As I have been shedding weight over this past month or so, I've noticed that I am also "shedding" in other areas of my life. It is as if by losing the pounds from my body, a weight has been lifted from my heart as well and I feel ready to begin delving into other projects that involve getting rid of things - things that are weighing me down, emotionally, spiritually and even physically.
There is my nightstand drawer, for example. I have ignored my nightstand drawer for, say, at least a year. Probably more, actually, because when we moved, we just wrapped plastic wrap around it and I left everything intact - "everything" being a bunch of CRAP. My top drawer is filled with old receipts, random pills and keys, pens, scraps of useless paper, magazine articles I am "saving," pieces of used dental floss - the list goes on and on. (Recently, my husband had to go into the drawer to find a nail clipper and wanted to know why I had a ramekin of peanut butter in there - well, I was just too lazy to take it downstairs, of course). Among all of this crap, there are a few meaningful things, too - my son's dried up little belly button (yes, it is in a wee baggie, not floating around collecting lint), pictures to go in his baby album (he is turning two tomorrow and I still haven't finished the damned album), cards from my husband, and other mementos I want to keep around but just haven't done anything with - in YEARS. The only thing that is kept in that drawer that I use on a daily basis is a Burt's Bees lip balm. Other than that, I would probably never open the drawer, unless it was to just add more CRAP.
A couple of weeks ago, after one of my weekly "fashion shows," (this is when I take out several pair of pants that are too small for me and try them all on to gauge my progress) I was especially thrilled because a pair of jeans I've been trying to get over my hips finally went over my hips and I was able to button them. After peeling them off and vowing to wear them by Thanksgiving (WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG POST FOR AN IMPORTANT BULLETIN - TODAY IS THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING AND I AM WEARING THE JEANS) , I was sitting on my bed and was suddenly gripped by a need to clear out that nightstand drawer. I threw it open and of course, was immediately overwhelmed by the prospect of "going through" everything. And then it hit me - save for the few mementos I mentioned above, I didn't need to "go through" anything. I was just going to let go of all that crap I'd been storing like a greedy squirrel and just throw it out - clearly, I wasn't in need of any of these things, as I had not looked at any of it in ages. I resolutely trashed a vast majority of the CRAP without even examining it. I stuffed a gallon baggie FULL of stuff before dropping it with a satisfying 'plop' into the garbage can. And you know what? I haven't missed a damned thing.
Now the drawer is not perfect just yet, but the liberating feeling I derived from clearing the crap out was extremely exhilarating. I felt freed, like my life was actually changing, and that I wasn't just this stagnant, middle-aged person waiting to get old and die. I know it sounds weird that I should have such deep and meaningful feelings from throwing away old receipts but I really did. After thinking about it, I believe that it was because the act of cleansing was change in my life and an affirmation to myself that I was ready to move on from this complacent resting point I have been at in my life for the past year or so. I was, in fact, changing.
And it didn't stop there - I have begun cleaning out other drawers, like my clothing drawers that are filled with shirts with stains and holes, pants that are too big, and bras that haven't fit these melons in decades. As my pants grow too big, I chuck them - I've never felt better than the day that I took an awful pair of Levi's that made me look like a beachball from the waist down and tossed them into the garbage - I further relished putting more stinky kitchen garbage on top of them, as if doing so made the hideous mom jeans even more gone. Again, the feeling of letting go of clothes that remind me of my past (parts of which were truly heinous) is so freeing - I am letting go of my past and am ready to move forward creating the life I want, instead of the one I used to feel I was stuck in.
I don' t know if that makes sense to anyone but me but I am still enjoying the feeling of "shedding" on a daily basis. I don't have to hang on to the old anymore - I feel free to move ahead into uncharted waters, pushing myself toward true satisfaction by tossing more little bits of crap each day. Try it - you'll be amazed.