Monday, March 5, 2012

What Matters Most

I'm sorry there was no new post last week.  My grandfather unexpectedly passed away.  It was bittersweet.  He had been talking about my grandmother the past few months incessantly.  She passed in 1991, so he's been without her a very long time.  We miss him terribly, but believe he is in heaven, finally reunited with Grandma.

Also, something wonderful happened.  For several years, but especially the last year, my grandfather has been trying to get the whole family together again.  When my grandma was alive, we used to get together quite often.  We had these HUGE Christmas gatherings at their house.  They had 7 kids and 17 you can imagine what a packed house THAT was!!  But my grandmother died and we fell apart a bit....we all still saw Pap, but not so much each other.  He would talk about this cousin or that when I saw him, but getting the whole family together never happened.  But, this amazing happened during the three days of his funeral service -- we were all together again, all of us.  All the aunts and uncles, cousins, and now all of us with Pappy's 29 great grand-kids  (and 1 great great grandson!). We reminisced and remembered all the fun we had; we talked and hugged, cried and laughed.  It was wonderful.  And now, we all found each other on Facebook, to continue to stay in touch and plan future events.  We all realized by Saturday, the day we buried him next to my grandmother, that this was Pap's gift to all of us --he brought us all together again through his death the way he always wanted.

So, you probably can deduce for yourself the point behind this week's post:  Life is short.  Make room in your life for the people you love.

We can get so caught up in the "act" of decluttering.  Even I can find myself sidelining my kiddos and putting off their calls for me to play dolls or a game with them because I'm busy decluttering and reorganizing a closet.  I have this craving to get it all done, and done NOW!  But, that's not the best way, it exhausts us and defeats the purpose.  So, to use an old cliche, remember that Rome wasn't built in a day.  Your home did not get filled like this overnight and it will not get cleared overnight.   I thought of my pap 10 times more than I actually saw him... and now he's gone.  I sure wish I had even one more visit with my pap right now than a clean closet.

So, slow and steady. You can begin in the easiest way possible and the way that will instantly bring you more time: stop shopping!  if you make a commitment to stop acquiring more things, you will reclaim first the time spent shopping for these things, then the time spent caring for them, and of course the time spent decluttering them when you realize you really didn't need it as much as you once thought you did!  

As for what's already in the house: spend half an hour in full focus on one area: one drawer, one shelf, one corner.  I suggest starting with the spaces that bother you the most.  For me, it was my bedside area.  I was so disheartened going to sleep amd waking up staring at mess!  But, find the space that matters most to YOU and start there.  Reclaim that small space in a few minutes, no more than an hour ( or else continue it tomorrow) and then go play a game with your kiddos, make time to go to the park with a friend, or go visit your grandparents or parents.  Don't lose sight of the reason behind simplifying.  Remember, material things are both expendable and replaceable, but people and time are not!

My son Elijah, and my grandfather:  Albert Summers, Jr.

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