The road to simplification is complicated. Today, I live within this paradox…desperately longing for an ideal and knowing the price of passage requires this chaos and turmoil.
I have named this the year of Sustainability. I want to be clear about what I give and what I take, and careful to consider needs vs. wants. Moving in this direction requires me to consistently and repeatedly ask the question: “What do I need now?”
I'm discovering I need less than I once did.
I have many artifacts that have carefully collected over the years. Pieces of furniture purchased at antique stores, my Great Grandmother's Persian rug, a piano my husband's mother learned to play on, and dolls brought back from each country my grandparents visited starting when I was 5 years old.
There is a soft heartache when I think of parting with these precious memories of old, as I imagine putting aside the tangible reminders that have traveled with me through time. I think they are more than mere things to be dusted and cared for, because they became my entourage, shaping my view of who I was, or am, or at the very least wanted to be.
Did I need these sentimental constructs to imagine the possibility of a loving family? Or were they simply meant to remind me of my Great Grandmother’s wavy red curls that bobby pins would not contain?
And why did I buy that eclectic mid-century cherry dining set? Was it to create an aura of respectability, or for a place to gather my family around on special occasions (too often driven by my demon of what it should be like)?
As I create both a smaller and a bigger space for my new life, how many of the old things will I let slip slowly through my fingers? Is it even possible to glimpse at the new me through the ornate mahogany mirror that sits above the buffet?
I am sorting through my life’s memorabilia and I can’t quite comprehend the woman I am becoming. Who will she be when there is less stuff to hold on to?
I envision myself this summer, lying in the grass and admiring how the moon illuminates everything she touches without ever lifting a finger. Will I recognize myself bathed in that moonlight? Can her simple rhythm sustain me?
I look up and ask the moon, “How much must I let go of if I am to live a less complicated life?”
“Just your stuff,” she beams back.
Deb Siverson is passionate about helping organizations drive results through connected and transparent conversations in the workplace. She is the author of the book, "The Cycle of Transformation: igniting organizational change through the leader coach." Deb's expertise includes organizational performance consulting, design and delivery of leadership development programs, customized team development, and individual and systems coaching. Deb holds a BS in Business from Regis University and an MS in Organizational Leadership from University of Colorado-Boulder. She serves on the board of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.View All Articles
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