Letting go… and moving on

Sometimes

Inside my head are a lot of things. I just realized this, this morning. I was looking at something on an email and saw Geneva and immediately thought of Wisconsin. I thought, I wonder how I know that. Well, I was born in 1948 and this is 2018. I am approaching my 70th birthday. In the almost 70 years I have lived, I have been many places and done many things and my mind was on high alert all the time, somewhat like the Robot in “Short Circuit” who wanted to know more, thus constantly uttering, “More input.” Well, with my mind drinking in everything it could and the continued hunger I possessed for learning, that is how I knew Geneva, WI. The big question is, what will I do with this information I have accumulated over the years? How can it benefit me or anyone for that matter?

Recently I bought a new house and it is taking me quite a while to de-clutter or downsize as they now call it. When I knew that I was truly moving, the first thing I did, having learned Feng Shui principles, was to scan the contents of my current house and decide what I KNEW for a fact that I truly loved. Feng Shui teaches that you should only live with what you love. Forget the gift from that special person that you do not like, but kept for the sentiment of it, and let it go. Remember that person, but do not take whatever it was with you. If it doesn’t tug at your heart strings and make you smile or resonate with your gut in a positive fashion, out it goes. Someone else can have that good feeling when they get it, when you let it go.

After I made many trips with the “KEEP” things to my new house, I next decided on the big things. Movers came and that was good – I sent with them only what I loved. Then to the yard… again, another move of those things that I only truly loved. What a process! Done… NOT QUITE. I still have to go through the things left at the old house, discard or give them away, and visit the boxes I have not even looked in for a number of years. And why don’t I just throw away those boxes if I haven’t looked at them in years? Believe me, there is reason and reading on the reason will become crystal clear.

Some of the things left behind do contain some LOVE stuff, but there is no room in the new house for all of them. Additionally, in the new house, as I put things away, hang things on the walls and continue to unpack, I discover that I have taken some things that do not fit the definition of “what I truly love.”

When I have that realization, I put them in a box and am returning them to the old house. I have always heard that clearing out/downsizing/letting go, or whatever you may want to call it, is a spiritual experience. I have found out that, for me, it truly is. It is akin to a divorce or a death. Even if it does not make you smile from its memory, if it leaves you, you have to grieve it.

In 1998 I began a career in radio and local TV. I had no experience, but slid into the chair at the radio station like I belonged there, with love in my heart and a sincere passion for sharing information. I had no fear what-so-ever, I started out with one show which lasted 10 years, and wound up doing 6 different shows a week. I listened to myself if it was a pre-record, and if it wasn’t, I had it recorded so I could listen and improve and learn. Except for when we had a technical malfunction, or the production person failed to record the show for some reason, I have all the cassettes, MP3s and CDs of every show I have ever done from 1999 through the latter part of 2014.

That is 52 weeks a year, sometimes only 51 because I actually had a vacation, times whatever number of shows I had at the time – resulting in a lot of STUFF I love. Almost every single one of those shows has a file folder with it which contains information about the show. Can you see how much STUFF that is!!

My Mission – and I choose to accept it – is to go through those file boxes or plastic file boxes and make a decision about what I really, really love and want to keep. Obviously I can’t keep all of it.

As I continue unpacking the final boxes at the new residence, and placing those things I love where they are to be most appreciated, I look at that daunting task of the remainder of the old residence – before me, Of course, I am asking myself, why in the world I kept all of that stuff? What was I thinking? I truly think, especially with my tobacco show – the one that ran 10 years – that the information might help someone someday, or ultimately wind up in the Smithsonian. Today, I say “Not.” Nonetheless, all of those recorded shows and files contain memories and proof that passion is the launching pad for success. Radio and TV were not the only things I kept. As a chamber director who was driven to help the business community and my town, I also kept many remembrances from that career. I also wrote for The Maverick Magazine and the White Mountain Independent and guess what – I kept that stuff too.

