The Blog

Autumnal Epiphanies: Turning Over a New Leaf

You don’t have to be a nature lover to be seduced by the splendor of Autumn foliage.  It’s breathtaking from any vantage point.  Earlier this week, while  driving to a client I was both captivated and inspired by the landscape.  While I would have preferred to be apple picking somewhere enjoying the scenery outside, I still was enthralled with the panoramic view from inside my car.  That day, I was OK with the bumper to bumper traffic.  It gave me time to think.

I was noticing how each and every tree was morphing at a different rate of transition. Some were still green, and some only just beginning to turn to that slightly golden-kissed auburn tone. Others were completely infused with deep blood orange leaves, and still others were already shedding their leaves.

At a stop light, I was struck with the sharp contrast of  two adjacent trees on this particular street; one was festooned with a burst of overstuffed mango colored leaves, while it’s very neighbor was surprisingly bare, almost naked, and adorning nothing more than sparse branches.  Side by side, similar trees yet so different.  Both touched by nature so uniquely.

It got me thinking that we too, have our own distinctive cyclical patterns. A tree sheds naturally in a very organic way, and perhaps this time of year, we can be inspired with a similar kind of change.  We could all benefit from a little personal shedding and let go, don’t you think?

So make like a tree and shed.  Of course, on your own time, when you’re ready.  Whether it be your stuff, bad behavior and routines, or people in your life…shed. 

It’s like peeling off a layer of dead skin, and rejuvenating with new growth.  And just like a tree, you will be liberated and return back next Spring with healthy new blossom.

Is it Autumn in your head? Have you “turned” over a new leaf yet?



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Moving? How Much Sentimental Clutter Makes the Sentimental Journey?

I’ve thought about this often.  When I moved last year (33 years of “stuff”), and realized that ALL of my sentimental mementos could not move with me, I painstakingly pondered over what things to keep and what to shed.  Here’s how I made those tough decisions.

First off, whatever doesn’t hurt to let go of…let it go! If it’s just taking up space because you never got around to tossing it? (procrastinating?) Well then, time to purge.

As for the things that are tugging at your heartstrings, well that requires a great deal more of thinking, particularly if your new space is smaller than your existing one and will not be able to accommodate everything you currently own.  So for me, I took a lot of digital photos of things I wanted to remember but didn’t necessarily need to keep. I actually donated my wedding gown because it had yellowed, my daughter thought it was ugly, and looking at it didn’t even rekindle a moment. I had inherited an enormous box of camp letters from my childhood, and naturally had preserved a collection of camp letters from my own children. I wrote a blog about that very special day and indeed was a very teachable moment. After a very emotional day, I walked away with one or two very special handwritten letters (an archaic practice these days), that I couldn’t bear to part with from my deceased Dad.

The funny thing was that most of the things I was saving for the “children”, they had no interest in. Go figure. Their sport trophies, random school projects and papers, stuffed animals, cheerleading pom-poms, naked barbie dolls with missing body parts, and  broken ceramic crafts, were apparently more important to me than them, and so they did not make the journey with us.

Across the board, all photos were revered and since they were mostly organized in albums, they were a no-brainer to pack. Even loose photos were coming with us.  I kept some classic board games like LIFE, MONOPOLY, and donated the rest.  The ten framed jigsaw puzzles that once decorated my playroom walls,  now adorn a hallway at a senior care facility.

In the end, moving while a traumatic event, gives you an opportunity to revisit your stuff, your past, and check in with yourself; to see where you’ve been, decide where you’re going, and most of all, what you’ve prioritized to take along with you on the journey.

Remember this.  We will all move somewhere at sometime in our lives.  Good food for thought.  How much sentimental clutter do you have?

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Shedding the Clutter Without the Guilt

Don’t some days just feel like you’ve had enough? Your spaces are getting more cluttered, but you’re stuck and stressed about getting rid of anything.  Everything is everywhere and there doesn’t seem to be enough space for anything.  Where to begin?

First, face the facts.  You have a lot of stuff,  I’m guessing way too much stuff.  And if you’re not using most of it,  you’re probably not even enjoying having it at all. Let it go.  Shed it.  I don’t mean to sound heartless, I’m just talking about the stuff that doesn’t really serve a purpose anymore, other than to clutter your spaces.  I’m certainly not referring to cherished photographs or an irreplaceable sentimental treasure or two,  it’s the old stuff that no longer seems to bring you joy.  It could be an old hobby that no longer holds your interest or connects to who you are today, or perhaps you’re holding onto sad memorabilia, useless broken collectibles, or souvenirs from bad vacations. So what’s the point of hanging on to them?  Embrace the fact that at one time the stuff  really mattered to you, and at the same time, acknowledge that you have already reaped its full reward. You enjoy-ed. Time to say; so long, farewell, bye bye.  Purge, baby, purge.  Toss it or donate it.  Maybe somebody else can enjoy it now. Take a good pic and let it all go, along with the guilt.

Enhance your life with your favorite current stuff , don’t be enslaved by your old stuff.  Have no remorse, liberate.  Have less, live more.

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