The Art of Letting Go

Interesting and totally unrelated to the title of this post or the point of it, WordPress has just informed me that 3 years ago today I signed up with them.  Interesting also that it took them a Month before I was actually able to access my site, which is why my first post did not come until December.  There were a few things that got in the way back then.  A Lot of things which I suppose in a way has everything to do with this post.

You’ve heard me talking a great deal about all of the cleaning out that must be done in order for us to move to New Mexico.  It is Not a tall tale.  There is a huge load of stuff.  Maybe I’ve been a pack rat all these years and never realized it.  I suppose I hid it well…an orderly pack rat.  When Ralph and I got together, it was magnified because, well he had a lot of stuff.  When his stuff and my stuff got together we hit a situation of critical mass.  There’s a mass of stuff and it’s getting Critical!

But I feel I’ve developed a new talent I never knew I had…The Art of Letting Go.  I have moved a number of times in my life.  None of the moves were ever very far. Most of them in and around the same ten-mile area.  My Dad used to joke that when the house got dirty…I’d move.  Not quite the case, there always seemed to be a good reason.  I do remember thinking on the occasion of these various moves that each time, I got rid of things, weeding out what was not necessary.  As I type this, I can only imagine the horror if I had Not done that along the way.  I would Never get out of here.

However, over the years I suppose it has been cooking in my head all this time…The urge to have less, to get rid of things I don’t need, that I haven’t used for years.  I am feeling very strong in all of this right now.  Hoping to hang on to that strength.

In the past few days, I have collected 10 bags of clothes/shoes/handbags that have gone or will go today to the local thrift store.  When I dropped off bags yesterday, I had to walk into the store to deposit them.  I was Hugely tempted to take a stroll around the shop to see what was there.  I Did Not (I was also parked in a Fire Lane so that helped!)  When I was running other errands, I drove right by the Goodwill store.  I Drove Right By.  Yes, I am feeling strong.

Part of yesterday’s purge was going through boxes of packed books in my bedroom.  I produced 5 bags of books to contribute to the town library.  I ended up with one empty box which doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment but it is.  Moving those boxes out allowed me access to one of my dressers that I hadn’t looked in for a while. Almost Everything in that dresser went into the bags for the thrift store.  Some things were extremely hard to part with, but I did it. Both of my dressers are now empty and ready to be sold.  Now I just have to purge the tops of them.

I’m getting there.  I have some things planned for Mr. Garbage Man tomorrow.   I’ve been giving him a workout lately.  I don’t think he minds or at least he hasn’t left any nasty notes on my door.

I still have lots to do around here but a another big job still remains. I am resigned to the fact that I am going to my sister’s house where Most of my books are stored.  I know there are books in there that I do not need to keep.  I have been through them at least twice before weeding them out.  When I started typing this I was going to say that I wanted to reduce it by half.  I’m not sure if I will be able to do that.  I’m thinking I may be able to reduce by one-third.  We’ll see how it goes and since I’m so bad at fractions, I may never really know.  I’ll just be able to judge by how many bags I carry down the steps and out to the car. But I will reduce them.

No pictures because who wants to look at a bunch of bags.  I hope you’ll trust me to be honest about this.

Am I serious about this?  I Am.  Will I accomplish it?  I Will.  I have to in order to get what I want.  I want to be in New Mexico.  If I have to get in my car with just my purse, my computer, my travel coffee mug and whatever book I happen to be reading at the time…I will.

I’ve never thought of myself an artist, but I have learned the Art of Letting Go.

Happy Thursday!




14 responses to “The Art of Letting Go

  1. fran…Totally awesome !!and admirable goal! I so enjoyed reading your blog today – you are an inspiration!! You have a goal and you are so focused on getting there. YAY for you

  2. Fran. I am so proud of you. I had to do the same thing when I moved to Florida and I continue to weed out and make like simple. It is called Zen and it is so healing. Love you girl………………

  3. Valerie Andruss

    I want to look at a bunch of bags! With you standing proudly beside them. It is indeed quite an actievement and I am impressed. For some odd reason 🙂 it seems that the older we we get the more we manage to collect and the house goes from empty to comfortable to full to stuffed to are you kidding me!!!???!!! I know several people who are trying to weed out (myself included). But even that wok that you haven’t used in 20 – nope, make that 30 – years is still somehow hard to move out

    • I know, Val. It’s very hard. I appreciate your support. I’m really working at this and the hard part is being unsentimental about some things. Had a moment a little while ago when I tossed a big of things that were hard to let go. Getting better at this. I miss you! Hugs to you and Mark!

  4. Good for you. Isn’t it funny how we get so emotionally attached to “things”?
    We went throught the same process of downsizing two or three times before we moved from the midwest to Colorado and again for the move to Texas. For the books, try purging 1/3 of them, then walk away for a few days. Go back to them and find more that you really can do without in the great Southwest. Think of the joy someone else will have when they find your book, the one they’ve been looking for for years in that library you gave it to.
    There was a tv show called “Clean Sweep” a few years ago where a crew would come in and have people make a keep pile, a donate pile and a trash pile. The keep pile was always much larger than the other two. So they worked on that. Often an emotional move, but a good part of the stuff in the keep pile would always find its way to the donate pile. Sounds like you are primed to make your clean sweep today.
    You’ve even inspired me to take a look at my own collection of books and other stuff that I’ve been holding onto.You know…. to get ready for our next move, maybe to NM.

    • I’m glad if I can help motivate you, Tom. Especially if that move to NM is both our futures! I’m happy with my progress. Soon all of My stuff will be gone then I can sell the house and be on our hill. Take care! Hugs to you and Jan!

  5. Such a great post, Fran! (And isn’t blogging great for accountability?) You’re such a motivation!

  6. I wanted to be in NY and I made it happen! You can too Fran. I think you made great strides….so happy for you.

  7. Fran I am so proud of you. I know how hard it must be and I can tell how overwhelming the task can be at times, but you have come a long way baby. I think you picked up steam late last Spring and you really haven’t stopped. Also, equally important as letting things go is resisting the urge not to bring new things in. Leaving the thrift store empty-handed is a huge accomplishment. Keep it up Fran and you’ll be in New Mexico before you know it.

    • Meghan, thank you so much for all of your kind comments. You are such a great support. I know I’m doing the right thing with all of this effort and I know there will be Enchantment at the end of the Rainbow. Just want to be there sooner. I keep plugging. Got a lot more done on Tuesday. Wednesday will be a little slow as we’re going out, but I’ll be back at it on Thursday. Thank you, Thank you and I WILL be making soup come this weekend. Hugs!

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