Not all of those years did we have ready access to St. Google or ways to archive, like we do today, or I most probably would not have entertained such an endeavor. I have asked my friend, Amy Rogers, publisher of The Maverick Magazine, to come and help me sort through the mounds of my career and decide what should or should not be saved. Many may say, “Just throw it away.”

Again, it is not that easy. Though it may be the common sense thing to do, if for no other reason than saving time, I believe that this is a purge that must take place with some kind of remembrance ceremony paying tribute to the many incredible people who came on my shows and spoke live or recorded about many subjects. The mere fact that they trusted me implicitly to do this deserves more than a passing thought from me. It is the same way I feel about the articles I wrote – people trusted me and how blessed I was to intuitively know what to write and whatnot to write for the sake of ethics. ​

Such a gift from all of those I was blessed to interview – and they weren’t just stories, they were people I grew to understand, love and care about. They blessed me, so it is doubly hard to let those things go… but… I would need another dwelling just to store all of that stuff if I were to “try” to keep it.

Since 2013, I have suffered many losses – losses that other Baby Boomer generation people have and are also experiencing. Our generation is at the age of losing friends, family and even health. These losses change you. You finally realize that many of the things that you worried about or thought were important really were not. You also, if you are reflecting on your life and your belief system, realize that many of the things you were taught are not so. It really is true that “things are not always as they seem.” If you worked too much, have no relationship, or are experiencing health or negative financial issues, you give credence as to how you got where you are. No matter your current status, you cannot help but give focus to your own mortality. That also causes you to examine your spiritual beliefs and the afterlife.

I had not planned to change careers, nor make another move, other than to the beach. As I go through all of the foregoing and continue my move, my purge and the examination of my life through the reminder of “things,” and memories, my belief is that the new career and the purge of possessions is indeed a gift.  It is allowing me to once and for all clarify what is important to me at this time in my life.

My father, in the last year of his life, validated the wisdom that I always knew he had. He was a simple man who did not care about things. He had been brought up like many in his generation with very little, learning to do with whatever he had, or do without. In the last year of his life with my mother already having gone before him, as well as one of his children, he would often ask if there was enough to take care of him. This was a man who worked as a laborer in the Open Hearth of the Steel mills, one of the hottest and toughest jobs there is, but paying a good wage. He did have enough, but the point is that his emphasis was not on things. He always wanted to leave something for his kids because that was the way of his generation. The last time that I visited him when he was still in his own home, like a Daddy caring for a young child, he put a $20 bill in my hand and was so proud to give it to me. Though I did not need it, I knew I had to take it for his sake. He also sent me $10 after that in a birthday card. I have that $20 and that $10 and the card. It is one of the things I TRULY LOVE. It is on the refrigerator in my new house.

His advice to my Sister Beverly and I the last few years he was alive, was always the same, “Let it go, let it go, let it go.” Life is so precious, even with the ups and downs. Yesterday as I continued to put away the things that I LOVE and want to LIVE with in my new home, I began to see how living only with what you love nourishes you physically, mentally and spiritually. I am doing my best to take my Daddy’s advice and with the things I do not really love, or need, to “let them go.”

The last visit my mother had to her home in the final days of her life, she went inside to pick up some personal papers. As she walked out the door and locked it for the final time, she turned around and spoke to the house. With a heart filled with gratitude, she said, “Thank you, House. Thank you for housing me and my family and for all that you provided, both good and bad.” She, too, was “letting it go.”

In the final chapter of my life, however long it lasts, each day, with the move that I am making to my new home, I am being blessed with the gift of letting go. This move and the new chapter of my life is truly gifting me with the lesson of letting go – not holding on to things that no longer serve me. It is gifting me with memories and allowing me to see the real value of things and give thanks for all of them.

As I drag out my “Simple Abundance” book again, the book that changed my life during a very dark period in 1997, its message, too, is about letting go. The one phase from the book that I have read so many times and said aloud is, “All you have, is all you truly need.”

In the end, if we have awakened even slightly, and take the time to spiritually purge our lives, we realize that nothing really belongs to us, it is only on loan – even the air we breathe has to be exhaled.

It is my intent to “let go.”

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