“My grandmother gave me that so I can’t get rid of it.”
“I’ll use that appliance when I have more time to cook.”
“I used to love that sweater.”
“I’m going to get back to doing that hobby.”
“I’m keeping those jeans in case I lose the weight.”
Do any of these sound familiar? I hear similar things from my clients—not to mention in my own head!—all the time. They speak to how much time we spend living in the past and imagining a fictional future. They speak to how difficult it is to embrace our current season of life and to be here now.
What does it mean to be here now? It’s about embracing your current season of life and accepting yourself as you are. In my work as an organizer and designer I see lots of homes that do not serve their owners: furnishings that are dated or have been inherited but don’t fit the client’s personal style; items from the past that are cluttering up the space, keeping them from moving forward; and things have been purchased for an aspirational, fictional self that doesn’t really exist.
Think about what your home and your schedule would look like if you fully honored your strengths and weaknesses and took a realistic view of the time and energy you have available for certain pursuits. Would you keep those unfinished projects lying around? Would you hold on to the clothes that you haven’t worn in years? Would you have a treadmill in your bedroom or an espresso maker on the counter or a white blouse that is dry clean only?
I am not saying we shouldn’t aspire to be better, to try new things, or to establish better habits. I love New Year’s goal setting as much as the next person. But I am also guilty of overcommitting myself and then feeling like a failure come March when I haven’t kept up with everything. So I am heading into this new decade with an attitude of self-compassion and forgiveness for last year’s unmet goals.
I’d like to wrap up 2019 encouraging all of us to try letting go of the things that no longer serve us, including our unrealistic expectations about what the future will hold. Let’s be kind to ourselves and embrace the season of life we are in. There is much joy to be had if we can stop comparing ourselves to others or to a former version of ourselves.
Cheers, readers, to 2020!
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Make it fab!