Learning to Let Go

This blog isn’t meant to be all about KonMari and decluttering; but it is the thing I’m doing right now so you’re going to hear a lot about it.

KonMari is about letting go of what doesn’t bring joy.

Everywhere I turn in this season of my life, I am confronted with the challenge of letting go. Sometimes letting go means releasing something bad that’s been frustrating or toxic. Letting go is also about releasing something that is good but is no longer good for you. Even still, sometimes letting go is about releasing something that you are no longer being good too. Marie Kondo talks about the latter in regards to unused, unloved items stuffed into storage spaces out of sight and out of mind.

There are a lot of reasons to let go and I’ve confronted many of them over the last few months. I have found that letting go of the things I’ve kept the longest has required letting go of an older or perhaps unrealized version of myself. This is a challenge because unfortunately for me, there is always a version of me I prefer over the reality of who I am at present.

In this process of purging our home from things we no longer need or want, my eyes have been opening to new things about our “stuff” and our identities.

There isn’t much in my home that isn’t more about my family than about design appeal.

Discarding vases that go unused week after week because even though I thought I was the type of woman who would pick up fresh flowers each Saturday from the farmers’ market, I’m not. Perhaps I want to be but the reality is, I’ve only purchased flowers to decorate my home four times in almost 34 years of life.

The reality is that I’m the type of woman who wants to pick up doughnuts and coffee on Saturday morning to create an atmosphere of fun and specialness in my home. There isn’t much in my home that isn’t more about my family than about design appeal.

I finally got around to discarding a dress I wore as a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding because coincidentally it was the same bridesmaids dress from my wedding. Initially I held on to it with that same ridiculous notion every bridesmaid has about the dress – I’ll maybe wear it again to some formal occasion. I’ve never been to a gala, ball, masquerade, formal, or benefit that required a previously worn bridesmaids dress.

While running my fingers over the material, I realized that I had turned it into a sentimental object that I thought I should cherish. After all, it was a symbol from the younger, easier, child-free, care-free days of my young marriage.

But you know what, it doesn’t bring me joy and I love these older, harder, full-house, full-heart days of my middle-aged marriage even more than those younger days. I really do like this version of me better than I was then.

So in this process of cleaning out and letting go, I’m letting go of the versions of myself that taunt me with their betterness and keeping only what brings joy to the real me.

Or at least I’m trying to and that’s good enough for now.

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

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