I spent much of the weekend cleaning out my garage so I could redo the floor. Redoing the floor took a few hours, and it turned out better than I expected. Taking everything out of the garage, sorting it, and getting rid of much of it ended up taking much longer, but it was worth it. We threw away some of it, and we found good homes for the rest. We now have room to park and room to access the things we regularly use. More importantly, we don’t have to look at piles and piles of things that we haven’t really used in a long time. What a relief!
Cleaning out the garage and the feeling of relief from having let go of things no longer needed got me looking to the rest of the house and other parts of my life that need a little spring cleaning. The house will be a project we tackle over the coming weeks, but so will areas of my personal life. I have had obligations, committee assignments, and projects over my life that I have enjoyed immensely. Yet there comes a time for several of these obligations to be let go. Life moves on, new obligations and commitments come up, and for whatever reason we either lose the spark for an endeavor or we simply no longer have time or emotional energy to commit to it. Saying “no” to new commitments we don’t want to do is like deciding to not bring anything else into the garage. Bowing out of prior commitments that no longer bring us joy is like cleaning out the clutter that has piled up in the garage. It can be liberating personally. It can give us space to really focus on the relationships and commitments we care about. And while we may feel we are letting people down, the truth of the matter is that there is likely someone else who can come along with a new sense of passion and do as well or better than the effort we are giving to things we continue to do now simply out of a sense of obligation.
Spring is a wonderful time to clean out our personal space and take satisfaction in decluttering. It’s also a good time to look at the rest of our lives and do the same.
Nathan Dickson is an attorney with Jinks, Crow & Dickson, P.C.