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Out With Some of the Old In Order To Bring In Some New Things to Our Lives

Katherine Parks

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I threw a lot of things out today.

Little pieces of my life that were either out of date, unused or broken. I gathered up other things to donate to someone that might have use for them or appreciate them more than I do anymore. I'm not even close to being done yet. I have a lot of spaces that have been too long unattended or tucked away.

As I was bagging up clothes and other miscellaneous odds and ends, it struck me that I'm doing this in a lot of areas of my life lately. The term “spring cleaning" of course comes to mind, but I've never cared for that particular phrase, much less indulged in it during a certain time of the year. To say that I'm not a natural domestic goddess is a severe understatement. I purely don't like doing housework. . . I never have. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean I DON'T do it. . . I just mean I don't do it willingly and never whistle while I work. (now shaking my butt to whatever my teenagers are blasting at the time, possibly. I'm getting “mature" but I'm not too old to wiggle yet! *wink*)

For some reason over the past few months, I've been undergoing some changes and some of those changes have been substantial. My thinking and goals are shifting yet again and situations in my life have become more fluid. Things that used to be so important to me that I'd protect them at all costs, suddenly have adjusted themselves in my thoughts and I see them in a different light or from another perspective. It's been an unsettling journey that is not yet at it's end. At the same time, I realize that the changing landscapes are going ultimately turn out for the best or teach me what I don't want included in the second half of my life. Nevertheless, it's uncomfortable. It's at times, maddening. It is, at times, exciting. It can be sad as well. It can also cause anxiety when you just can't know how things will all turn out in the end. It appears my Magic 8 Ball is broken and Ms. Cleo is nowhere to be found.

I started to look through drawers or closets and found a few little pockets of things put there and forgotten over the years. Shoe boxes and bags full of mementos from special trips or cards sent from those I once thought I couldn't live without that I filed away long ago. It's so strange to wander through memories and suddenly realize, that while the events that prompted those memories indeed shaped who we are today. . . what seemed so important a few years ago, would have never been what would make us happy today at this stage of life. I began to put a few things aside to keep, but the majority went by the wayside as being unimportant anymore. The things that are just clutter and in the way now as I make room for new things. Even as I realize that, it's still hard to cast aside things that you once thought were vital. It's also revitalizing. It means a cleansing is happening that you might not have even realized needing, is finally happening. . . both physically and spiritually.

My children are getting older. While they all still need my help and support, the time is coming where they will stand on their own two feet. . . as it should be. It doesn't mean they still don't regularly drive me insane with problems that need fixing or addressing. They aren't grown yet. They are still trying to systematically drive me insane some days and succeeding.

My family (Mom, Dad and Sister, etc. ) had a major upset over Easter. Something that had been brewing for a long time, but in true Southern tradition, swept under the rug for appearance sake for years. This is still not settled and I'm not sure the breech will ever be crossed. I hold out hope, but it's one of those situations where you just can't see the final resolution. Even in families that appear to be the Cleavers on the outside, cracks often are hidden in the basic structure. Family dynamics are so complicated. Somehow you're thrown in with people that you are supposed to love unconditionally merely because of DNA. . . and yet, if you hadn't been born with that genetic bond, you might not even been friends with any of them. Emotions get overblown, feelings hurt. Add a chronic illness over the span of 35 years and all the complications it brings as well, and you end up with a pressure cooker that no one is supposed to notice. It's the big elephant in the room that everyone tiptoes around. I don't think we ever stop looking for our parents’ approval or for respect from our siblings, even if we think it's never going to come for whatever reasons. Yet we still try. . . until we can't anymore.

Personally speaking, I've also been very introspective the past few months. While some things are absolutely fantastic, others worry me. . often without cause, just for the heck of it in the lonely hours in the middle of the night. I can be a worrier by nature if I let myself. I want to HURRY to get to the good parts and have to keep myself realistic and upbeat. It's not always an easy thing to do, especially in some areas of my life. Some things just can't be rushed, nor should they be. . . I know this. That makes absolutely no difference when I'm determined to over think things though. Luckily, I usually get myself back under control fairly quickly. Usually. *L* You just have to have faith and confidence that things will turn out as they should, whatever that may be. It's DARNED frustrating! Patience is not always one of my virtues. I'm a tad too feisty for that.

So, I'm still rearranging things. As I move things around the house. . . package some up. . . throw others out, I'm also taking stock in other ways. I'm making room for the new, keeping a bit of the past to always remind me of what is important or of decisions once made. . . and cherishing what is in my life now that is fresh and good. I'm looking forward. . . mostly with hope, but with a little foreboding sense of change as well.

I know where I want to be. . . some of the paths that I want to take and will find ways to make happen eventually. I also know there will be many more changes that I have no inkling of right now. Some will be good, some not. All of them will be what should be, whatever they are.

Our lives journeys are not predictable, nor always smooth. There will be bumps in the road and times to clear obstacles in our way, whether put there by others or ourselves. We all need times of reflection and rumination over the course we are taking. These times will not be comfortable and if they are, then you are probably not delving deeply enough or honestly enough into your thoughts and hearts desire. To become complacent because it's easier to do so. .because to not do so would bring about change, it paramount to cowardice. Learn to be strong. Dare to be courageous. Examine yourself and always grow in order to truly live your life and not merely be an observer in it.

I'm not done with me yet. Are you?


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