As you all know, this past weekend was Mother’s Day and my husband was on call which left me with a good deal of free, non-scheduled time at home with Andrew Saturday and Sunday. I figured I would give myself a Mother’s Day gift of doing something I had been putting off for a long time – decluttering drawers, cupboards and closets that I’m always too busy to go through.
I know what some of you are probably thinking – why not gift yourself a manicure or pedicure? But to be totally honest, these days I am working to make my home and my life more peaceful so I can be a more peaceful parent and not being able to find paperwork because it’s not where it belongs does not leave me feeling very peaceful and is a huge waste of my time, which could be spent hanging out with my family! Right now, the gift of time is more valuable to me than nice looking finger nails. (Now you’ll all be checking out my finger nails in future post pictures 🙂 !)
These areas were not only catch all spaces for things I didn’t want to deal with at the time, cluttering my home, but they also turned out to be storing places for emotional mind clutter. I went through these spaces, deciding to only keep things that I loved or needed to file and would donate or pitch the stuff I did not love.
I made this as pleasant as I could by watching some favorite shows on my laptop and was moving right along when I was ready to move a pile of things related to Andrew and My Obstacle Course into my office. As I picked up the pile, I thought about some of the notebooks and binders that I was moving. These particular notebooks and binders contained every daily note written by his teachers for the past 4 years. Keep in mind, these were not sweet journals written by my dear child. They were notes about his behavior, his good days and his bad days. It was as though they contained all of the emotions I felt during those good and bad days (kind of like from a Harry Potter movie!). Did I want these, need these or love these? No! In fact they were seriously weighing me down emotionally.
I thought for a moment about why I had been keeping them and what I was planning on doing with them, I realized that I was keeping them so I could look back and prove how far he had come. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized that I can say that right now without needing to refer back to a note from October 5th, 2009. I also know that nobody in their right mind was going to sit with me and look at these. I can’t even get my husband to look at photo albums! I took these binders and threw them in the trash knowing that whatever I thought I needed them for, I already had it. I can look any one of you in the eye and tell you without proving it with a note that in fact he has come so far!
I share this personal experience in case there is anyone else out there who is holding onto something so they can also say someday, “Look how far we have come!” (I can’t be the only one, can I?) Trust me, it feels really good to get rid of things you don’t need, especially when it weighs you down emotionally. If your journey has been anything like mine, we have all come so far – as parents, caregivers, and most especially with our children. Everyone’s “far” is as different as everyone’s “normal” so embrace your “far” with all of the love and gratitude that you deserve. Thank you for allowing me to share!
Engage, Encourage and Empower!