Courage, change and clutter.
Sorry, I didn't know what to call this thread (obviously!:))but I just found this forum yesterday, and I've already read the first 6 months of posts from Sept 04.
One thing I've been really aware of as I've been on a simplifying, de-cluttering "journey", since moving to our new home 2 years ago, is the change in my attitude to so many things. Some of this change was deliberate and some I wasn't even aware of until I look back and see what I used to have and do.
Probably the hardest thing for me to let go of has been the fear of what others think, especially when what I'm letting go is the "standard" practice among my contemporaries. But I have found that most times, my friends and rellies, while they are at first surprised and a bit bemused, many of them have either followed suit, or wish they could. Eg, When my Mum asked me where I would be putting our china cabinet in our new home, she was genuinely shocked when I told her I'd sold it. When I explained that I no longer needed it, as I no longer had any knick knacks, ornaments and collections to display, because I'd sold them also, she looked truly confused. Then she said, "But EVERYone has to have a china cabinet..... don't they?" But when she came to visit later, she looked around our house, and commented, "This is perfect.. you don't need knick knacks at all. Don't add any will you?"
The biggest change is that where once I thought there was value in tangible "things", now I'm realising more and more that it is the intangibles that are of lasting value.
I always bought people gifts that would last! Anything else seemed a waste. Now I give ONLY what won't last..either eaten, used up or enjoyed with nothing left to show but a wonderful memory and feeling of having been cared about.
Records, photos, keepsakes etc. I have learnt that I don't need to record every event, person, growth stage etc. Eg, our grandkids, we enjoy being with them, whether they're newborn or school age, and I don't need to record what they were like at every stage. Don't get me wrong. We have photos and home videos and love them, but it's no longer a burdensome obligation to take and keep photos. I guess that's me learning to live in the moment.
This change in my thinking has had a ripple effect on so many areas of our lives now, from Xmas cards to holidays, to shopping and eating, to how we live and how we spend our time.
When I see some of my dearest friends living stressed, burdened and chaotic lives, all in the name of enjoying "stuff", it makes me feel guilty... as though I have been given the key to a wonderful huge secret. Yet it really just stems back to my having read once that it was perfectly ok to get rid of what I no longer used or loved. As simple as that. And I'm finding that I love less and less "stuff" and love life itself more and more.
I'd love to hear of other's experiences in how they've changed, because that was what gave me the courage to begin to let go.
Sorry for such a long post, but I hope you'll make allowances for the fact that I'm brand new here, and brimming over with enthusiasm for having found a place where I can express these feelings.
I'm ready to listen now, and then I'll head back to October 2004 and read some more archives from this forum.:)