Friday, 21 May 2010

Friday House Guest - “Is Less Really More?” by Christine London

We’ve seen a lot of her this past week or so, but today’s House Guest is once again Christine London. She’s just got so much to say I had to give her two Friday House Guest slots. Look out for a Flash offering from Ms London on Monday too.

*****

I know it's not romance or even romantic, but its benefits will allow you to bring more romance into your life.

The recent passing of my father has left me feeling the need to re-evaluate/sort/purge and discover treasures unseen. I stumbled upon a book of serendipity.

"It's All Too Much" By Peter Walsh

An easy plan for living a richer life with less stuff

That tagline says it all.

SO I am going through eighty-six years of Dad's memories. Some include me, some before I was even imagined.

Come dream with me... I can almost hear him whisper. The fragments of news articles, the trophies of war, the certificates of appreciation and achievement, photos of people special in his youth; all these things kept in boxes stored out of sight and mind. How true it is that we are all guilty of covering over the bits and pieces of our lives to hide in the recesses of dusty garage or darkened attic.

It is not the few truly memorable things displayed proudly that are at fault. Rather it is the harsh awakening when we realize what’s been cluttering our rafters and closets may be more suffocating than liberating.

Do you own your stuff or does it own you?

Our possessions should not overrun our lives. The chaotic jumble clutter creates physically is reflected in our frustration and sense of being overwhelmed. If you haven’t used it, worn it or looked at it in a year, you probably don’t need it. This is the rule of thumb touted in the book. Of course there are those exceptions, such as holiday décor or that plumber’s wrench that is the only tool to fix the leaky pipe under the sink. For the most part though, one has to ask if the stuff that crowds our homes could better be used by someone else-- or tossed in the bin.

Your home is not only the physical, but the emotional base for you and your family. If you spend five minutes a day searching for your keys and can’t find the receipt to your laptop when it needs servicing, you’re not only adding frustration, you’re burning time that compounds. How much richer the life lived in peace and order? Once you achieve the inner peace that outer calm affords you can’t help but start to look at the way you spend your time. Has it been in acquiring stuff you don’t have time to use?

Cleaning and organizing a waste of time?? How about spending weeks of your time looking for your reading glasses?

All this made sense, especially now as I sort through the files and boxes of a life. Frame a few mementos, a precious representation of achievements and valour, struggles and success. Place on wall and shelf one or two reminders of the wonderful person who has moved on. Even these are tokens—keepsakes of a man whose memory could never be erased even if the house he loved were to burn down tomorrow with everything in it.

It’s just stuff and the stuff is not the memory.

Memory is something no time, change, rust, mildew, weather or act of God can disenfranchise.

May your path lead you to discover the wonders under your own roof. You can get rid of the things. Take a photo of that which you wish to muse over, but don't clutter your life and mind with objects. Those shoes you wore to prom are not the memory. Snap a digital of them and let them go.

When you have breathing room there's room for life. After all, there’s so much more good to tumble in...

like love, romance and the ability to write and read, dance and sing-- all that is really important. Enrich and declutter.

Thanks for the memories, Dad.

Christine London

www.christinelondon.com

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