I have an arm full of cloths on hangers that I keep moving around.
They were hanging in a storage unit in the garage for several years. But earlier this year we moved that cabinet and added a shelving unit. I took the clothes out while the re-org was going on and the space they had occupied for a long time was back filled with a popup tent and stadium chairs. The pile was left on the chair in the living room for a couple of weeks.
Then we were having company over and the pile got scooped up and put on our bed. After the company was gone, it was re-scooped and moved to the couch in the living room. (As you might guess, we don’t use our living room much these days.)
Over the weekend, my favorite teen had a crafting party for her English class Ren Faire group. The pile made the brief journey back to our bed only to return to the living room at the end of the day resting in the rocking chair.
Walking past it this morning , I was keenly aware of how that pile was getting a lot of movement but no resting place. None of the items has been worn in a long time. A few are sentimental pieces. I’m not sure why the rest are still here. As I stood looking at sweaters that I will never wear again it occurred to me that they really weren’t mine at all. They aren’t my style any more. They aren’t my size. They aren’t reflective of who I am at this stage of my life. They aren’t mine. It’s time they move along and find their true owner.
At one time each of these things were something I choose to bring into my life and my home. Each day they have remained has been by my choice. It will take my decision and my action to send them on their way. Once I set them free I will no longer be moving them back and forth from one inconvenient temporary place to another. They will have no more of my time or attention. Considering the small sense of freedom that offers I wonder what else it’s time to send out into the world. I wonder what else I’ve been moving from one place to another without truly dealing with it once and for all.
I don’t want things that don’t belong to me. I don’t want clothes in my closet or books on my shelf or anything else that just isn’t me anymore. As I pull things out and stuff them into bags to take to Goodwill I find my heart and beliefs need a good spring cleaning as well. Just as seasons and styles change, I’ve changed on the inside. Things I held tightly to in years gone by no longer serve my heart. Not that my values have changed much but my understanding has. Not that my faith has changed but my spirit has. Not that I desire less but that I desire better.
There is so much in the world. So much good. But I don’t want it all. I just want what I need for this chapter of my story.
(Anybody need some sweaters?)
The task list is long and never-ending.
The daily maintenance alone can fill my waking hours.
Dreams, projects, desires and goals are pushed down or postponed until the real work is faced.
But what if the dreams, projects, desires and goals are the real work?
What if the maintenance is secondary instead of primary?
What if I have it all upside down?
What if the things I start my day with become the ones I end it with and the ones I put off until the end of the day become the first things I do in the morning?
What if at the end of the day I look forward to the morning because it holds treasure instead of chores?
Today is another example of someone doing the work, chasing the dream and putting it out there.
Amy Dale has written a book. So many aspire to write. Many actually start but Amy has finished. She has had it edited and done the polish work. But instead of adding it to the piles of hopeful unpublished manuscripts submitted for the approval of a publisher, Amy took her art directly to the people. She put it on Kickstarter.
With just hours left today, Amy has already passed her goal by 5! Now 162 sales may not put her on the New York Times best sellers list but she has sold more books today than most aspiring authors ever will.
I am one of her backers. I’ve already read the digital version and as an avid reader I enjoyed it very much. I hope you read this in time to join the celebration and back Amy today.
Amy’s dream is coming true today. What’s your dream? What are you doing today to make it reality? What can I do to help?
Congratulations, Amy! Can’t wait to see where you next dream takes you.
To Whom It May Concern,
I know it’s long past due but you and I need to talk. Before we talk, however, I would like to let you know how I feel and why I want to talk. I don’t feel the need to explain again why I did what I did. We’ve been over it too many times without making anything different except digging the ditch between us deeper. I don’t feel like I need to apologize for my position and I don’t expect you to apologize either. What’s been said has been said. What’s been done has been done. It has changed us both. I wish I could say all of the changes have been for the best and that we have learned from our mistakes. I can’t and won’t presume to speak for you. Many of my changes have been to retreat and withdraw if I feel a situation heading down a familiar road.
So, why would I want us to talk? Because there are so many things about you I still admire and so much I can learn from you. Because I don’t know the roads you have been traveling or the changes you’ve made and I’d like to. There have been hundreds of people who have come and gone through my life but the thought of you has not faded and even though time has not healed all wounds I think you are worth the risk. The richness of you is worth the risk of you. Simply put, I think my life is better with you than without you. I can only hope you think I am worth the risk, too.
