Perhaps this will be the year I reach enlightenment. That’s a hard one to predict, however, on other fronts lovely things are moving right along. Though the Bishop has yet to announce quite all of my news to all the people he gets first crack at, this is in fact the year that things are happening, in all the good ways that things can happen to a person.
And you know, I was jarred out of my complacency by the building-wide fire alarm going off this morning just after breakfast. It was a false alarm I’m thrilled to report, but as I rushed to get warm clothes on (15 degrees with a windchill of 4 outside), grab laptop and cellphone and incidentally met the eye of my Alpha Cat, I thought ‘oh shit – where did I put the cat carriers?’ Now, I’ll grant you that every psychically inclined cat in the home was completely copasetic, which might have been my first clue that there was no actual fire, but I was in no mood to trust the margins of error of psychic cathood to occur elsewhere, you know? And as my husband and I discussed the replacement value of all of our stuff after the alarm ceased its alarming and was verified to be false, while I was warring with the Janus Twin ideas of ‘it’s only stuff’ and ‘it’s $50,000 worth of stuff you’ve accumulated over the last twenty years, including irreplaceable heirlooms and art’ it got me to thinking… If I had $50,000 and no stuff, beyond my laptop, cellphone, cats and what was in my office (my seminary library, a few knickknacks, a sofa, rocking chair and djembe drum)… what purchases would I make? And I realized that while I would replace everything in my kitchen rather like it is (save the heirloom china and crystal), and the library would be rebuilt book by lovely book, but probably not until last because I’m not sure I could be trusted in a used book store with several thousands of dollars to spend (drool, drool), most everything else would be replaced. but replaced differently.
And that makes me realize that a lot of what I have I don’t actually want, or wouldn’t if I were doing it all over again. And that’s not to say I want to burn it in a fire and start over, but it does make me realize that the stuff I surround myself with isn’t quite what I want it to be. I don’t mean to say that the stuff I surround myself with is supposed to make me happy because that’s a rabbit hole that is hard to crawl out of once one has fallen down it. But I do think, much in the way of Feng Shui, that the energy of the stuff around us and how it is placed reflects the energy of our own lives. Often I think of cleaning out areas of my home as a metaphor for cleaning out areas of my life – it works for me, and one usually follows the other. And if I don’t want half the stuff I surround myself with, maybe it’s time to let it move on and make space for items that would enrich my life or my experiences.
Now, this is not a new thought, but I come back to it and hit it harder and harder each time I do. And it is, after all, Lent. As I write this blog post and munch of chocolate (I find it useful to not give up chocolate during Lent), it strikes me that now is as good a time as any to clean out the old and usher in the new.
It is, after all, The Year Things Are Happening. :)
First, glad you and the cats and the stuff are all okay!
Second – boy do I ever know what you mean about stuff. The longer I spend cooped up with all my stuff, the more I want to THROW ALL OF IT AWAY. Stuff. It takes up room in our homes and our heads.
I’m rather thrilled we’re alright, too. I’m also thrilled that my migraine had gone away by the time the fire alarm went off, because that would have been an exponentially worse experience.
But, yeah. As I think about the shifts in focus that are going on, it is clear to me that more and more stuff has got to change. Things that are broken need to be fixed or tossed. Things that haven’t been used in a year have to be put in long-term somewhere else or donated. Things that I thought would be useful but in the end weren’t… their time has come. Oh… their time has come. And the old things I’d forgotten I loved because I couldn’t find them behind all the other crap? It’s time to bring them out, dust them off and enjoy the hell out of them. And the bonus is that even in our little home, space will be freed up for newness – new ideas, new inspiration, new movement, new life…