Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Distractions vs. Focus

Taking time to notice Cora’s light:

  It’s been several weeks since I blogged. I have missed the discipline of writing and have been told by my readers they have missed reading as well. Thank you to “you”! for saying so!

This can be such a frenetic time of year for many people. Weddings, Baptisms, graduations, moving, vacations etc. are on the rise as the summer months come more near.

Last weekend I participated in a multi-family yard sale for the first time. It was so awakening as to how many things I had kept over my years that had grown idle in my life. I sold a beloved table that even my son said he would miss but I am no longer hosting the overflowing family gatherings. I sold many children’s items as well. It was heartwarming to see items that had served many of us going on to continue in another home. The man who bought the table paced anxiously attempting to reach his wife. “I still am in the dog house for buying something before asking her. I can’t do it again.” He said.  He later took that chance and emptied his wallet 12.00 short of my FIRM price. That table was to be placed in his sunroom and serve making space for his family dinners. It made all of us smile as he loaded it into his truck.

I have been thinning out my belongings using a series of criteria:

1.     Have I used it in the 10 years I have been in my current space ?
2.     If I still like what it is, why is it in a storage container not being used?
3.     If I were to move to a smaller place, what would I be willing to leave behind.
4.     How many bread pans do I need if I am gluten free now? [laughing]

As I spoke to others about my yard sale adventure the reactions were all envy to have thinned out belongings or those who were overwhelmed by the idea of beginning a daunting task.

My own mother is moving. As she began to sort and pack I began to look at my own space and really LOOK using my sorting criteria above.

Indeed, everyone believes they are healthy until a doctor gives them news to the contrary and their innocence of health is forever lost. Weeks ago I made a comment to a friend that working in a trauma center and also seeing many oncology patients every day I am mindful that my life could be altered or taken in an instant. I said I wanted to lighten my life-load and not burden my family if accident or disease were to strike. That said I would also enjoy the minimalism vs. clutter.

Little did I know that my seemingly innocent comment almost became true.

Two weeks ago on a drizzling early evening I was driving to nearby town to go to a “big-box’ store for a particular item. It was after a long day at work and I was tired and thinking about all the TO-DO’s on my list for the yard sale, the wedding I am performing, the baptism and and and and.. etc. As I drove slowly up a hill and turned around the curve my thinking immediately changed. Coming at me was a jack-knifed tractor-trailer who had locked up his brakes as he was careening down the hill towards me. As many have said, these situations are remembered in slow motion. I was on a small country road without a shoulder, lucky there were neither telephone poles nor mailboxes as I first steered around the tractor part. Relief was for only seconds as I then saw the trailer swinging into my lane. Indeed, I stopped unscathed. The truck then hit a pole and spun around as if he were coming UP the hill not down. The truck driver was not hurt either. It took me a few days to shake off how unscathed I was and how close to being airlifted to a trauma center I had come.

In those days afterwards, and even now I have a renewed sense of the goodness and blessings in my life. As I lighten my load of “stuff” I am finding I have more awareness of the items that trigger memories, and usefulness of things I do keep.

I also have a renewed awareness to take time to notice the small stuff because in retrospect it may not be small after all.

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