It is an interesting period for me, right now ~
The time has come, my heart surgeon has informed Dan and I,
to move ahead with my heart surgery.
I am now waiting to go through for a few more tests
and then we will be given a date.
I have felt all sorts of emotions around the processing of this big news:
relief, conviction, fear, anger, excitement, anticipation, confusion, frustration, deep gratitude….
One of my biggest challenges, though, has simply been around what to do with myself during this time.
I am the sort of person that thrives on expansion in every direction and operating from her extensive lists,
constantly setting new goals and getting things done,
drawing lines through my items accomplished as quickly as I add more new things to do.
This all, I admit, makes me feel productive and useful and alive and a part of things.
Yet, here I am,
suddenly being asked to slow right down,
and take loving care of myself in all ways to prepare for what my body is about to go through ~
My priorities have suddenly become
not adding too many new things to my lists,
long walks and stretching,
eating wholesome foods,
staying calm and grounded by being mindful and meditating,
attending to myself and my family, and letting my family and friends attend to me.
I am also slowly but surely tidying things up at home,
paying attention to many of the little chores and projects that will allow me to feel organized and happier during my recuperation time.
One of those projects involves decluttering my working space, the room that stores all of my many books, paper and art supplies. This is a job that I have been trying to get to for at least two years, as the room has become a chaotic disaster, nothing more than a place to put everything.
I am finding myself moving through this particular task gently and lovingly, working on it a bit each day, combing though books and old pictures, cards, old journals,
making recurring trips to Michael’s for more wicker baskets,
and feeling so re-inspired by all of the wonderful things that I forgot I owned.
As the space begins to transform and stuff gets cleared out I feel noticeably lighter.
And so it strikes me that perhaps, in life,
there may be times of transition,
wherein we feel seriously called to declutter not just our rooms but our life in its entirety.
We must stop, blink as if we are just waking up,
assess our surroundings, reflect on where we are putting our time and energies and ask ourselves,
‘Is this necessary?’
‘Do I even want this anymore?’
‘Is this a good use of my time?’
‘Does this serve me? Does this serve my family?’
‘Is this still a good fit?’
‘Does this still interest me?’
Magically, I am finding that in the distilling, the decluttering, the clearing away,
and the slowing down,
a gentle and bright clarity is undeniably coming.
Surprisingly, underneath all of the stuff and the people and the events and the clutter and the aspirations,
I was driving by our urban lake one afternoon this week, and heard a tiny voice inside my head say,
‘Walk around the lake.’
committed to my new plan of slowing down and listening.
After dropping off several bags of used books at George’s school, I returned to the lake and walked its perimeter.
The weather was cold, but the air was still.
It was just me alone with the sounds of my steps, my breath.
I passed a handful of senior citizen couples, we all smiled at each other and said hello,
and one older gentleman deeply engrossed in preparing his fishing line as he sat on a bench,
and, oh yeah,
Why hello, Canada Geese.
I see you.
we all are.
Thich Nhat Hanh writes,
Walk wherever you are. Don’t wait for the perfect forest path. Even when you go to the bus stop, make it into a walking meditation. Even if your surroundings are full of noise and agitation, you can still walk in rhythm with your breathing. Even in the commotion of a big city, you can walk with peace, and happiness, and an inner smile. This is what it means to live fully in every moment of every day of your life.
My Little Girl
5 thoughts on “On decluttering, walking, and my little girl….”
Karen, I don’t think you could have better friends and family to get you through tough times. Olivia is beautiful and a walk around the lake can be very transformative. But decluttering? You? I have never seen a less cluttered home in my life. I’m sure I’ve told you the story (ad nauseam) about the time Alex was complaining about not being able to find her sleeping bag at your place. I asked her how that was even possible and coined a saying that is still used in our house. “Nothing, nothing, nothing, candle. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, sleeping bag. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing polished rock.”
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Oh Laurie, you do know how to make me giggle. Trust me, there is clutter. xo
I love this. So many good thoughts. First, will pray for you that surgery goes well and recovery is as easy as possible. Second, yes to the looking at things anew. Unfortunately, it seems life has to throw a real doozy at us to get us to do it. I’m in that place right now and am trying to choose faith versus terror/fear. Third, that pic of your daughter? Awwwww . . . .:)
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Thanks for the prayers and support, Kay!
Life does throw us some real doozies, doesn’t it? My goodness, my entire life has felt like an exercise in choosing faith over fear. It is slowly but surely feeling easier to trust, though.
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