There’s a wonderful organization that helps connect more than a million children in need with sponsors.
This morning as I was driving my favorite teenager to school she was sharing with me some of the struggles her friends face on a daily basis. Without breaking confidences she was telling me how concerned she was and asking what I thought she could do to really help them. I was so encouraged to hear her heart for them and that she wanted to do something to make their lives better and to let them know there are people who really care about them.
In the craziness of December, sometimes we get so busy trying to meet obligations, both self and externally imposed, that we miss looking into the eyes and hearts of those around us with intention and compassion.
Today may you see and be seen with compassion and may your heart be open to love and be loved.
In the past week three separate incidents have occurred with the same basic theme…Adult bullying.
The first was a twitter comment indicating that there was something wrong with people who like milk chocolate. When I questioned the twit she said she was just joking around. I didn’t find it funny.
The second was a product that was lampooned by a nationally broadcast talk show and picked up on Facebook. I happen to like the product and find nothing sexist about it.
The third was a conversation over breakfast on Saturday where a woman at my table went into great detail about how ridiculous she thinks English people are for putting milk in their tea.
I am English by birth, Irish by marriage and American by choice.
I like enjoy milk chocolate.
I use Bic Lady Crystal pens.
I take milk, a dash of Angostura and one packet of Truvia in my Earl Grey.
That doesn’t make me wrong or sexist or ridiculous.
I just makes me me.
If my choice of chocolate or ink pens or tea is that offensive I’m truly sorry. But if I change because someone thinks less of me for these choices I will lose respect for myself and that is a choice I cannot make.
Ignorantia juris non excusat
When it comes to legal matters, ignorance is not a viable excuse for breaking the law. With over 180,000 pages of Federal law knowing everyone is not possible. But there are a lot of things that you can know. Things that can save a life or make the one you have run just a little smoother.
If you have a driver’s license you should know how to change your own tire, how to check the engine fluids and air pressure in your tires, and how to use jumper cables. If you do not know these four basic maintenance skills, park your car, call someone who does know and get them to teach you. Driving with low pressure or fluids can be a hazard not only to you but to me. Not knowing how to change your tire leaves you vulnerable and “helpless” on the side of a road somewhere. Same thing with jumper cables. Keep them in your trunk next to the car jack and know how to use both.
Budget. Oh, how different our country would be if public servants knew what this word means and operated accordingly. If you don’t have a budget you are well on your way to debt and financial instability. There are hundreds of FREE sites that will teach you how to create one. After you set one up, teach your kids how to do it. Your grandkids will thank you.
If you have a computer, and I guessing you do if you are reading this. Learn how to back up and protect your information. If you need help, again, there are hundreds of websites that can give you step by step instructions. Not backing up and protecting your information is naive and just plain foolish.
Vote. I know you are being bombarded with political stuff right now. It may be annoying and seem overwhelming but if you don’t spend the time really educating yourself on the issues and the candidates you have no one to blame but yourself for the outcome of the elections. Don’t understand a proposition? Read it. Don’t just watch the t.v. commercials and decided which one annoys you the least. That’s not how to make an educated decision. Decided on a candidate you want to vote for? Great. If I ask you why you chose that person can you explain it other than “He’s not the other guy”?
Our country is facing some tough challenges. Everyone I know is dealing with their own stuff and wondering how it’s going to get better. Not knowing is no longer an excuse. What can you do today to be just a little bit smarter than you were yesterday?
Remember how the churches filled up 11 years ago?
Remember how your neighbors seemed a little more like friends?
Remember how you called family just to hear their voices?
For better or worse my precious girl doesn’t remember that day.
She was far to young to realize there was such evil or sorrow in the world.
She has seen the videos replayed but she has no memory of her own.
How do we hold the lessons and let go of the pain?
How do we teach the frailty of life without instilling fear?
What are you doing tonight? What did you do that night? Has anything changed?
For some Monday is just another day to head back to work.
Be grateful you have a job.
For some Monday is a day to fight traffic to drop your kids off at school.
Be grateful if you can hold them in your arms again at the end of the day.
For some Monday is a day to tell co-workers what you did over the weekend.
Be grateful you are not explaining what happened in court.
For some Monday will be unmemorable and unremarkable.
Be grateful for each moment of normal life it holds.
Never take Monday for granted.
You may not get one next week.