Happy Friday, Journeyer!
I’m so glad this day has finally arrived…
The heat wave that hit the northeast, coupled with a hormone surge thoroughly depleted my energy levels this week.
If it weren’t for the crow’s feet around my eyes someone might mistake me for a twelve-year old. I am still dumbfounded by the fact that a fifty-one-year old still breaks out so badly…
We threw out our old and barely working air conditioners and replaced them with energy saver ones.
We had a good laugh on me as we chucked the two battered units that I accidentally defenestrated when I opened the window. Two stories they fell and still worked; can you believe it?!
Our bedroom remodel was the biggest impetus for the new purchases; who wants to return a barely working product to a brand new environment?
If you’ve ever remodeled, you know the drill: Hoe out clutter, unused, and outgrown items that have collected.
Journeyer, the last time we did anything to these rooms was back in 1987 and 1988. Warren and I were twenty and twenty-three years old and on newly-out-of-college budgets.
Instead of Sheetrock we used a type of wallboard, and when we ran out of money we decided to use the inteded-bathroom as a nursery.
Four nursery set-ups and three active children later, we had even less money to add a bathroom so we turned the room into a storage area since our 1903 farmhouse had no attic, no usable basement, and no closets.
After we lost our main business location to a fire, we were left with no choice but to close our satellite mall store. All of the items we weren’t able to sell? They came to the house and were stacked in that room.
Preparing for the upgrade, Warren and I weeded through all of our clothes, trashing items that had long ago fallen from hangers and were hidden behind the crib frame, the box of his grandma’s dishes, my wedding box, the kids’ saved baby clothes, the dining room table I grew up with but was long ago replaced with an antique Warren refinished…
We discarded many items that didn’t survive the years of being moved around and we donated bags and bags of clothes we’ll likely never fit into again, then we carted all of the others to another spare room.
One of the items sitting on the handmade clothes cabinet Warren made for the baby clothes was the cash register from that store.
GET RID OF IT!
That was the mantra of the day, one that is difficult when we hang on to things we feel might still be useful in some form or other…
I immediately thought of our school’s Booster Club who lost their cash registers last year and carted the machine downstairs to the donation pile.
As I walked down the stairs I heard this clank and clatter that sounded like loose change and when I opened the drawer I found a nice little surprise of about one-hundred dollars!
When I told friends about this last night they expressed shock that I could forget something like that.
But you understand how that can happen, I know you do.
Life throws us curve-balls like fires and floods, tornadoes and tragedy, adultery and disease…
One minute we’re plugging along, whistling while we work and the next we’re moving as if we’re running from a California wildfire.
Our brains become muddled and it’s all we can do to get through the next minute, let alone an entire day.
Exhausted, we set aside those things we plan to attend to, but we somehow never come back to it.
In our rush to meet our deadline to be out of the building, some one of the many hands helping us move likely moved the register and that was that…
Forgotten funds that would one day be found.
Life can be a bit like that, can’t it Journeyer?
We talk about losing our minds when things are tough; our thoughts are jumbled, our memory sucks, we can’t remember words or events or where we put the grocery list, let alone what was on the notepad we filled out minutes earlier.
We rest, we recover, and we return to a more normal version of our self.
Just as often, if we pause, close our eyes and quiet our minds, when we stop being fraught over forgetting, our brain will recover what it was we wanted to recall.
Sometimes it’s in the forgetting, in the letting go sense, that we find growth and peace.
Too often we hold on to our angst, our expectations, and our frustrations.
We keep remembering the stuff that makes us unhappy, which in turn often keeps us lost in the land of unhappiness.
Does that make sense?
There’s one more little irony in finding this money when I did, Journeyer.
You see, the last thing I did before I began the de-cluttering project, I read the bio of a fellow speaker who I’ll be on the stage with at Clarity’s next Clarity Connects event in Buffalo.
Journeyer, I’d like to introduce you to Jocelyn Kowalczyk, a young woman who’ll present WANDERLUST. Get Lost, Find Yourself.
Truth. Isn’t it?
Most often our growth comes from our mistakes…our mishaps…our suffering…in those moments when we’re forced to forgive ourselves and others, to forget what we once knew or believed to be absolute, to find a way to rethink our circumstances and our ideas, and learn to accept and live with a new reality…one that is different than we’d expected, envisioned, anticipated…
Healing doesn’t mean that forgetting and finding suggests our loss event is okay, it merely means we can find a way to be okay in the face of the adversity, that it no longer holds us back from living our best personal, professional, or philanthropic life…
That, Journeyer, is the greatest treasure of all…
What about you, Journeyer? Can you relate? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.
Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,