SENIORS: SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFESTYLE

May 8th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Simplify and Reduce Clutter

Seniors find retirement a good time to live more simply with less confusion and clutter around. A simple decision to review and then alter your lifestyle from complex to simple seems easy enough.  It would seem that it is just a matter of sorting out what you keep and what you toss, what you want and don’t want, what you need and don’t need, what you include and what you exclude in your life.

It seems like a good time to start, this part of early spring, when making choices and imposing some new disciplines might not be so difficult.  Sitting there and casting your eye about, making a mental list of what would be easy to forego is not such a challenge.

The challenge comes when, rising from your chair, and approaching that closet or bookshelf or box full of mysterious things, you then must act on your impulse. I did that not long ago.  I went straight to the garage and cleaned and cleared a series of boxes that contained stuff, some of it quite special.  I even loaded it in the car, took it to a favorite antique store.  She allowed there wasn’t much demand for that genre of collectables.  We struck a deal.  She bought it and I emptied my car.  Ever since I have struggled with having let some of it go.

The Cost of Letting Go

When your valuables disappear into the dark hole of who knows where it went, you realize the cost of simplifying.  Sure you can do it.  But what happens when you cast your eye in the direction of that hole and the long familiar item is no longer there.  Letting go is doable.  It is just not retrievable. Once its gone, its over.  And therein lies life’s little rub.  Letting something go that you have had forever means that that part of your life is gone too.  Silly.  It’s been gone for a long time.  Why hang on to an intangible memory while holding on to a space gorging object.  The answer is simple:  Because I don’t want to say goodbye.

Standing up to all the objects, items, pieces, parts and contributors to your life of how ever many decades takes real courage.  After all, this stuff has been given real power over your life. It brings back stories and events, memories and wistful moments of your special and peculiar life. How can you just cast aside what helped to make and mold you.

That’s the advantage of coming to the time when death makes the decision for you.  Of course, death is something of a cop out.  Transferring the need to be intentional to someone else is really not a fair way to step up to the plate.  It’s your stuff.  Do something about it.  Don’t let the emotional tug of war keep you from reducing the clutter in your life.

If one really wants to simplify one’s life style, it is wise to start simple.  Duh!  Open drawers and file cabinets and closets where you have managed to hide stuff away for years, thus avoiding the imminent show down. Gather a handful of black plastic bags, start stuffing.  Stuffing is the key.  Stuff and don’t look back.  Get it out to the curb or to the landfill.  Don’t think about It .  Don’t dare look at any item as it is pushed deep into the recesses of that bag.  Toss it and go.

Now return home and resume again.  And again.  Until that closet or box or shelf is empty.  Now you are  simplifying.  Throw away greeting cards, old calendars, letters long since unread.  Toss out statements and bills and notices.  Free yourself of the stuff of yesterday and open the window to the fresh air of tomorrow. Do it now, while the weather is cooperative and your determination is strong.  No looking back.  The simplified life is one that honors, but lets go of, yesterdays and enjoys a lighter load. Hug yourself for your accomplishment.  It is not the easiest thing to do, but neither is it impossible.  Simplifying is one of the ways your journey will be made less cumbersome.



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