For an experiment into how much of the packed information I really “need/want”, they have been left packed. They sit here in my office, a mystery as to what’s in each. So far only one piece of information has even been looked. The interesting thing about finding this piece of paper is since the boxe had to be opened anyway, it begged to be looking through it to see if it contained anything else of importantce and you know what? It didn’t, it was only a reminder of how much “stuff” and “paper” gets kept, for some unknown reason. As I took the papers out and assessed them, I couldn’t imagine what posessed me to pack them in the first place and they were quickly discarded in the trash or recycling bin. The rest remain packed. Of course there are some things I’m looking forward to seeing again like my “Staedtler, 20 color triplus fineliner pen set” http://www.staedtler.com/triplus_fineliner_gb#ctl08_Tab-product-tab-2 (and yes, I do “need” all 20 colors) and especially my paper weight collection including the crystal globes marking milestone anniversaries at the company and my favorite deck prism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deck_prism. But for the most part there isn’t anything critical in those 7 boxes. Nothing can’t be replaced or recreated fairly easily in fact.
Seeing the boxes each day, reflecting on what can be lived without has brought Debbie to mind over and over. A few years ago, just before Christmas, her house burned down with everything in it. You have to know, Debbie absolutely loved her house. She had taken great care with the decorating, every piece of furniture, every picture, every space almost, had a story very close to her heart. Katy and I flew out to try to help and lend morale support in the following days and it was tough. Tough to see the devastation and tough to know what to say or do to help. They now had nothing, only the clothes they were wearing while out as the house was burning to the ground.
A little side story here, Katy is one of the most compassionate people I know – if you’re crying, she’s crying, if you’re happy she’s happy for you. She can get on board with any emotion you’re having out of solidarity alone. But she also has a very practical side which will kick in within a moment’s notice. We take Debbie to Old Navy to get some clothes. It starts out somewhat tentative and cautious, carefully pointing out different things for Debbie to try on or buy. Everything we point out she says “nah, I don’t really like that” or “it just wouldn’t fit right”. She’s obviously down and Katy and I are doing our best to stay upbeat and patient but it’s been awhile and for the love of Pete she needs a change of clothes. As time passes, we’re running out of aisles or tables to look through when Katy finds a beautiful shirt. She holds it up and calls Debbie over. “What do you think of this one? I think it will look great on you.” Debbie says “nah, I already have that one”. To which Katy snaps “Really? Really? Where?! Show it to me?!” Debbie and I both look in utter shock when Debbie mutters a very quiet “ouch”. Then we just bust up laughing.
Since the fire Debbie is not shy about telling people she thinks it’s one of the best things to happen to her. She's described it as a freeing feeling. The burned up things were only things whereas the things which really matter, health, family, friends and support were still there. The one caveat is she really missed the pictures she had.
Now, sitting here, surrounded by my 7 boxes, which mostly contain stuff accumulated, I realize it’s not all things I really need or want, there here mostly because “what if”. What if I need that paper or exhibit later and I can’t find it. There’s a growing urge to purge. Lighten my load. And so a plan formed to do just that for the rest of the week. Not just my office, but my house as well (how many things are in my closet as "what-if" I lose all this weight). Granted much more can potentially be purged than I can do in a single week but I’m looking forward to getting started, making even the tiniest dent. By taking the first steps and using this exercise to introduce a sense of freedom, a sensation of making space, even if only metaphorically, for the things which matter, helping to consciously remind myself of, prioritize and value the true blessings in my life. My health, family, friends, dogs and vast support. For each open space I create, I will stop and spend a moment to think of one of my loved ones. To send them love, health, peace and energy.
Here's to you, because of you, I feel b