It’s the new year and media abound with lists of resolutions
- 8 ways to a happier marriage,
- 10 tips to lose those holiday pounds,
- 6 foods for better health,
- 101 reasons to exercise.
This blog will not give you any suggestions for resolutions. If you’re like me, you are a work in progress, always seeking to enhance your lifestyle, to improve your mind, to work smarter, and to cultivate relationships. Those are not one-off resolutions to be written down in January and checked off in February. They are part of daily life.
What I am doing to mark the new year, is clearing my closets. Over the years, I have accumulated “stuff,” and lots of it. There are rods full of old clothes, that I kept because they might be good for costuming, or I could wear again if I lost that ten pounds. (See 10 tips to lose those holiday pounds.) Those closet hogs are going to the thrift store. If those extra pounds ever disappear I want new clothes, not old ones.
Dated or broken electronics. We are never going to need that old VCR and the idea of repairing a broken tv is just a pipe dream. Off to the recycling depot they go.
Harder, are the old Christmas decorations. They have sentimental value, even if they no longer go on the tree. Apparently, they have monetary value as well. I saw a set of my old tree balls in an antique store, priced at $30.00 for a box of nine. I’ve still got mine in the original box and I paid $3.99 on sale, according to the price sticker. Anyway, I’m keeping the pretty cut ball ornaments, but those fabric ones the cat scratched up? They can go.
Clearing book shelves is harder still. Some books were gifts, with the donor’s name on the inside page. If I get rid of the book, am I telling the donor she no longer matters to me? However, I got new books for Christmas, just like I requested, so space must be freed up. I’ll take some old treasures to the used book store so someone else can enjoy them.
The basement and attic, I’ll leave to the man of the house. It’s mostly his stuff in there anyway and I don’t have to look at it, except for my canning shelves. They seem to be full of jars, yet when the season hits, I’m always running out of jam jars. Another run to the recycle depot in my future. Just because a jar is shaped like a bear, does not mean I must keep it. I never put jam in an old bear jar.
Fabric, odd balls of yarn, worn out linens, these are the hardest tasks for me. The last time I gave away my stash of yarn, I needed it a week later. Even tiny scraps of pretty fabric can go into a quilt. I dread clearing out my sewing supplies. But it must be done. The drawers are full and I’m still buying new stuff. However, I’ve instituted a rule about not adding more storage space. Everything I have must fit in the space already allocated.
All this clearing and tidying and sorting gives me fresh energy. I feel as though I’ve cleared the decks for new adventures. The energy carries over into my writing life as well. I’m better at seeing “stuff” in a stodgy sentence and throwing out the unnecessary words. A ms that has languished for years is bound for the recycle. It occupies space on my computer and in my mind but does nothing to promote my career. Time to let it go.
There is nothing magical about turning a page on the calendar, but our culture seems to think January 1 is the start of new things. So, I take the first weeks of January as an invitation (command?) to clear out the dead weight of the previous months. Then I feel refreshed and ready to go.
What about you? How do you mark the beginning of the year?