Recently, I had a somewhat painful, yet liberating experience. A good friend does de-cluttering as a business. I do computer support and consulting. She needed some help with her Mac and asked if I’d like to trade my skills for hers. What the heck, I thought. My closet could definitely use some help. So I agreed.
My closet is now clean and organized for the first time since I moved into this house about seven years ago. I cleared out a lot of things left by my mother, who passed away at about the same time I moved here. She had lived in my new-to-me house for a year shortly after I bought it and all her furniture plus a lot of personal items remained. I had been diligent about the clothing, but there were boxes of photos, some art work, etc., still to deal with.
My friend helped me go through it all, and now my closet has a fresh start. I’m sure it will get cluttered again; that’s life. But at least I’m starting with an uncluttered space.
It got me thinking: does my life need de-cluttering as well? It’s so easy to add activities, obligations and duties to our lives; not so easy to subtract them. Even in retirement, when presumably we have lots of free time and can indulge in hobbies and amateur pursuits of all kinds, it’s so easy to get overcommitted.
I’m wondering if I need to put myself on an activity elimination diet. You know, like when the allergist tells you to just eat white rice for a week and then gradually add back one food at a time to see what causes a reaction? Actually, I have to be honest here, I’ve never done that. I’m gratefully non-allergic. But I’ve had several friends and relatives who have gone through that painful process in order to regain their health.
It seems a good metaphor for an overcommitted life. Not that any of my activities is making me sick; far from it. I enjoy them all. The problem is sheer numbers. During all but the summer months, I have something to do every night of the week, excluding week-ends. It seems a bit excessive. But what would I give up?
Do you have this problem? Any tips?