Ok. I know. Not sure I should have used that title but I just couldn’t come up with a more appropriate word. Not sure what that says about my vocabulary but there it is.
As a professional organizer I spend a lot of time talking to people about their clutter. We go through all the reasons they want to hang on to it, all the excuses, the rationalizations, and the justifications. In the end, I get to the question of do you love it, value it or need it….really? These are not always easy questions to answer honestly and I get that. I have a few things I have refused to let go of, just because.
As a life coach, I spend a lot of time talking to people about their emotional clutter. We go through all the reasons they want to hang on to it, all the excuses, rationalizations, and the justifications. In the end, I get to the questions of is it helping you, teaching you or getting you to where you want to be now and in the future…..really? Again, these are not always easy questions to answer honestly and I get that, too. I have a few things I have refused to let go of, just because.
All this to say, what we don’t want to do is organize crap. When you throw a bunch of things, that you have not purposefully decided to keep, into a beautiful container, you are organizing crap, it may be beautiful on the outside but on the inside it is not. When you throw a bunch of emotional clutter into a beautiful home or mask it with something else, you are organizing crap, pretty on the outside but dark and painful on the inside. It is time to pay attention to what you are keeping…..physically and emotionally. Pick up each piece, ask the tough questions and decide if it is helping you or hurting you. In the end, you want to be left with stuff that is going to propel you forward and give you room to grow. So, don’t postpone those decisions that need to be made so that your life can be lived with purpose!
As I struggled to write an email to a friend that has been given a short time to live, I am somberly contemplating goodbyes.
I realized, a long time ago, I am not good at saying goodbye. As a child, I was the girl that was homesick at camp; I cried when my parents dropped me off, I cried when they left after coming to visit, and I cried just about every night. As an adult, I cry when I am driving away from their home. I really cried dropping both of my boys off at college and when I had to say goodbye to my beloved dog. I wept, writing an email to a friend prior to her death on August 9th. I had not seen her in many years but that didn’t matter. There was a heart connection that had never been severed and I hated it for her family, her friends and all those whose lives she touched. I wept, today, writing the other email to my other friend who will also soon go to be with Our Lord. I weep for his family, his friends and for the hole that will be left on this earth with him gone. Recently there have been families that have had to say goodbye to their children, a journey I cannot imagine taking.
When I work with people, in life coaching and organizing, I realize, we struggle with all kinds of goodbyes. We all struggle to let go of items that represent the past that is no longer. We struggle with saying goodbye to a relationship. We struggle to say goodbye to bad habits, unhealthy lifestyles, and unhealthy thoughts. We struggle to say goodbye to our comfort zone. We struggle with parting with memories. We weep for what was, what might have been and what we sometimes fail to see can be. ‘
Goodbye is just hard. Goodbye is the pain of change. Goodbye is not just words, it is an unbelievable cry of the heart.
Goodbye is hard and a period of grieving is an absolute must. But after that period of grieving is over you can choose to continue to grieve what’s gone or you can begin to build on what was and continue to try and live your best life now……living with purpose, living with things that bring you joy now…..in other words, living in the present.
I may never get good at the act of goodbye, but I pray I get better at knowing when to say goodbye, when I need to move on after the goodbye, and to live the life I have been given.
So for now, I won’t say goodbye, I’ll say TTFN (ta ta for now).
(photo courtesy of gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net)
I guess I really am a total organizer or control freak, not sure which one, but I planned my own funeral. I actually planned my funeral at age 40 -I am now 54. At age 40, I had 3 friends die of cancer and I was feeling very vulnerable. At age 40 I had 2 young children, a daughter in college, 3 cats, 2 fish tanks and a husband. At age 40, I started to think, what if I am next.
You have to understand, I have some good genes that have been passed down. My father is 95 and my mother is 89. They still live independently, still go volunteer at a facility that helps clothe the homeless, still walk a couple of miles at 5:30 in the morning, still work outside in the yard, still go play golf, still play bridge with friends and still love to read. I have 6 brothers and sisters and so far we are all very healthy with the normal scares and hiccups but all doing well. So, if gene pool accounts for anything, I am in the right swimming pool! So, why the need to plan my funeral?
At age 40 I had been married 15 years to the same man I am married to now 14 years later. I knew then what I know now; he would become totally overwhelmed at making decisions about my funeral should something happen to me. The whole process would devastate him and leave him spent. He would second guess and worry that he was not doing the right thing by me and he would certainly make it a bigger deal than I would want, so I did him a favor and took all the questions out of the equation. I put my funeral wishes all in black in white…….leaving nothing for him to have to ponder or worry over.
Many people do not like to talk about the end of life but the fact of the matter is…….it is one of life’s inevitables – death and taxes. I personally think it is a gift you can give to those you leave behind; have your affairs in order and make your wishes known leaving no room for guilt, questions and unknowns.
Let me end this by saying, I plan on living many more happy, healthy, fun-filled, fantastic years, but in the event of my untimely demise, my funeral plans are in the important papers box in my office. Now, I am off to go do some serious living!