Saturday, 5 September 2015
Lighten your load
A friend of mine has set off to go on the route of Santiago dell Compostella. It's about 850 kms long. It's going to take her over a month. She took nine kilos of luggage with her. The first thing she did when she got to the start of the walk was send half of it home again. She said that's the first lesson that you learn on the pilgrimage. We all carry to much stuff around with us. We need to lighten our load. We need to discard excess luggage, physical and emotional.
I love the word 'Stuff', it can refer to so many things.
Another friend of mine told me to google' People who can't throw things away', she said it's an illness. She knows someone who can't throw anything away, not even old newspapers, her husband. He says it's like throwing away part of your soul.
Nowadays we are used to recycling and trying to dispose of unwanted or used goods in a responsible way so as not to harm the environment. Magazines are full of advice on how to 'clear the clutter,. Some people are better than others at doing this, but we must all have some things that we find hard to dispose of.
There is always sound advice about clothes:-
give away anything you haven't worn for two years.
Sounds easy. Why should you hold on to things you can't wear.Maybe though you might just lose that bit of weight round your middle and then you can wear it again. It holds happy memories, you wore it at a party where you met someone special.
Ask yourself if you would buy it again today if you saw it in a shop.
Well again, you might not, but it might come back in to fashion again.
Does it make you feel good?
Well not if it's too tight and shows your bulges but then again see above.
Ah no, the best thing to have when sorting out clothes is a daughter, definitely, and when you are going through that phase of not knowing whether you are young or old, like in your forties, then maybe a teenage son, if he's got the time of course, will stop you looking ridiculous.
Make up is much easier to sort out now it has a shelf life stamped on it, but then again maybe that gold shimmery eye shadow that made you look like someone from Star Trek might look good at Christmas, or the shocking pink blusher that made you look like a Victorian doll might be just what you need in the middle of Winter.
So the morning has gone and there is a very small pile of things to discard.
The one area where I have the most difficulty is with cards. I have draws full of cards, little notes and letters. As I sort through them reading the warm words full of affection from friends and family I am soon in need of a box of tissues and a strong cup of coffee. This is where it feels to me like I am parting with my soul, like my friend's husband says.
What if that person is no longer here/no longer seems to like me/ will forget my birthday/anniversary this year? All those memories flooding back of people I have been fond of and are part of the mosaic of my life. Oh dear.
The other day I found a scrap of paper, from seven years ago, from Lake Placid in America. All the people round the table had written a dedication for me, for the lovely evening full of goodwill and happiness. One woman had written her favourite saying. She came back to me as though she was sitting in front of me. I haven't seen her since, but there she was, her happy smile and friendly face as I read her message.
There is so much good in the worst of us
And as much bad in the best of us
That it doesn't behove any of us
to talk about the rest of us.
Then her husband had written:)
Tonight the dinner was excellent and the company was more than excellent. What a great evening and what great people to share it with.
So here's to Harold and Marion and everyone who touches on other people's lives with kindness.