Last week I had my 35th birthday.
As birthdays go, it was pretty good. It started a little early, as Friday I got many well-wishes and a very thoughtful card from the merry band of lunatics I work with (and I mean that in the absolute most loving way possible. They’re an extremely professional merry band of lunatics, I swear.)
In fact, if last week was a bit stressful and challenging, it was mostly because I received more positive affirmation than my neurotic brain can cope with. Got a pickup on an online article I wrote in an industry blog. Did reasonably well at a client presentation (after quite literally choking on my own name in introductions). And Friday, I gave an in-house presentation that everyone very kindly complimented me on, after singing “Happy Birthday” en masse at the end.
Then my family had a big get-together Saturday to celebrate my dad’s birthday and mine (his was two days earlier). Lots of good food from my dad’s fiancee, and a couple of games of Yahtzee, and more thoughtful gifts and cards.
While we were there, my dad’s fiancee told me that my dad wanted my sisters and I to go through some boxes out in the storage barn before he threw it away. So we started, but there wasn’t really time to go through it all. Big rubber storage tubs, full of our past, tucked out of sight and mostly out of mind.
It’s way past time to go through it all, really. To figure out what’s worth holding onto, and what needs to be let go of. Pretty powerful metaphor for what’s going on in other parts of my life currently, as well.
I have a theory that you’re only as healthy as your reaction to hearing the words “closets, cabinets, boxes and drawers.” If your immediate reaction, upon hearing those words, is to cringe a little and feel a sense of dread, then your own closets, cabinets, boxes and drawers are probably stuffed to the gills with a mix of useless and valuable things. The first group of which you probably don’t want to look at or deal with, and the second group of which you probably can’t find. And generally speaking, the state of our closets, cabinets, boxes and drawers reflects the state of our inner being.
As we start approaching the Christmas season, I know deep down I need to start purging our closets, cabinets, boxes and drawers. We have some serious stewardship issues in this house. Our home has become a logjam where material blessings go to die. We need to start addressing our stuff, in a lot more ways than one.
The thing is, it’s scary. Because I know when I go to pull all that stuff out, there is going to be some nasty, unpleasant stuff. Not to mention exhausting hard work, which is not my favorite thing ever. But the thing is, it just needs to get done.
Wish me luck, and pass the rubber gloves.