Letting Go Challenge: Week Nine

Eight weeks down, and no end in sight.  I don’t know whether to be excited or sad.

For the next four weeks,  I’ve decided to change things up.  I’ll be getting rid of 21 things a week (seems like a step back, eh?) but adding filing to it. I want 21/21: 21 things out, 21 things filed.

For those of you who know me and/or have been to my house, yes, this means I’m taking on tackling my office, the big void in which I’ve tossed stacks and stacks of things to be filed “later.”

So, gulp.

I also have gremlins in the house, apparently. The number one thing on my toss-out list is a picture that I loved so much that I gave it to my mother for Mother’s Day one year.  When I bought the house, she gave it back to me so that I could hang it over the fireplace.

Sometime this week, it fell, taking a candle with it.

I’ll really miss the picture, torn beyond fixing with its wooden framing broken.  It’s light through old oak trees–one of my favorite things about the South. But it was also the give-and-take between my mother and me that made it so special.


wp-1448635634394.jpegSo, the things for this week:


I “filed” 21 prescription receipts. Twenty-two, actually.

I’ve decided to go gently into the office, starting with my so-called medical file, which is really a hanging folder stuffed with mostly medical paperwork and some other stuff, too.

Earlier in the year, I started a binder of my prescription receipts, taping them to sheets of paper.  They’re  so small and annoying, and end up in all sorts of places I didn’t imagine.  This way, I can simply photocopy the sheets of receipts for FSA reimbursement.

I just added 22 receipts to it this week. It wasn’t as painful as a catheter. I was pleasantly surprised.

For my toss-out:

  • 1. Tree picture
  • 2. Electric blanket cord (the electric blanket has long been thrown away)
  • 3. B-12 supplement
  • 4. Book: The Night Manager by John Le Carre
  • 5. Book: Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
  • 6. Book: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb**
  • 7. Brown purse
  • 8. Black purse
  • 9, 10, 11, 12. Four Seasons of True Blood
  • 13. Salt light
  • 14. Red nail polish
  • 15. Yet another spool of thread (this time, regular-sized)
  • 16. Suntan lotion from 6 years or so ago
  • 17. Holly Blues by Susan Wittig Albert
  • 18. Bra that never fit
  • 19, 20, 21 Phone Books

The new phone books came in, so out with the old ones. Progress, I suppose, considering I had phone books from several years ago on a previous week’s list.

The past two or three weeks have been a struggle over balance. What to keep, what to toss.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit with a friend whom I haven’t seen in far too long and to meet a new one.

Some people put off a certain je ne sais quoi that my being in their presence feels like coming home.  My friend is such a person, as is her friend, as it turns out.

It was so out of character for me to contact her and say, “Hey, I know this is horribly rude, but I heard that your awesome friend was visiting. I’d love the opportunity to meet her.”

But I did. And I’m so glad I did.  You can never know too many awesome people.

Plus, I had the opportunity to try gumbo over potato salad, something I had not even heard of before Friday.   And really, really awesome deviled eggs made with chipotle pickles.

So there’s that.

My “old” friend was the one who inspired me to start an organized system of purging, and I told her so.  We talked about her challenge and my  adapted one. We talked about how it’s made us really look at what we’re attached to, and why.  How it’s been a true meditation in letting go, and the freedom that comes along with it.

I talked about how one week, it turns out, was less about stuff and more about a strange flavor of forgiveness.

I am truly honored to know her, and grateful that I have people in my life that challenge me, even unintentionally.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that “letting go” is causative of opening up to the new, but I will say that it just so happens that I’m doing things I’ve never done before and trying things I’ve never tried before, all the while I’m letting go of things that no longer have a purpose in my life.

And that’s pretty damn grand indeed.

***(The ONLY reason I’m getting rid of Hobb’s book is because, while dusting my still overflowing bookcase, I notice that I had two of the exact same book. Apparently, I do love her that much.)


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