**I started writing this the 10th of May, hence the Spring referral.....I finally finished this post a month and a half later....
Spring is definitely a time of transition when trees break into new blossoms and followed by new leaves, when the fields fill with calves and lambs and when the days grow longer. Up here near Seattle the sun still is fighting to shine and the temperature is a cool 59. So while even the weather doesn't feel very spring like, the country side around me is definitely in transition. Inside I am feeling a gentle shift and figuring out which direction I am supposed to go..
Eckhart's Tolle book, A New Earth, has opened my eyes to so many things. Many are very good with a few not so good ones thrown in there just for fun. Sometime in the last few months the possessions I owned suddenly didn't seem so important to me. In fact, I would be holding something that a few months ago made me smile and satisfied and today it left me wondering why that feeling had vanished. And it isn't just a few things here and there that mean little to me now, but nearly all my things. I kept asking Dave why I was feeling like this, why I had such a reversal from my near obsession with buying and okay, I'll admit it here, maybe a little hoarding, to having the urge to get rid of everything. And this happened practically over night for me.
It wasn't until I started re-reading "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle that it clicked for me. This is from
"The ego tends to equate having with Being: I have, therefore I am. And the more I have the more I am. The ego lives through comparison. How you are seen by others turns into how you see yourself. If everyone lived in a mansion or everyone was wealthy, your mansion or your wealth would no longer serve to enhance your self of self. You could then move to a simple cabin, give up your wealth, and regain an identity by seeing yourself and being seen as more spiritual than others. How you are seen by others becomes the mirror that tells you what you are like and who you are. The ego's sense of self-worth is in most cases bound up with the worth you have in the eyes of others. You need others to give you a sense of self, and if you live in a culture that to a large extent equates self-worth with how much and what you have, if you cannot look through this collective delusion, you will be condemned to chasing after things for the rest of your life in the vain hope of finding your worth and completion of your sense of self there. How do you let go of attachment of things? Don't even try, it is impossible. Attachment to things drop away when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. In the meantime, just be aware of your attachment to things. Sometimes you may not know that you are attached to something, which is to say, identified, until you lose it or there is a threat of loss. If you then become upset, anxious, and so on, it means you are attached. If you are aware that you are identified with a thing, the attachment is no longer total. "
Was it possible that through reading this book, I lost my identity with my belongings? I will admit that it feels incredible. I feel just a heavy weight shedding from my body. As I have shared in the past, we have moved 8 times in 10 years and with each move, stuff got thrown into moving boxes and moved across the Atlantic to Virginia. Then back across the US to Washington. All this was done without really sorting through the boxes of junk. Now I have a basement filled to the brim with stuff, closets and cabinets full of linens and dishes and more things crammed away in the attics.
Now the challenging thing is getting rid of all of this accumulative stash as quickly as possible. Once I have made the decision to get rid of at least 50% of what we own, it's almost as if it is weighing down on me until it is gone.
Where does that leave Apron Thrift Girl? I'm not sure. That's part of the reason I have been especially quiet lately. How can a thrifter post about getting rid of everything? Well not everything. A few special things will be kept such as my Ben Seibel collection, my Vera scarves and of course my apron collection.
This is from just one section of the basement. I went through each box and separated it into keep and discard. I kept probably 15% and gave the rest away to Goodwill and a few items for my yard sale.
The most important lesson I have learned is that I now value time with my family far more than trying to keep a cluttered house clean. Our weekends are no longer "our time" together but two days of trying to get on top of the mess. My biggest goal is to have a simple house to keep clean and spend more time with the children and Dave. I miss them and would happily trade "stuff" for spending time with them.
One of my favorite blogs and definitely the most inspiring is Sandy's blog. She is amazing and I want to be like her. I want to entertain and spend evenings with friends and food. I'm hoping that this next year, I'll be able to host more. During the last year, I sometimes didn't even want people coming over to the house because it wasn't clean enough. Of course part of that is still the ego and what people think of me. I still have a ways to go. I think what I need and crave most at this point is just a good balance in my life.