Loving Empty Space: Cleaning Up Means Getting Free #writerslife #writer
August 27, 2016
I've had this ritual since I sold my first book back in the mid 90s. Once I finished a novel and mailed it to my editor, I'd clean up and organize my home office. While writing I tend to let reference and research material pile up around me. I'm talking sheets of handwritten and printed notes, books I used for reference, etc. Getting my office organized helps me clear out my mind and creative spirit to prepare to create another story world. I somehow got out of that habit though. Not sure why.
I also do a version of the clearing out stuff in the rest of the house, but there's no event that triggers it. Suddenly I'm ready to move things around, straighten up closets, and kick stuff to the curb- literally. Today I finally managed to get rid of this thing, a piano. I don't play (my late husband bought years ago for his daughter, and she abandoned it). It's been sitting in my foyer for umpteen years, was here when I got married in fact. I cautiously broached the subject of getting rid of it once, but my husband said it belonged to his daughter, she wanted it, and besides it wasn't in the way. I dropped that idea. And so it sat. And sat. And sat.
Three weeks ago I put an ad on Craig's List. Today five college students loaded it up and happily carted it away. Never mind the thing is old as dirt, needs tuning, about 4 keys stick, and the bench is wobbly to put it kindly. The guy who will own it was thrilled. "You don't know what this means to us!" he said as they got it on the trailer.
I know what I means to me. I was surprised at how thrilled I was with the empty space (dust bunny family not withstanding). I started thinking of all the ways to decorate, and more old stuff to ditch. The extra non-matching nightstand I've had since before I got married? On the curb. I'd put it in the extra bedroom, procrastinating for weeks once I stopped using it in my office. The hat tree I'll never use? Keeping the nightstand company on the curb. Now my foyer is like the symbol of freedom to redecorate in a big way.
My gloriously spacious foyer. On the wall is one of my late husband's paintings.
It's called Driftwood
In the same way I felt free to start another first chapter in a new book, I feel like that piano was a huge part me changing the house my late husband built. Not sure why. I don't feel like getting rid of his art, which hangs in the living room, family room, dining room, and foyer. Somehow it seems the piano symbolized my inertia in making major changes to the house (he worked with an architect to design. Being an artist, he made sure it has plenty of light and flow).
Sometimes we gotta let go of "stuff" to move on. Literally and figuratively kick stuff to the curb! Think about it. What do you need to ditch that just might make you feel free?
Hmmm, now I'm looking at some other stuff push outta here. Oh, and my office? Still working on that. Baby steps! I need this article on Getting Things Done