I often start with the blog post title, a type of thesis for my jumbled thoughts. Today I challenge myself start with the last sentence, what do I want you (thank you reader) to walk away with. What do I want to leave you grappling with? Joy? Inspiration? Hope?

“If I were to die and you had to go through my things what would you think of my life? Who would you think me to be?”

 

Packing is difficult, necessary but difficult.

I stand in the middle of my wet kitchen floor and try not to cry, how the heck do I have so much stuff?

I could blame it on many things, I could justify each and every item. I could tell you why each item has value, has a purpose. I could tell you I was taught not to waste.

but it is all still there

and I still have to pack it.

I downsized significantly, technically each thing is in use, why then do I feel like I’m drowning.

“Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose” -C.S. Lewis

I know the truth in these words, I heard them when I walked away from a totaled vehicle realizing that, while pained, my life itself was not totaled.

I hear them

when I let go of friends,

both living and dead

when the kitchen floods and I have to dump half of my things. Worse, when the living room floods and I have to get rid of books.

I’ve been through the books, articles, podcasts, blogs. I understand the appeal of minimalism and I will admit to asking items in my house if they give me joy.

Yet, what have I learned?

Not much apparently (flash back to being overwhelmed by stuff),

but enough.

Enough to know that I am not my things

Enough to know that I am not my spending habits

Enough to know that I am not my own.

I am realizing more and more that I place value in things that are not even mine. I hold them tightly to myself and panic every time someone approaches with the big, black bag of death.

So it’s time to get rid of the extra’s. A spring cleaning of sorts that’s pre-spring.

I want to give myself space, space to think without my clothing piles and craft supplies taking up all of the extra room.

I want to give myself space and I want to give others a spot in that space. I need to open my home and allow it to breathe; breathe in the laughter and late nights of good company. Breathe in the glory of old stories and piles of shoes. Breathe in and breathe out. I want my home to ooze hospitality and because of that I can say goodbye to the things that don’t accomplish that.

Whether it be an elaborate dinner or a scramble for crackers and coffee I don’t want to be tripping over the unnecessary.

“Compassion for others isn’t about what you can throw at them to make them happy. Compassion starts in the very roots of your soul. It extends outwardly, first, to those you love. A home filled with good intentions will pour itself into surrounding friends and neighbors, and then even into the hearts of strangers. There is no limit, no maximum and no end to the greatness that can be established by simply opening your door and your heart to those who need it most.” -Lindsay Obenour

And I feel far more confidant that in the end, when my family and friends are going through my things, they will see someone who knew who she was.

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