It’s the start of another new year and with that comes my personal need to make some new starts and clear out some old ‘stuff”. I feel compelled to pare down and clear out what isn’t necessary in my life and to do that, I’m starting with my house. My home has never been what one would call cluttered, but I’ve spent the last month or so going through every single room, closet and box and deciding what I’m keeping, and why. As I recently told my daughter, just because something was received as a gift, doesn’t mean you have to keep it forever. At some point, that gift may become just another item that needs to be dusted; that needs to moved to make room for something else; or that simply needs to be passed on. I have gifts that I’ve held onto for years upon years, and others that have served their purpose and been passed on to someone who can use or appreciate it within a few months of receipt. In no way does that mean I didn’t appreciate the gift, or the sentiment behind it, I simply feel it has served its purpose with me, and it’s time to pass it on to someone else who will appreciate it.
One of the items I’ve kept for a very long time, is this small wooden cat. During the summer after I completed Grade 5, I went to live with my oldest sister. I remained there while attending Grade 6 and this meant I was away from my very best friend, who I’d met on my first day of class at Bright’s Grove Public School in Grade 2. We were determined to maintain the friendship, even though we were living about three hours apart. To do this, we wrote each other weekly. I wish those letters were something I’d kept, but the jabbering of two pre-teen girls wasn’t something I thought I’d ever want to reference again. The cat has followed me since, and held a place of pride on my dresser in each of my bedrooms. While she has lost part of her neck bow along the way, she carries with her the security of friendship I so badly needed when my life was being pulled apart, yet again. That period of my life is one of the writing projects I’ve promised myself I’ll focus on this year. I’m happy to say, the friendship that little cat represents, continues to this day. While my friend has now been the one to move away, the bond forged those many years ago remains just as strong, if not stronger, quite possibly because all we have gone through together. The process of eliminating the unnecessary in my home, has so far resulted in more than four large boxes of donated clothes, ornaments, dishes and other items. Now that Christmas is over with, it has also included the passing on of my 15-year old artificial tree, and a number of ornaments that have no sentimental value to me. It feels good to know that, while I’ve enjoyed and appreciated these items for many years, they are now going to someone who will get many more years of use out of them.
Part of my process, when promising myself to blog regularly, was to write down possible topics for future posts. My nattering away about clearing out my home, was not one of those topics. I guess that’s part of what I enjoy about blogging. Sure, I have topics for the future in the notebook specifically allocated for that…yes, that one with the floppy eared pup on the cover, but generally it’s me taking the time to sit down and let my thoughts out. As a good friend said, reading my blog is like sitting down to have a coffee with me. I hope you’ll continue to join me with your coffee, tea, water, wine…or whatever you might feel is appropriate, as I wander my way through this process and see where it takes me, and us.