Soon the Summer of 2019 will be just a memory. The weather is beginning to cool down and Fall officially arrives in a few days. As one season exits making room for another, as the leaves begin to turn and the trees eventually shed their leaves, I am thinking of what I want to shed.
First, the physical shedding. In the past few months, I have shed 39 pounds. I plan to shed a few more pounds, then I hope to stabilize and never be overweight again. It is not easy. It is a day-by-day decision. I have taken all of the clothes that I want to keep to my tailor and have paid almost as much as new clothes would have cost me to have them altered. (Not really, but it feels like it!) Plus, I like most of my clothes, I just could not wear them with the weight loss.
I also need to shed my closet of most of the clothes that are left. I must decide which ones I really do not need to keep. I need to let the ones go that I don’t feel my best in. I need to let the ones go that are outdated. I need to let the remaining ones go that will cost almost as much to alter as new ones will cost. I need to let those clothes go that I no longer need, regardless of how much I paid for them, for that is sunk cost. Holding on to them will not bring the money paid for them back.
I also need to do some other shedding. My books are in dire need of being purged. That includes cookbooks. I love books, but once they are read, it is unlikely that I, or anyone else in the family, will read them again. I may be able to do that. But what about my yearbooks, both high school and college? I have a hard time even thinking about getting rid of them. But will I ever look at them again? Well, I haven’t until recently, but last week I went through my high school yearbooks, for a purpose.
Our oldest granddaughter, Mary Grace, is the 9th Grade Secretary. And I was Secretary of my 9th Grade! At least that is what I remembered. But I needed to verify that in my yearbook, and I did! I was so excited to find the photo and write-up. Now, what shall I do about those yearbooks? I think I will keep them, for the present at least.
As Summer moves over to make room for Fall, I also want to do some other shedding. I want to shed my expectations of others, and only focus on my expectations of myself. Spending sufficient time on myself will leave no room for me to spend time worrying about anyone else!
I have a friend who says, “Expect nothing, and you will not be disappointed!” While that is tempting, I do not think I can go that far. I do have some expectations of others, and I doubt that I can let all of that go. If I did, I would be cynical, and that is not me. But I do need to let go of some of those expectations, and especially the pain I feel from disappointments. My focus needs to be on my closest family and friends, making sure to do my best for those relationships.
I wrote about the recent death of my father-in-law last week. Two days ago, Chuck Mahoney, a friend in Southport and owner, with his wife Carol, of Northrop Mall, (where I putter in antiques and gifts) passed away. Cokie Roberts, journalist, also passed away the same day. And our good family friend, Bernadette, died at the end of May. Death reminds us that this mortal life is not forever. Yet some days we all go through the motions acting like we have forever. We don’t.
Fall gives us the opportunity to change as the leaves change, making whatever time we have left count for our purpose. We should not act like we will live forever, that we have unlimited time to be who we want to be and to do what we want to do, for we don’t. I think I was thinking of that at a subconscious level when I wrote Changing me From The Inside Out. Inside Out Change is more important than shedding pounds, clothes, or anything else.
This life of ours is precious. I want to shed what no longer works for me, making room for my best. Even at my soon to be 68 years of age, I want to grow into my best self as long as I have breath.