Friday, May 3, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Now that spring is officially underway (yes, I know, the calendar said it was spring a few weeks ago, but try telling that to the people who are still shoveling snow out of  their driveways), it is the perfect time to get out those brooms, grab a bottle of green cleaner and the bag of rags you've been saving for just such an occasion, and throw open the windows ... it's time for spring cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new. Going through closets, attics, basements and garages and asking ourselves that all important question: "what was I thinking when I bought this?"

My bedroom closet is a case in point. Why am I keeping a pair of pants that I bought on sale without trying them on only to find out when I got home that they didn't fit because the size on the tag was wrong and I could not return them? Why am I still holding on to my granddaughter's prom dress when she is currently a mother-to-be with my first great-grandchild? When will I realize that no one needs that many purses, and that the occasion when I might need a Persian Lamb evening jacket hasn't come in 30 years? In the life that I now lead, exactly how many work-out outfits do I feel I have to have?

The den doesn't fare any better. In a world of technology where my Nook has more books on it than I will every have the time to read before I die, why do I need 3 bookcases full of books, most of which I've already read but somehow can't part with? I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure the library has the entire collection of Beatrix Potter, and honestly, will I ever go back and re-read 3 years work of back issues of  Yoga Journal? Finally, do I really, really need the rent receipts from the apartment I haven't lived in since 1999?

Our minds are like those overcrowded bookcases. We have stuff stored in there that no longer serves us if it ever did. A lot of our beliefs are not even our own. They are the beliefs we inherited from our parents, our teachers, our culture and our peers. We are so overloaded with outdated ideas, other people's expectations and misguided advice that there is no room for the new, the fresh and the exciting to come into our lives. We need to sweep out those crowded rooms in our mind and only put back those things that truly serve the way we live now, in the new and exciting world that we live in, after we've dusted them off and given them a new lease on life. Once we do, we will be amazed at how much room there is for new experiences and new ideas. Our lives will feel so much brighter and lighter without all of that old baggage that we've lugged around from house to house, from decade to decade. It's time to fill our lives with new colors, new sounds, new sights and new passions.

Next week we're going to tackle the garage and the garden shed. We can't plant our field of dreams with old, rusted-out tools! And so it is.