Open Those Windows!

Buds are bursting, sun is dappling through new, shiny leaves, and lawns are springing to life once more. Time to vacuum cobwebs from overlooked corners, reduce-reuse-recycle unread books and unappreciated decorative items, and switch out the flannels, velour, and chenille for cotton, canvas, and silk. Inhale the fresh, lung-filling air and exhale the stale, thick, leaden detritus of seasons past.

This exercise does not have to involve purchasing or acquiring. It can involve possibility and hope and change.

Look around your home. What do you see that you’ve finished enjoying? What do you not wish to see again? Can your eyes rest anywhere, or is there too much visual clutter? Clear it off and start anew. Maybe now, you’re ready to see space and not feel compelled to fill it. Maybe now, you’re ready to not remove a thing, but can look at it differently, constructively, creatively. What will it be?

Maybe the mess feels insurmountable, impossible, depressing. That’s okay…you haven’t yet begun. Just do one thing to make it better, or spend 15 minutes making choices, whichever is quickest. There, now you’ve started. You can do more later, or tomorrow, or next Wednesday. Forward movement, baby steps – that’s what counts.

Which space to choose? Start right to left, or up to down, or the space that bothers you the most, or the one that bothers you the least. As long as you begin somewhere –somewhere you can feel the potential for success.

Your spouse, your roommates, your kids – with their permission, they need the opportunities offered by “new or different” as well. It can make for great conversations. As we slide through spring towards summer, are their rooms different from last year at this time? Do they want them to be? Maybe empty walls might be a refreshing change. Maybe not. Maybe somewhere in between might be a good choice.

How do you know whether a change is welcome? Do you feel a little thrill, a little off-balance, a little energized, a little scared? Those are good things. They open the door (or window) to possibilities.

Now, look in the mirror – at your insides, not your outsides. Are you where you want to be in life? Are you who you want to be? Just because you’ve always known yourself a particular way does not mean that you have to continue. Maybe there’s something to be learned by trying out the opposite. I was extroverted for much of my life, following a withdrawn childhood. Now, I feel pulled toward learning how to be quieter in a group; being part of the group instead of jockeying for its center. I’m leaning away from razzle-dazzle and more toward being present and listening. I no longer feel as relentlessly driven. I long for a more relaxed pace, peaceful activity, being with people rather than being at people.

Maybe you’re the list-making, goal-setting type (me, too). You know what? Last year’s goals no longer motivate me; they no longer offer me a path I wish to travel. Perhaps I’ll change my mind again next year…perhaps not. For right now, it’s time to clear the mental clutter, and let some fresh air in. Instead of planning my month or my year, I think I just want to loosely plan my day and my week. I don’t want to feel locked in and drowning.

Who will you be?

Mrs. Devora Farrell, a professional organizer and coach, can be reached at 973-919-7761

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