Every few months my lovely wife Gimalle enters one of her decluttering phases.
I have learned to recognize the early onset of this unsettling process by the manner in which it always begins.
First, she conducts a circular tour of the condo. She then selects certain items that may have captured her attention and systematically moves them to a temporary storage facility – usually the kitchen – at which time she returns to the vantage spot from which she had selected said item and spends between three and nine minutes staring at the now empty space as if projecting a future without that thing.
If somewhere between the three to nine minute mark she shakes her head from side to side, it means she has concluded that we cannot live without that thing and it is rescued from the kitchen and returned to its former location.
If somewhere between the three to nine minute mark she nods her head, it means she has concluded that that item has completed its usefulness and will soon be donated to the local goodwill store or some similar location.
Upon completion of this project she proceeds to the closet where every hanging or folded item receives close scrutiny.
She then selects clothes deemed no longer necessary and they are added to the package of stuff earmarked for removal.
On those few occasions when I have foolishly asked her what she is doing, her explanation has always been that we have too much clutter in our home and now need to get rid of those things we no longer need.
The one question she has never answered is why it is that the clothes she determines we no longer need are always mine.
Our most recent recurrence of this event took place last weekend.
I had invested heavily in two new shirts during a frivolous shopping spree at which time I had splurged and bought two golf shirts at a season ending price of $9.00.
I came home and was busily trying to sneak them into the closet when Gimalle entered the room and caught me red handed.
She gave me the “we have too much stuff and need to declutter” lecture and reminded me of the rule that states that when we bring a new one in we must take an old one out.
I was unaware of this new rule. Apparently I didn’t get the memo.
It seems that ignorance of the law is not an acceptable excuse and now two of my formerly favourite shirts are on sale at the local goodwill store. I bet they are priced at 2 for $9.00.
I really liked those shirts and have even thought of buying them and replacing my real new shirts with my old new shirts.
Instead I began to wonder how much of our lives we spend surrounded by clutter.
I don’t mean the kind of clutter that sits on a shelf or hangs in a closet. I mean the type of clutter that lives in our heads and fills our thinking with thoughts that no longer have any relevance in our lives and yet we don’t want to let them go.
I mean those thoughts we bring up every time we find ourselves thinking negative and destructive thoughts.
Those thoughts we revisit all too often that cause us to experience fear and doubt and anxiety and anger and rage and hopelessness and despair and, and, and, and …
Those thoughts from unwanted past experiences that we have strategically placed in our thought paths so that we can view them over and over again and re-experience all those feelings we have so masterfully attached to those thoughts from those previous experiences.
What would happen if we followed Gimalle’s lead?
What would happen if we realized the “we have too much stuff and need to declutter?”
What would happen if we all choose to adopt a new rule that states that when we bring a new thought in we must take an old one out.
And what if we set out on a mission to only bring in new, positive, empowering, invigorating, stimulating, inspiring thoughts each and every day?
Consider this the memo ordering you to do just that.
READ IT NOW!!!
Or Gimalle will be calling you.
Trust me; you don’t want that to happen.
Till we read again.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours is continuing to sell really well. If you would like a copy please visit www.selfconnection.ca and the folks at Self Connection will ship one right to you. You can also order a copy by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org