I did this thing. It is called “spring cleaning”. I did not do it today, or yesterday. Nope, I did it a few years ago. This weekend it hit me hard, and I’ll tell you why.
You see, I inherited something from my father. Don’t know if it is genetic or just a bad habit. It has to do with storing anything and everything that isn’t totally useless, because you never know – it just might come in handy one day. There is a big drawback to this though. My dad has space to store his ‘collectors items’ and I always lived in a room or small flat which has limited storage. I also moved a lot at one stage, which is a drag at the best of times and more so when you have to transport a lot of ‘collectors items’.
Yes, you can see where this is going. After struggling to make room for myself between boxes of stuff I made a choice. The next time I had to move I had to sit myself down, go through all my collected items and decide on the odds of me ever needing any of it in the future. It was NOT an easy task. If you’ve spend years doing things one way, it takes real willpower to change it. So I sat myself down and went through everything. No surprise that I couldn’t even remember where I got half the stuff I had accumulated over the years, or why I thought it might come in handy one day.
It was tough. Tough to decide what to keep and what not. Because really, what does define a keepsake item? Is there really a criteria one can apply? And here is a certain truth – you are bound to throw something away and will only realize years later that you made a mistake. A big mistake!
That is what hit me this weekend. I threw something away and when I realized it this weekend I felt like bawling my eyes out. It is not so much that it had sentimental value as that it was a lot of hard work and ideas. Something I spent months on doing. It was a manuscript people! If you’ve ever tried to write something like a book you will realize how deep my sorrow is at this loss. Because this manuscript was rejected and was left gathering dust, I decided to throw it out . . . and start over. I haven’t been able to finish another one since. It’s funny. I only just realized that!
So turning over a new leaf to a minimalistic life-style wreaked a little havoc in my life, without me even realizing it. When you do Spring Cleaning, be careful what you ban to the garbage bin.