In the past two weeks, much has happened. I got a new job. My mother had total knee replacement surgery. I emptied out our garage and only kept the things I loved.
My friend Katie is a feng shui consultant who does marvelous things. I met her in the fall when I knew I needed things to change. I couldn't seem to move past the piles of stuff in my home office, and all around me. We hold on to stuff as we hold on to the past, which I knew, but really only clicked when Katie sat at my kitchen table and said, "Girl, we need to invite Mrs. Chi into your house." Invite I did, give away I did. Things I never thought I would part with. Furniture, notebooks, boxes of kitchenware that I hadn't opened since 2005. I do not need three picnic baskets, a sushi making set, or two tea kettles. Bye.
One of the things Katie suggests is to look at each object and ask, "Does this bring me joy?" If not, it goes: donate or give to someone who would love it.
So I tore into closets, cut through tape of water stained boxes, and peeled back newspaper from the early aughts. The more I got rid of, the more I found objects that do bring me joy. Like this long lost tiki glass collection:
A funny thing happened when I started letting go of the physical objects that were filling up my space: I saw a blank slate, a new start. This is what I do when I am going through change. I let go.
It became a game: how much could I get done in a week? On my hands and knees, in between hospital visits, I cleaned off the patio that we rarely used, bought new cushions and made plans to refinish a vintage patio set.
We actually lived in and used the space in the past week, more than we ever had in a decade. S'mores making on the new grill, writing on the old chairs. Oh, and this great children's book? I found it, free, outside 2nd and Charles, as I deposited dozens of books I no longer needed. Anything can happen.
And today I picked up the final purchases of this short break: these beauties. Why, hello there.
Come on inside. It's a new day. And I'm just getting started.