Welcome friends. A Jug of White Daisies is about my life and all the thoughts that come to me while I'm walking, doing the dishes, having a shower or hanging washing on the line - some of my regular activities that give me time to think. It's about all the things that make up my life - cooking, cleaning, creating, loving, learning, discovering, rolling my eyes, sighing, smiling, forgiving, making do, making the most of, looking up, gardening, hugging, being. It's about the things that I make for sale, fabulous finds, the wisdom and beauty in the world, and it's about stopping to admire the simple perfection of daisies.

And in amongst all the thinking and writing about that, I'll be doing it all, and more, so if you don't see me for a day or two, please send chocolate.

May 31, 2014

Stuff be Gone

This week I have been sorting through drawers and boxes, clearing out stuff that I don't love or want to have any more. I have been a crafter of many persuasions my whole life and as every crafter knows that means stuff! Stuff, stuff, stuff. Paper crafting stuff, sewing stuff, beading stuff, inspirational stuff, quilting stuff, tools to do it all, stuff that will come in handy one day... some of it hasn't even been unpacked into this house. It's still in boxes from our move 6 months ago.

And it's not just craft stuff. Being my age (Which I don't believe I am - how can that be true? There's a mix up, I'm sure.) means I have been around long enough to accumulate a - well - a lifetimes worth of purchases and gifts, equipment, supplies and goods.

I get this itch now and then, and usually I scratch it just enough to ease the discomfort. I go through my wardrobe, or tidy out my kitchen or desk drawers, or buy a new storage system. It feels good. It feels satisfying.

But it doesn't really solve the problem. Rather, it is just a first step, and it's like when you go on a diet and avoid cake all the first day so you reward yourself the second day. (oops, did I just admit that out loud?) You need to keep doing it to actually fix the problem!

Don't get me wrong - I don't want minimalist. I like my pretty little bits and pieces around the place, and the things that have no value except emotional. I don't want to walk into a room that looks staged rather than lived in (although I do rather like it to be tidy) and I don't want to start over completely. I just want less accumulation. Less so that I can see more clearly who I am.

And I have changed in the last few years, from liking one style to liking a different style. Which means a lot of the things in my house, my craft room and my wardrobe don't "fit" anymore. Have you ever felt that way? I was quite surprised by the shift actually. I thought I was who I was and that was it. But change does happen.

Anyway, clearing the clutter: it's something that's often talked about. There are whole sections of books in the shops full of advice. You can hardly go online these days without seeing something about it. Tips, hints, schedules... so many of us seem to need a shove, or to be guilted into it.

I'm old enough now to shed guilt as well. Pfft, who needs it, it didn't work all these years, to heck with it! I am looking at this journey in a positive way. I have such abundance in my life! And I am letting some of it go to where it's needed more, and letting myself breathe again and open up to new possibilities. Much like Mother Nature, I'm shaking off the autumn leaves and getting ready to unfurl some fresh growth.

One drawer, one box, one shelf, one pile of stuff at a time. Just deal with this one thing, and it's not overwhelming. I have taken some of that online advice, such as things like if you don't find it useful or beautiful, then don't keep it. Really? I needed to find that wisdom online? Well, obviously I do. Some of the advice is ridiculous. Who'd have thought the tips on decluttering need to be decluttered as well? Ha!

I must have hoarding tendencies though (I can see my friend raise her eyebrows here in a "ya think?" kind of way) because each thing has a story, and I have to touch it all and decide on each piece individually. I kind of have to justify everything going. Ugh... I hate that. But it's part of my journey so I am just letting it happen. But I am making it happen fast, and I am trying not to dither. I heard someone say on the radio just recently that if you are dithering it's a no. A yes is a yes. She wasn't talking about clutter, but it works just as well.

I find that I am redistributing some things rather than moving them on, but that's OK too, to a certain degree, because some things are semi precious and I'm not ready to let them go ... yet. (Does it sound like I'm justifying here? Dang...) I will be doing this for a while, so I can revisit everything and continue the process and maybe next time around I will let those things go too. Or maybe now that I've recognised this by putting it down here, I will go pick them up right now and move them on. Dither, dither... oh yeah, dithering means no.

And that leads us to the other feeling about clutter that lurks in hidden corners. As much as it feels great and totally satisfying at the end, and a huge relief even, there is this other part that... eh... lurks in hidden corners... that feels a bit resentful during the process. I'm learning to calm that part. It's no good to just tell it to shut up, then it just feels justified. But to soothe it, and see it as part of the process, does help. Resentment is just fear. You don't scold a fearful child, you soothe them.

So, what have I learned so far this week? (Or rediscovered..)

1. It feels good to have an empty drawer.
2. It feels good to only have things I love surrounding me.
3. It can feel great, a relief or worrying to let things go but
4. My life is abundant enough and
5. I am getting a clearer picture of Me as I work.

love Heather x

To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution. ~Jo Coudert

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