18 February 2015

Letting go

This week has seen me doing something that's quite a challenge. No, I haven't taken up kickboxing (now there's a thought), bungee jumping, marathon training or anything like that. No, what I did was to 'let go' of a piece of 'baggage' that I'd (quite literally) been carrying around with me for years.

This may not sound momentous to anyone else out there, but it's quite a big deal for me. Another small measure of progress perhaps?

Now as my darling lovely hubby could tell you, chapter and verse, letting go of stuff, even sometimes 'useless' old stuff, is not always an easy thing for this fat lass. Sometimes it's fine. But sometimes I can have a decidedly unreasonable (yep, even I can see that) emotional attachment to the oddest of things, not necessarily because of 'what' they are, but because they are so steeped in memories and connections.

Actually, what I did was donate it to a local hospice charity. They can now sell it to someone who will (hopefully) love it and raise themselves some ever-needed ££s in the process.

In this case 'it' was a heavyweight, black, fringed leather biker jacket. A gorgeous thing indeed, but it's... well, think Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzie. I'd had this jacket ever since I was in my early twenties (and it was a serious luxury when I bought it!). However, I have only ever worn it a handful of times, first because it was such a precious (and costly) thing and then not least because for too many years I couldn't even get it on... let alone done up!

Even so, it was a part of my history somehow, and I loved it... so I carried it around with me, all carefully packed up, through a multitude of moves... to take up wardrobe space wherever I went. I 'could not' bring myself to part with it. In fact, it's been so hard to contemplate getting rid of it that I brought this jacket into work months ago with the aim of taking it to the hospice shop... since when it has languished under my desk making me feel guilty every time I kicked the bag.

It's been slightly worse because it fits me easily these days (yes, I tried it on once or twice) and I 'could' have worn it pretty comfortably I guess but... hey. C'mon, realistically, where's a middle-aged, grey-haired old bat going to go wearing such a funky 1980s thing. So, armed with Gift Aid number and a couple of bagsfull of other bits and bobs, off I marched to the charity shop, where I very nearly baulked at the final hurdle and kept it.

But... I didn't, this time, and it has now gone from my life - no more to be an item of my 'baggage'. This all seems a bit oddball, I know, but I do have a point to make here. That is to say that I've realised something about myself. Yep, another lesson in life.

That is that, however huge and hard a task it seemed beforehand, now I've actually 'done' the letting go, there's a sense of accomplishment and maybe even a slight feeling of relief in a way. I'm not, as I expected to, mourning the jacket's absence.

Actually, it's been quite a letting go sort of a week.

Thirty three years ago last weekend, on Valentine's Day, I lost my darling Dad in extremely harrowing and difficult circumstances. Eighteen months ago, almost to the day, I lost my beloved Mum. Again, what happened around that time was extremely difficult to deal with, albeit in a very different way. From both of these (and other) events I carry 'baggage' still, and I guess I always will.

But I've realised that I have been able to let go just a little bit here too. It's been about allowing myself to 'let go' of some of the pain I feel about both events, and set aside just a smidgen of the anger and recriminations which usually spring to mind. Looking back'll never be pain free. I'll always miss them both and feel their loss, and I can't turn back the clock nor change the circumstances that occurred at those times.

But I can accept that I have a choice, in this and in many other things. I can decide whether to allow my thoughts (and objects connected to them) to be 'baggage', to drag along with me ever more, or I can decide that it's time to 'let go' a bit.

It'll take practice, but I'm going to persevere and try to improve my letting go muscles. Onwards, ever...


Lori said...

I have some things that I think my nephews will have to dispose when I die and wonder what in the world I was doing with such a thing. It is most hard for me to get rid of a gift that I child has given me. I have odd rocks and such that they gave me in innocence years ago and have no memory of now. But, it brings a smile to my face whenever I see them. I can't get rid of them.

Nikki said...

Nice point you make about being weighed down by carrying too much baggage, physical and emotional.

Winter is when I do most of my "simplifying". I find it very hard too to let some things go. I figure that when I donate items to a good cause the next person will certainly get good use or pleasure out of them too. I'm sure a nice young lady will have loads of fun going out clubbing in that jacket :)

Deniz said...

Thank you ladies.

Hey, someone else with bits of rock, Lori - glad it isn't just me!

What I really don't get is why only 'some' things that have this weird hold over me, and it usually isn't something predictable.

I really do need to simplify, Nikki, and donation seems to make the pill easier to swallow. If (er, when) we need to move on from where we are now it'll be a nightmare if I don't lightn up my clutter as I'll be that much older and probably with rather less stamina

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