Reverb10 -- Lesson Learned
Prompt: What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year?
And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
Too much. I have run into these two words repeatedly during this beautiful and bumpy year. They are there when I look at the things crowding my shelves and mounting in piles on tables and countertops. They creep in as I over fill my to-do lists. Without fail, the end of the day arrives and I'm shaking my head disappointed by my failure to cross all of the items off. The two words pop up again when I ponder the expectations I place on the people around me and in how I let it affect me when those expectations crash around my feet. Confession: I'm still hurt by the friend who couldn't drive me to the doctor because she had a trip to Ikea planned- in September. Driving home from the farmers' market on this grey, rainy morning, I passed people who were carrying everything they owned on their backs and in their shopping carts. Sitting in my warm grocery filled car, my eyes opened widely. It is time to admit that I have collided with those two words over and over. I hold on to too much! Too many grudges, old wounds, pounds, clothes, cravings, half finished projects, books, expectations, self involved thoughts and commitments. Enough!
It is time for me to let go of this mindset of excess. When I look back on my days, I don't want to see clutter, disappointment, anger or exhaustion. I want to see colors, smiles, and memories of great moments lived. During this coming year, I am putting those two words and all that they represent out of my life. Excess is a burden I know longer wish to carry.
In another life, I had friends who lived as part of a community called The Simple Way. I see bumper stickers now that remind me of their work "Live simply that others may simply live." These words speak to me. I'm not moving into a commune and don't worry, I won't try to convince you to. (Unless it calls to you, of course, and then I know people.) Plain and simple, I miss the version of me that fought for equal rights. I miss chanting about the evils of poverty, fighting for everyone's right to housing, and feeling my feet and hands acting out my beliefs. I like my comfy apartment and my many gadgets, but I don't like living selfishly and feeling my actions and my beliefs belong to different parts of me. This year, as I put down my excess, I will lace up my marching shoes again.