Simplify: Dec 19 Adventword

This one should be simple. Ha!  Never let me write before caffeine…too late.

Simplifying life isn’t simple at all. If it was easy there wouldn’t be a thousand books and videos and shows on how to do it best.

My beloved Spouseman and I are going through a de-cluttering phase at the moment, and let me tell you, it’s painful get rid of items collected over life. Well. For him it’s painful. For me it’s hard-but-simple. I’ve had so much practice organizing and living within a space all my lfe, the process looks easy from the outside. And for the same reasons I seldom develop a strong attachment to objects. I have many I love, but I’m often happy to give them away once I’ve had them a while, especially if I know someone else would enjoy them as a new thing. (I know. It’s weird.)

Part of what we’re doing is I’m teaching Spousemen how to simplify simplying. The biggest trick for me is to only look at the overall job once and never, ever look at it again. Otherwise the emotional impact of belongings amputation can be devastating.

George Carlin had a brilliant stand-up routine about stuff and its magical way of filling all available space. Things fill up out hearts and minds too, and clearing out the clutter requires willpower as well as the time and energy to do the job.

Things acquire meaning. Eliminating those things can feel like erasing the bits of life attached to them.  People acquire meaning too. We hold grudges against people and nurse old hurts. (I think everyone does this. Maybe it’s only me? No? Okay, good.)

Anyhow, clearing out physical clutter is hard enough. Sweeping out old bitterness that’s lost its target to death or distance? Burying anger that fuels no further action? Setting aside grievances that no apologies could ever repay?  Those things can be even harder to simplify away. (And sometimes they should not be. None of us can judge that for another unless we live their lives. )

I loathe the happy-pep Disney song Let It Go with an icy, frozen hatred beyond expressing. Not because  it’s an earworm, although it is. Not because it’s unreasonable or bad advice. In many ways it’s excellent advice. Nope. I loathe it for its dismissive attitude.

Simplifying, moving on, lightening the load on the soul — it isn’t something that can be blithely accomplished with a wave of the hand, a spin, a smile and some glitter.

Just as freedom isn’t free, simplifying is complicated. It’s work. Work worth doing, rewarding and exhilirating and resulting in freedom from the past, but sweaty, painful, exhausting work all the same.



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