I have a feeling that when I look back at 2020, that the one thing that will identify the year for me (aside from the obvious!) is that this is the year that I learnt to “let go”. Cut ties. Set things loose. And by things I mean things and people.
I have cut a lot of people out of my life during the last 6 months, and I am so much better for it. But I have also gotten rid of things. Things that I have been holding on to for years, that served no purpose other than to weigh me down like that albatros. And believe me, once I started discarding things that I thought I’d never get rid of, I unleashed what seemed like this wild abandon, and I am now on an uncompromising and unforgiving rampage to get.rid.of.stuff.
Now…this is not the first time. About 18 months ago when I moved into my current house I threw out TWO of those mini skips that one usually fills with rubble when renovating a bathroom. And now I am going to order another one, and fill it up too. Today, I filled a full wheelie bin with old paper and crap, and prepared four black bags of clothes to give away. Next up are most the old blankets, all the towels, and all the pyjamas. I want new, fresh things because I feel like I am getting a fresh start on life.
I feel great!
I’ve realised that giving myself permission to give away the book I have started three times but never finished is a grace. My body thanks me for the one less thing it has to feel guilty about not accomplishing. Also, those half-finished craft projects? Gone. The dozens of editions of Taste magazine? Ta-ta. I’m never going to cook from them. In fact, that goes for the piles of unread magazines that just stack up. Gone. (Also…digital all the way, from now).
And, like I said, bidding goodbye to some people is part of the deal. This year has taught me to smell out toxicity, narcissism, selfishness and lack of empathy in people. And I am also learning – sometimes painfully and too slowly – to trust my gut. When people show you who they are, believe them. But don’t be fooled – this approach isn’t an automatic recipe for instant happiness – sometimes, I have lingering doubt as to whether I didn’t give up too easily, whether I didn’t just run away, or whether I simply set the standard of friendship too high. But no – I need to trust my gut. Or, as the old adage goes “If someone hurts you once, it’s your fault, but if they hurt you twice it’s yours“. Added bonus: removing toxic people from your life opens you up to welcoming new, wonderful people. #SoTrue.
And here is the great thing: once I became comfortable with removing unsavoury things and people from my life, I started to gain a practicality that might have been clouded by sentimentality previously. And this is my great lesson of Covid: stay flexible. Don’t weigh myself down with ill-conceived beliefs. I’ve given up ways of life that to me seemed cast in stone. The way my son is taught. The way I interact with friends. The focus of my business. Where and how I live. What I want my future to look like. Suddenly, I am re-evaluating everything. And let me tell you – some of the realisations are painful and gut wrenching, but to avoid them is just to lie to myself. Time to take off those rose-tinted glasses.
There is a lot to be said for decluttering a physical space. It somehow also leads to a decluttering of the mind. Suddenly, there is less chaos. Less anxiety. Fewer thoughts fighting for attention during the middle of the night. Better decisions can be made. Clarity is felt. There is just over two months left in the year. I hope I can sort all my crap out before then, cut out the remaining pesky bothers that refuse to leave easily, and enter 2021 strong and optimistic. What a journey!