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Busy, Busy Days on the Way to Letting Go

Arm's Length Away (182/365)
Creative Commons License photo credit: rawheadrex

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.

— Unknown

For the recent holiday weekend I proclaimed myself a four-day-weekend and set about doing a myriad of tasks that used to be either “he or we” projects, never mine alone… I was busy, busy, busy.  I was “letting go”.

Letting Go Ain’t for the Faint of Heart

Letting go takes a lot of work and determination.  It’s MUCH easier to just let things be.  But I knew that moving on, transitioning “from we to me”, required doing “what don’t come easy”… and I, not someone else, needed to do the choosing: keep or let go?

It Was a Close Call

There was a point when I despaired of ever making any decisions, I just couldn’t bear to let go of anything no matter what it was.  So how’d I power through?  I didn’t.

I took breaks.  Many, many breaks…

An outsider might call it procrastinating (partially right) but I called it “doing som’n else”… a necessary and healthy way of working through a difficult time.  So, interspersed with bouts of deciding, I read some, I walked some.  (I considered raiding the Halloween candy but hid the unopened bags instead.)  I put on some lively radio music.  And doggedly, I persisted in getting the job done because people had been enlisted to help… people were showing up on Saturday and I had to show up too – with stuff I was letting go.

I Was Busy!

  • Putting on a yardsale… a task that would have been impossible without the help of several near-and-dear-to-me relatives. And we were happy to have the detailed and annotated sign map my husband created for previous yard sales; he had definite opinions about “proper signage!”  Anyway, other people paid us to haul away our discards – ya gotta love a yardsale!
  • Rigging up our, oops, make that “my” lighted pumpkin so that Trick-or-Treaters would know to come down my street… a seemingly simple exercise that, frustratingly, required his expertise – after I had it all plugged in, no electricity, no juice…  Thankfully, he was a forward thinking guy, and left himself, and now me, a penned-in note on the extension box – “top two on timers, use the bottom two” he wrote.  Bless him, he did that a lot, wrote little instruction notes I never really appreciated until he was gone.
  • Soaking off all the grime and angst of the yardsale and lighted pumpkin exercise with a relaxing hour-long tub bath. Almost skipped that treat, glad I didn’t.
  • Dressing up for Halloween and greeting 100+ joyful trick-or-treaters.  Another “almost didn’t” – for days I had been dreading this delightful holiday because he got such a kick out of it so we had much fun together doing it.  No parties for us, we needed be home to give out treats – his tradition was Hershey’s with Almond Bars, the real deal!

I’m glad I didn’t just turn out the lights and hide out with a TV program… I would have missed the laughing-out-loud 3 year old skeleton who chattered, “I like your pumpkin!” and “Look, there’s a scarecrow!” and “Thank you for the candy!”  He must drive his mother bonkers, he’s so verbal!  And the itty bitty Cinderella with glittering shoes that lit up with every step as she scampered away.  And the two teenagers who bantered a good cop, bad cop routine.

  • Delivering a big load of clothes to charity, adding some foodstuff to the collection basket and attending church.  Only to realize, duh, it was All Souls Day – with parishioners invited to write the names of those who had died into the parish remembrance book.  Oh dear, wasn’t expecting that.
  • Putting my home and garage back together (well sort of) post-yardsale and then cleaning house… with the help of yet another relative because we have company coming on Monday.
  • Switching Halloween decorations to Thanksgiving decorations, changing all the clocks back to standard time, chatting with several neighbors, grocery shopping, reading 2/3 of [amazon-product text=”Journey to Center” type=”text”]0684839229[/amazon-product] by Thomas Crum, and 1/3 of [amazon-product text=”The Fourth Estate” type=”text”]0061092037[/amazon-product] by Jeffrey Archer.
  • Oh yeah, and wrapping up my week’s walking – I managed to exceed my 15 miles/week walking goal!  Hurrah for me.

For Now, Enough

It’s done.  I did it.  I let go of stuff: clutter stuff that no longer serves me, his stuff and our stuff that are no longer fun to own alone.  I’m pretty sure there’s more I need to let go of and it’s not just more “stuff”.  But not today.  I’ve let go this much.

I’m doing OK and I’ve stepped forward.  And I’m eager to “see what happens” now…

What “stuff” do you need to let go of so you can move on with your life?  Think about it and find a way to ease yourself into the letting go of it.

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