New Year’s Resolutions — "out with the old, in with the new"

As we step into the new year, so many of us begin with the standard clichés of New Year’s Resolutions (mine is almost always the same, I will lose 20 pounds before bathing suit season).

This year, I decided to try something different. I was listening to Hay House radio and the topic was the power of Feng Shui. It talked about starting the new year by clearing out the old, and I really liked this idea. The guest speaker presented a challenge, which was to go through your house and discard 27 things for nine days. I’m not sure why the number of days was nine, but I decided I wanted to do a blowout, 27 things for 27 days. And so I began…

The first few days I was so excited, walking around the house getting rid of little things that had little to no real memory attached to them - a broken necklace, an old curtain rod, etc. But as I continued on, it became more challenging, and then more challenging still, because I began to throw out pieces of my life. Clothes that represented my life’s work as a career woman, mementos, cards and gifts that reminded me of good times. With each item I picked up and pondered letting go of, I relived the moment I wore it, where I was, who I was with, and the memory of the occasion - be it happy or sad. Even though I donated the items to one of my favorite organizations, there was still a great deal of self criticism for the gluttonous and wasteful ways that created the need for the challenge in the first place, which also hit me at an emotional level. Why did I feel the need to collect so much stuff?

The emotion being generated from my closet “experience” took me by surprise. By the last day, there were some tears as I continued to relive each moment and memory, but I continued discarding, as I believed in the original purpose, which was to make room for the new and not live in the past. What I did do was take a photograph of the cards, or I wrote the person who gave me the gift or memento a note letting them know I was thinking about them, how much they meant to me, and how I was just looking at something that reminded me of them. Then another photograph, and then into the box or bag.

I can’t say it was all warm and fuzzies when I was done. It wasn’t. But I can say, there is nothing I find myself missing, and I have a renewed sense of what new memories and experiences I have made room for, both physically and emotionally. And that is why I did it.

As we move into the new year, I look forward to all of the possibilities opening up for me, and I think of that saying that I like so much: “live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” Let the rigging begin!