The Great Spring CleanA Story of Renewal
I’ve been busy Spring cleaning.
A few days ago, I woke up coughing. I decided it was the dust so I got my hoover out and unintentionally entered into the most blissful state of flow.
I don’t generally enjoy cleaning; I’ve always loved tidying up – putting things in order, creating symmetry and ease of use. Untangling cables, buying neat folders and making every day life a little bit smoother. But right now, after weeks of intense and exciting opportunities springing out from all over the place and causing me to neglect my home, I couldn’t seem to produce anything good. I felt like my space desperately needed a good spruce.
Time to shift gears and draw lessons from experience: though I felt like jumping right in and seizing the opportunities around me, something was holding me back. I needed to find clarity. Looking at the script of these last few weeks was like watching a really bad experimental film: interrupted sequences, unintentional jump cuts, no resolution. Time to focus!
As I hoovered, I thought about the events of the past few weeks and months. There’d been so much to process both in my life and in the news. I tried to put things into perspective and into compartments as I sorted through my socks. I also felt the urge to de-clutter. There were too many intruders in my closet, too many mothballed scenarios: reminders of projects that never happened, of interrupted stories.
Looking through my old things was like flicking through a photo album – fun, often quite touching and at times, slightly depressing. I needed to edit out the parts I didn’t want to be reminded of. There would be the memories I kept and those I tossed away. The formative events, the great times, the eureka moments. I would throw out any superfluous film reel.
So I kept snapshots only – these provided the emotional intensity and cues that reminded me of the feeling of a meaningful moment. Reminders of how I became who I am. The rest was fodder. Although parting with some items was not easy (what if that jumper actually fits one day again?), I chose to let them go, waving goodbye to a part of me that was no longer relevant: the part of me that worries too much, that looks too much in the rear-view mirror and is weighed down by things that just don’t fit…“Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.” - Mark Twain Tweet This
And so I have now set the stage for the next chapter of my story, having made space for the real me and waved off old, unhelpful illusions. After revisiting “the making of the imperfect person I am”, I can now focus on confidently looking forward to the future, to more extraordinary events and encounters. As I put the finishing touches to my Spring Clean, I start to see what the sequel could look like and I have to say, it’s a darn good story! I’m ready to hit the ground running.
A home Spring clean is a great time to clear your thoughts, to sift through ideas you’ve had and pick the ones to pursue, to remember your priorities in life and create an environment in which you can thrive. It’s also a great way to reduce stress: a study by UCLA’s Centre on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) found a link between high levels of cortisol in female homeowners and a high density of household objects.
So why not indulge in a real home Spring Clean, and while you are at it, have a bit of a cleanup in your life, perhaps even using a journal to help you? Cleaning, whether literally or figuratively, is a habit which achieves a great deal more than meets the eye; it is both liberating and grounding. By giving your house some TLC, you will create a space where you can regroup and feel light and free. By removing the layers of clutter which have got between you and your self, you will throw away the things you no longer need to hold onto.
I’d love to hear from you! Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts or email me at charlotte(at)astoryworthliving.com
- Do you have a regular Spring Clean?
- Is Spring Cleaning a meaningful time for you? How does it make you feel?
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Thank you for reading!