As of Wednesday, I’ve been looking for work for four weeks. I got news yesterday that I will be returning to the same organization but in a different role. I’ll be making magic in workforce development for the state of Louisiana – a daunting task but one I am passionate about. Enabling others to get employment that supports their lifestyle is a dream of mine. The world certainly doesn’t revolve around money, but when you don’t have enough, it makes everything a little bit – or a lot – more difficult. I am thrilled that I will be working for my same boss but in a much more direct capacity. So…. crisis averted.
This week I’ve been clearing out the old in so many ways. I noodled getting out of town again, but on Tuesday the bug bit me to start clearing out clutter. I’ve never been one for spring cleaning. I like to do things when the mood strikes and my energy is high for the task. I can’t schedule that.
I got frustrated with my workout space, so I decided to move this cabinet out of that room and put it in my bedroom. Of course, when I walked into my bedroom, there was no place to put it. All of a sudden, I realized that I could move my bed and open up all kinds of space. I’d been wanting to get rid of that old tattered rug I had anyway. So it started. Two days later, I have rearranged my bedroom in a way where I have more light and space. A large mirror obscured two of the windows, and now they are available for streaming sunlight. My beautiful hardwood floors are clean and shiny and in their glory.
My yoga and exercise room is wide open with the exception of my desk and my altar. I removed the rug out of there, too, so now I have a stable wood surface for practicing yoga and working out with my TRX. Yesterday I was doing a TRX workout, and I found myself dancing in the space. There’s just something about empty space that enlivens me. The sun was streaming in, the fan was moving air, and I was having a ball.
In the midst of this clearing out, I got rid of almost an entire wardrobe. I haven’t bought many new clothes in awhile, and my body is changing thanks to midlife softness and a less rigorous workout schedule. I’ve accepted it, but my figure-hugging clothes are hugging me a little too tight. So, I got rid of anything that I don’t love. My friend Jean Ann told me about the Dillard’s Clearance Center in Baton Rouge, and told me I could get good stuff at really cheap prices if I took the time to hunt. So, I spent several hours there and snagged some unbelievable bargains.
I haven’t worn linen in awhile. I have a favorite linen dress and a beautiful white linen skirt that hangs in my closet due to my resistance to ironing. But, I bought linen dresses and tops this week. Some of my friends wear a lot of linen. It’s so hot and humid down here that it makes sense. Besides, it’s just gorgeous with the right jewelry and accessories. I washed all of them, and I spent a couple of hours steam ironing the beautiful ancient fabric.
As I was ironing in my beautiful sunlit bedroom yesterday, my mind wandered to my childhood. Momma had to iron our clothing. I remember the little silver shaker she used for starch and the oppressive heat in our house in the summertime. I actually loved the ironing. It was quite meditative and a bit spiritual. I felt like I was taking care of myself and making something beautiful that I would enjoy at another time. I remembered learning to sew and how I loved making my clothes for many years. I also thought of Meryl Streep in “Bridges of Madison County”. Her linen dresses – and her joy in wearing them – were so sexy, and it’s no wonder Clint Eastwood was smitten. I wondered if someone might be smitten with me in my new linen. I even started dreaming of buying linen sheets for myself. I didn’t do it this week, but that luxury is on my list!
So this has been a week of clearing out. My house feels free and clean. There was so much pet hair under the beds that I could have built a new pet. But, it’s all gone now, and I have a fresh start. I have new clothes that will decorate the new me. As I went through stuff, I remembered why and when I bought it. Most were tied to some event. I owned yoga bolsters and meditation cushions from when I taught yoga in my home …. a wetsuit for ocean swimming in Hawaii … Mardi Gras beads from my Endymion walk …. pictures of friends no longer in my life …. and a huge crockpot way too big for my use. All of this and more went out the door. I blessed each memory and ended up feeling really lucky to have lived the ever-changing life that has been mine.
For the past three years, I’ve been holding onto stuff that no longer served me. My life in Memphis hung on me like a heavy blanket and was becoming restricting. I had a much bigger home and, with it, much more stuff. It didn’t fit this house or my current life. I felt guilty for owning so much stuff. I felt relieved to let it go. Some things were harder to release than others. What if I might need it again? I don’t want to have to buy this again if I need it. Why do I own so much stuff? Why do I buy things and don’t use it? I’m so wasteful. The steady dialogue in my head didn’t stop me. I was ready.
This past four weeks was a marker for me. It was an ending. It was a chance to stop and think. It was a chance to let myself be supported by my amazing circle of friends and really feel what was important in life. Stuff …. job …. weight … money …. even clothes … are transient. Getting my new role was entirely the result of my relationships. I am blessed to be loved and supported by wonderful people who like to make things happen. I’m ready for a fresh start. The routine will begin again soon. But this time I’ll wake up to more sunlight, exercise in open space, wear buttery soft linens and beautiful new clothes and go to work with people who truly value what I bring to the table. Today – life is good.