My all time favorite joke goes something like this.
A guy walks into a bar…
Instead of the usual grief, he’s hears, “Hi there, Handsome,” “Well, aren’t you a breath of fresh air?” “You work so hard, you deserve all the respect and success you have earned and then some.” On and on it goes, everything he’s ever wanted to hear.
Imagining he must be dreaming, he says to the bartender, “What’s going on?”
The reply? “Oh, that’s the nuts. They’re complimentary.”
I love that joke for many reasons. It’s funny, it’s clean, and like the nuts, it’s complimentary.
Who wouldn’t love to walk into a place where everyone knows your name and the very things about you that make you extraordinary, endearing, valuable, and lovable?
With this in mind I am on a mission to surround myself with things and people that complement my life. Easier said than done, of course. But this is the impetus behind the relentless removal of that which does not spark joy.
In the past month I have deleted over 1,000 emails from my Inbox, 7 boxes of books, 9 bags of clothing, 3 boxes of pantry items, a truck load of miscellaneous garage and basement stuff, and I’m just getting started.
Although Bob is generally elated about this, when he saw me eyeing my shoe collection, he thought about calling my family for an intervention.
Shoes are sacred territory in my world. If they went, he feared he might be next. But shoes, by their very nature, are made for walking. Bob is one of those complimentary nuts I want to keep around.
At this time of year I’m usually in full flower frenzy. This year, however, a clean sweep is in order.
My first clue that I had some cleaning to do was when my computer refused to function. Apparently it had been quietly accumulating updates and all kinds of miscellaneous clutter over the years to the point that my hard drive was full.
If it had been attempting to inform me of this all along, I didn’t pay any particular attention. Freezing up and holding all my content hostage, however, did get my attention.
After a few choice words, I had to laugh at the literal perfection of this predicament. After a year and a half of non-stop training, learning, and accumulating knowledge there was literally no place else for the download of information to go. My cup runneth over.
Knowing how dramatically two dietary detoxes within a six month period could improve my health, I decided to apply the same principles to my home, my office, my bookshelves, and a few relationships.
Like changing my eating habits, changing my environment would require an undeniable reason to do so and a fool-proof plan. These came in the form of a little book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and an understanding that in order for new things to come into my life, I must release what’s over and done with.
While there is a certain amount of melancholy that accompanies the letting go of unexpressed potential, there is great joy in surrendering to who I am now. A quirky coach who can help people get their groove back. The only real requirement was that I do the work first and get my own house in order.
Although I have gotten my groove back, I still have some tidying up to do. And if I do it right, I will free up enough room on my internal hard drive for life’s latest upgrade.
What about you? What’s spurring you into action this summer?
Share if you dare in the comments below.