A couple of months ago I decided to take a more focused approach to this whole personal growth thing; and, for me it seems to be a much more successful. I joined Health Month to get my daily tasks in line, started 750Days.com to get my writing going, and joined Weight Watchers. To some this seemed a bit like an over achiever, but trust me, I am anything but that. The time just felt right and I went with it. I trusted my intuition and things are swimming along successfully.
The other day in the car it came to me that now would be an excellent time to do something I have long known I needed to do, but have really been putting off - clearing out the clutter in my life. When I say, "clutter" I mean all clutter. Clutter in my kitchen, clutter in my closet, clutter in my head. There is all kinds clutter around me and I can organize my tasks, track my weight and go to therapy all I want, but there is not going to be any room for the new things I want in my life until I clear out some of this clutter taking up valuable space and just getting in the way.
This is not going to be an easy task. I like my clutter. It's familiar. I am used to it. And, my God, what if I need it someday?! You know what they say - as soon as you throw something away you are going to need it. Well, it's probably time for me to take that saying and get rid of it with the rest of the clutter I don't need.
I have to admit I am also kind of afraid to start going through my clutter so I am going to start with something easy - the kitchen. Things in the kitchen conveniently have expiration dates so there really isn't much debate on what I should keep and what I should throw away. I keep thinking how great it would be if everything had an expiration date. Well, I guess some things do. Some of my clothes definitely have expired and their date is just screaming out to me. It's highly doubtful I will have occasion to wear lime green velvet pants any time soon. (Don't even ask.) And, the days of tight little shirts are far gone. I guess for a lot of tangible clutter it will be rather easy to figure out what stays and what goes, but what about all that clutter in my head?
Wouldn't it be great if hurt, anger, resentment and all those other bummer feelings had expiration dates, too? None of them are really necessary, most are stale, and they all just clutter up my life. If I could only say, "Oh, I don't need to be angry at that ex-boyfriend anymore. That anger expired in 2006. Time to throw it out." Or even better, "Sean, you don't need to still be embarrassed about that thing you did in high school. That expired with Hall & Oats."
You know what? Maybe feelings can have expiration dates. I certainly can tell which ones serve me and which ones don't. Why not just decide which ones have expired and make a game of it? In any case, I do get to choose whether or not to hold on to them and when to let them go. So along with that can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, that John Kerry t-shirt, and that Netscape for Dummies book I think I will toss out those feelings that clutter up my mind and bog me down.
So, July's menu is all about cleaning out clutter. I need to make space for some new ingredients in my life.