We have lived here in Hither Green for the last fifteen years. We are planning to stay here – so now we are planning a major house redecoration project. Well, I say redecoration! It is more complete refurbishment. I’m just beginning to realise it is likely to be nearly, if not as, traumatic as moving house and the prospect is quite daunting. I have less than two weeks to get ready – awe inspiring. So I have started to clear out cupboards.
I’m a squirrel by nature when it comes to paper (and clothes). Although I recycle junk mail, newspapers and magazines, most other forms of paper stay in the house! But, sadly, not in very good order! I have boxes and boxes of documents, going back to the time we first moved in.
So now each day I get to work. And it really is a voyage of re-discovery! Along side the old fuel bills – did we really pay so little in 1999 – are touching letters from relatives and friends. These will continue to be treasured. But there are reminders of much less happy things – very much the downs, as opposed to the ups, of domestic and professional life. Most of them long forgotten and long since overcome – except for this paperwork. I don’t need them, or the memories, thank you! They will be given a decent funeral in the re-cycling bin. Others are just part of an older life – not part of now and the life I now lead. So I am letting them go too!
For me, this is a very therapeutic process. Good thing really, because there is going to have to be rather a lot of it, before the workmen arrive. But I would really recommend it! If you want to feel completely comfortable in your present skin, then let go the past and its symbols. Clear out the old papers and the dust of mediocre memories! Keep the things that bring you joy – let the rest go!
Make clearing out your cupboards a sacramental process – an outward and visible sign with an inward and very significant meaning. Review the past and let it go!