Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Slate is Clean, Sort of ~ by Magdalena Scott


On December 26th, I dismantled my vintage aluminum Christmas tree, and took down the hand-stitched and sequined "Joy" banner that was a gift years ago. Jingle bells and the brilliant red bow were removed from my all-season door wreath, and the mistletoe I kept forgetting about was muttered at and jerked out of its spot above the door. These and the other decorations are all stowed away for next year. (Even the mistletoe. Surely next year I'll remember to look up, all innocent-like, and say, "Oooh! Mistletoe!" at the correct moment.)

I had a lovely Christmas. It was filled with family, friends, beautiful music, and delicious food. But the minimalist in me delights in removing the extraneous. Although I greatly enjoyed my decorations, after a month they had begun to look and feel like clutter to me.

Making Space

When I took the four boxes (the smallest of which contains the tree) out of the closet the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I decided they wouldn't go back in until there was space on a lower shelf.

It wasn't a great idea to be on tiptoes on my little step stool to get them from the top shelf in my ten-foot-high closet, and I refused to re-enact that dangerous move. (A bad ankle sprain in September helps me be realistic about some things.) The boxes sat out longer than I'd like (talk about clutter!) but before holiday guests arrived, I re-arranged things enough to nestle them one shelf lower.

The decluttering and re-arranging hasn't ended yet. I'd love for it to continue indefinitely!

But here's my guilty admission. I'm hosting a luncheon on New Year's Day, and was shifting some dishes around looking for a better way to store them...

Guess Who Still Owns a Deviled Egg Plate

Yep--that would be me. I also unearthed the big etched-glass plate that would have been perfect for serving something somewhere in the last five years. When I didn't find it (whenever that was) in the only place it could possibly be, I decided the beautiful antique had sold at our auction.

Nope--not sold. Just over-owned. You would think (or at least, I would think) that, as limited as my storage space is, and as much as I've embraced minimalism, I wouldn't get all weird about whether or not a specific item answers roll call.

Sigh. Somebody still has work to do. And part of it is mental work. It's much easier to shift stuff in a closet than it is to shift thinking. But hey--I'm up for it. And I'm excited about it! Do you know why?

It's Time for a Clean Slate

Did you read Mary Alford's post here yesterday, about 2018? If not, take a moment and do so.

I won't ask for your resolutions; Mary has already begun that conversation. I will ask, what are you leaving behind in 2017? I'm leaving over-commitment, lack of organization, and negative thinking. When the clock strikes midnight and the new year begins, I will not carry those heavy burdens with me into 2018.

Incidentally, another thing that will not accompany me into the new year is an item received at the extended-family gift exchange on Christmas night. Due to some confusion, I didn't end up with a gift. And that, my friends, was the very best I could have hoped for. Instead of having a new belonging to read instructions about, store, dust, etc., I left the gathering with empty hands but a heart full of memories.



If you're interested in simplifying your life, I have a suggested reading list on my website. You can find it here: http://www.magdalenascott.com/p/simplify-your-life.html

I also wrote a romance about a young woman who realizes she can't reinvent herself after a near-fatal car wreck unless she leaves behind the burdens that tie her to the past. Find Emily's Dreams here.

Until we meet again,

Happy reading!
Magdalena Scott

www.magdalenascott.com




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14 comments:

  1. Love it, Magdalena. You've inspired me to be a minimalist and to leave behind things like over committing and self doubt. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Mary, thank you for reading! Enjoy leaving those burdens behind here in 2017.

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  2. The past few months, I've been trying to throw out something in every main room of our house. I'm taking that into 2018 and leaving behind negative thinking and unnecessary worry.

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    1. Jean, it sounds like you've accomplished a lot already! It feels great to lighten the load, doesn't it? I'm right with you on the unnecessary worry. I need to add that to my castoffs!

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  3. I need to do that. My husband doesn't want to get rid of things like I do. If I have to dust it, I don't want it. That's my new motto.


    Margaret

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    1. Margaret, my husband couldn't let go of things either. He was a strong, brilliant man, but even when he was healthy, probably could not have gone through what I did in downsizing from our house filled with generations of belongings.

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  4. I've been doing a great job in letting go, finally. My sis and I had a chat about packing away the pretties to sell the furniture taking up too much space, and the friend who'd asked if those boxes of pretties would ever be opened. My thought is, will they be missed? It's definitely a process, not a project, but it's very freeing.

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    1. Blessings to you and your sister, Aileen, as you go through those family possessions. Sometimes doing that work together rekindles the memories, helping us realize that we don't need the physical item to feel close to the loved one it belonged to.

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  5. I have a storage building full of pretties! I have given away a lot of things in my house, but, haven't made a dent in it.

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    1. Oh my goodness, Linda. That does sound like a lot of work! But ours was also a massive task. I just went through items one at a time. I made more decisions than I would have thought possible! Eventually it was done, and so worth it.

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  6. My church asks us to pick a word every year--and the word I picked this year is "simple." Thanks for an excellent and timely post, Magdalena.

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    1. Oh, I love your word choice, Josie! Mine for 2017 was "mindfulness." You might have seen 2018's on the marker board. "Intention." Go us, right? :)

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  7. This year I got rid of two small Christmas trees that I used to put up on a high shelf that overlooks our living room. I decided I'm getting too old to climb up there. Besides, a young woman from our church has made it her mission to find people who are in need of a Christmas tree. She finds folks who can't afford one and gives them away completely decorated to these people. I was happy to join in her mission.

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    1. What a lovely mission, Merrillee, and how delightful that you could participate in it!

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