New Year’s Eve! The end of 2013 and the start of another year, another journey and a new lot of wishful resolutions. I say wishful because I am the world’s worst blogger, totally hopeless at keeping resolutions and most of my plans fall by the wayside at the drop of a hat. What I am good at is procrastinating, dreaming, wishing and praying. OK, I believe in the power of prayer and it’s incredible value to us but the rest? hmmm just me not letting all the amazing thoughts and ideas that cross my mind get out and become manifest as, well maybe, something useful.
Every year I have made resolutions. Some active others more passive. Every year I try to look at why I didn’t carry them through , or for those I did, what made them easier to keep? This year I am not analysing at all. I accept that 2013 was a wonderful year for me. Not for any particular reason apart from all that dreaming and procrastinating just helped me to find a bit more of me. How easy is it to lay down a list of things I want to achieve, lose weight…still…write more, keep up with my correspondence better, well just write letters would be a start, follow up on all my good intentions, but even though I failed on those practical things, I did achieve so much more.
I stepped onto the scary place of letting go. I had an incredible urge to de-clutter my life. For the first time forever I was able to look at things and see them as just that – things. Some I had kept for many, many years, such a high sentimental value placed on them that I was unable to let them go. I often write about my love of little boxes and the way I have organised all the emotional, tragic or joyful times in my head. Shutting away those thoughts and emotions that hurt me and only allowing access now and again allowed me, or so I thought, to be in control of my life. I can’t be sure what caused the change in me, maybe getting older and revaluating my place here in this life, maybe my mother, my last remaining parent, dying just over a year ago. I don’t know. I do remember thinking that I was now the oldest in my family, was I the next on the waiting for God list? Then there’s that title seldom used these days – matriarch – someone called me that at the funeral, one of my brothers I think. Now that really is something to live up to.
I guess I had been so emotionally bogged down with a difficult, neglectful and sometimes traumatic, childhood. My only significant others being my grandparents who died when I was in my teens, I had no role models to guide me and I blundered my way through life making mistakes and feeling totally inadequate and without direction. Once I had my own family, when I was sixteen, I started keeping little mementos of events in my life. A shoebox to start with then a bigger box, a suitcase, a loft…. forty odd years later I have a houseful, a lifetime of treasures. The few birthday cards I got as a child, my first transistor clock radio – poems I wrote. The first playgroup painting of my son – now in his mid forties – and the many pictures and schoolbooks of all eight of my children, the little notes they wrote, cards they made, school achievement certificates… you get the picture? I believe the insecure childhood was the catalyst for my collections. I needed a reminder of the good things I guess.
I am a neat freak, well not obsessively, I like things in their place. So I have seven bookcases of books all neatly in their genres. Not as far as Dewey catalogued I might add. I have many hobbies, crafts and things I have collected. Lacemaking, knitting, sewing, cross-stitch, patchwork, dolls house building, painting, writing, postcard collecting, stamp collecting and so on, everything is neatly stored in it’s place or box ready for when the mood takes me to pick it up again. I’m never bored I might also add. A lifetime of things. It is that word that has made me revaluate my life… things… that is all they are. My most prized possessions are really my memories and relationships I share with my family and friends. It’s only taken me sixty-one years to see that and to finally begin to let go of … stuff.
I love my books but once I have read them why do I keep hold of them? I rarely read a book again. Hobbies that I can no longer do due to the practicalities of space and place. I no longer live in the country so why keep all my winemaking gear? I know my books would give pleasure to another reader so I have started by donating some to the local library, others to a charity shop. Clothes I have had in a box for years, I’m never going to wear again – charity shop. You know? once I started it gave me such a wonderful feeling of freedom. I could almost feel the house sighing with relief. I’ve a long way to go but I am so enjoying it.
So looking back over 2013, I believe it was a successful year for me. I found myself and have begun to value myself as much as I did all my little collections. 2014 is going to be the year I continue to let go of the past, keep de-cluttering and be in control of who I am. Then there’s losing weight, write more letters, paint more, read at least 20 books in the year, pick up my writing course and continue it, oh, and being a better blogger ….. I believe I have more chance of achieving at least some of them this this year but if I don’t then that’s a little more about me I will find out more because I was doing other stuff!!
time to taste life