Out of the basement and into the light

So…the de-cluttering (phase one) was successful. We tried to stick to the reduce, re-use, recycle formula and keep the pile destined for the landfill to a minimum. We reminisced over old souvenirs, we laughed over old love letters, we argued over sports equipment, and we silently rescued a few precious things from the GO pile and snuck them into the STAY pile when the other person wasn’t looking…

The hardest things to let go of were reminders of youth; of innocence, creativity, happiness, fun, freedom, old friendships, as if those times were gone forever. I found myself reluctant to toss away the THING that was the reminder, as if it signalled the END of something. Like maybe I would FORGET…But all those wonderful memories are deeply engrained in me for they have become a part of who I am, so how can I possibly forget? And some of the things that are no longer useful have been removed, from basement and heart and mind. Once I have physically (and symbolically) sent them to the trash, I have cut the ties. The unappealing image of rooting through a garbage heap to re-hash, re-live, and retrieve those unhealthy, toxic, non-useful things helped to put it all in perspective. I will choose not to be a garbage-picker.

With phase one complete, not only did we come away with a great sense of accomplishment but with a definite feeling of freedom…like our basement could actually breathe…WE could breathe. This was only “phase one”; next rainy weekend we’ll be at it again. But for now, we have emerged from the basement to enjoy the sunshine, the light, the warmth, the breathing space.

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