

I kept a few unfinished projects thinking I would save them in case I ever broke my leg. I saved some cross stitch for the same reason. Well I am on day 78 of a cast on my foot and have not touched either (foot not leg).

they truly represent FAT to me, and I doubt I will ever go back to that sedate hobby. The fabric and supplies were just like eye candy to me.

Dealing with stacks of pictures was something I did also. I had originally had the idea I would do memory books. I had invested in supplies but not done them. I got rid of supplies and organized pics in regular old albums just so they would be DONE. We had several folding tables set up in the kitchen for months while I sorted many years worth of pictures (the majority of the pictures were taken long before digital). I had to deal with the volume of my behindedness and also deal with looking at myself in pictures.

I actually put together my life in pictures at the end of that process. It lives on my side bar. Almost every picture I could find of myself. I had a harder time with my eyes in the pictures of myself as a child than I did with my fat pictures. I had to work through that. In the end, I think it helped me set up better boundaries with my extended family.

The clothes, the excess stuff I had bought because it was on sale, the stuff I had dragged home out of other people's garbage (chairs mostly, I kept some, and put the rest in neighbor's garage sale). I had a lot of stuff to DEAL (with).

My garage was a mess (like many people's basements). I took care of 10 things a day, out of the garage one summer. My self imposed rule was that I had to DEAL with the stuff, not just relocate it. I got very good at finding homes for things. But even at 10 things a day, the process took a long time.

10 things a day was doable and did not keep me from paying attention to my food and exercise and water and sleep (as you wrote).

good post

Lyn said...


I totally relate. I have boxes of pictures to deal with too!

Last night I went though a stack of about 50 floppy disks, checking each one, saving any files I wanted, and then getting rid of them. What a weight off! No more floppy disks!

Steelers6 said...

Haha, floppy disks! I have some, but no way to check them. ?

I am so proud of you for this chapter in the clutter battle. This one sounds like it was a very large job! Wow. Feels sooo good afterward! I think I told you last time you were discussing the clutter war that I am soo right there with you. Since then I have dug into a lot more. Been hard at work at it. This last project wasn't even my stuff, but my dh wasn't going to do it. At least it was not an emotional process really, going through stuff HE had accumulated.

I struggle with throwing away some things in my recent decluttering efforts. My mom is gone, so things that tie to her are tough. Recently I have felt like purging the emotional stuff only hurts at the moment of parting, & after it's out of my sight it is so Ahhhhhhh! I'm trying to remind myself of this! My Dad is going through her things & giving them to me. I am trying to purge, not add, yknow?! So another way I look at it is if I uncover something I didn't even know existed, or didn't remember, I try to tell myself I've gotten on just fine all these years without it & get rid of it. :) If I can.

Hope I'm not a rambling idiot. :) Go You!!