It has been an interesting two weeks. I am on a cleaning splurge. Happy new new year. I plan on having my paper hoarding in order. I did the kind of cleaning that makes more of a mess first. It was the best type of cleaning. It is even better when you use your shredder so much that it overheats. It is wonderful when you get to take trash to the dump and recycle items that can be.
My 3 trash pile policy has worked wonders for my life! I never thought I would be a hoarder until I looked inside the 3 file cabinets with 4 drawers a piece. Every little thing had a folder too. I started laughing at that. Please note that 2 of the drawers had not opened for 7 years. They just got stuck. Just like I was stuck. I just did not want to do it. I did not have the time. I did not have the mental space. I was making excuses without even knowing about it. But I did it. I just sat down and sorted.
I am a self confessed hoarder of memories, paper and other miscellaneous information that is outdated for no apparent reason. I have just unloaded 14 years of that and wondered why I had it for so long. I thought that I would have this sinking feeling that I was getting rid of something I thought I would need 5 years from now. I had 3 huge black garbage bags full of papers. I was amazed at how many businesses no longer exist, how many people who started amazing programs for children do not exist and other situations that just disappeared. I found a lot of pictures of people that I do not speak to any longer because that is just time and growth. There were pictures of couples who are now divorced mixed with photos of children who are now having their own. Where did the time go?
I had an epiphany! I was surprised that I was so willing to let go. The most important outcome for me was that I realized that The New Citizens Press is still in business and going strong. It was a moment. A special moment. I thought I would cry as I looked through the files that were so dusty I wrapped a bandanna around my face. I kept going. I made 4 trips to the dump to release myself of the past. Why did I keep all of it? To make sure that I was sure about purging, I went through each black plastic bag and separated what should be in the cardboard, paper, newspaper and the shred pile just for good measured. I laughed at myself for going through them twice but I would have been thinking about it if I did not. Out of all the bags, I only took out 1 single piece of paper. I was so proud of myself. The feeling of accomplishment has been so amazing. I got 12 file cabinet draws down to less than 2. I have some more to look through but I am almost finished.
Please note that there is a lining of gold for you if you keep focused, set up a list of tasks that you have been putting off, sorted according to difficulty. Commit yourself to self. Calculate the benefits of letting the "trash" go. Including your "trashing" of self and others. Take a risk on yourself because you have overcome or are in the delicate process of. These things you can achieve if you are constantly working at it but remember to be patient.
Shout out to all my "friends" who have overcome. Those single parents who put their children through college, I applaud you. Those families who continuously work on helping their children read and excel in school, I applaud you. Those people who are dealing with death of a spouse, divorce, illness or any other malady which may cause you to grieve, I pray that you find solace in what is positive around you. Those grandparents who watch their grandchildren or who are taking care of them due to unforeseen circumstances, I pray that you have strength. You have done this before and you can do it again. Those who have wicked people who seem to always have input into your life and no solutions for their own, continue to tell them "I am sorry you feel that way". PERIOD.
Remember that if you obsess or you set yourself up for disillusionment and failure, you will overstress. Get help if you need it... we are all good at something and cannot know everything. Get someone to help you organize. Pat yourself on the back for the successful accomplishments!!! I found some of the nastiest letters but the beautiful, spectacular, complimentary letters beat them out by 99.9%. I had to laugh at some of the letters and emails that were simply illogical. I still see the people who wrote nasty things to me today. I just continue to smile and love them because there is no way I will ever let my soul continue to be tainted by such nonsense. Going through my paperwork, I still found it unbelievable that one person was mad because he was stealing my clients for another company while working for me and he was let go. The beautiful thing is that it did not get far. The second client called me and told me. How can you hurt people and expect them to continue to stay hurt by you? Not a good idea.
It is amazing how much healthier you are when you purge. What some people do not understand is if you have one hand in the pot and the other out, it still hurts. Sometimes you just have to take both hands out, walk out the room, close the door, walk down the hallway, struggle with the lock and remember as good measure to slam the door behind you. You may have to cut more than one person off because your involvement with one means involvement with the others. Throw it in the back of your mind and delete. Make it spectacular people. We only live once.
This column was printed in the November 16, 2014 - November 29, 2014.