Last year, my first Flying Christmas, I immediately put away gifts I loved, used and needed.
Most gifts, though, failed, Flylady’s love/use/need test. I made calls, to see if someone wanted them. No one did. I knew the fate of these gifts would be the donation center. Days passed. When I looked at the pile of gifts, the same questions nagged me – there is no way to make use of this? Did I give enough effort, to find a place for this? Did I call enough people? I have that guilt, that I am inconsiderate, ungrateful, of these gifts, given in love…I can envision money spent, time spent, wrapping – still hearing the words – I hope you like it….
The criteria of Flylady’s need/use/love is simple – it’s the emotion, that is complicated. Sometimes, I have to take extra babysteps separating from the emotion, before I separate from the item. I struggle, with guilt, through the holiday season – now, I am tired, and this is not the moment, to struggle with more guilt. I learned, last year, to take an “interim” step, to release holiday-gifts. I bagged the gifts and placed the closed bag in a closet, where I was not likely to see it. On my calendar, I wrote a reminder, for March 31, to retrieve the bag. I promised myself if I remembered and wanted what was in the bag, I could keep it. However, if I could not remember what the bag held, I would take it to the car, and donate it.
When the end of March arrived I could only recall a few items, but the emotional intensity, quite strong in December, had diffused. The vividness of the image of someone buying and wrapping had blurred. I could still hear the echo of – I hope you like it… – but now, instead of feeling guilt, I felt detached, and thought, I wish I had liked it, but – I don’t.
I am learning, to ask, when decluttering is difficult – what is the smallest step I can take until I am ready to take the next one?
Creating a little distance in a closed bag, leaving a little time for the emotion to fade. Adding a babystep that can release the guilt leads to the babystep that brings love in donating, and peace to release.
Is it okay to declutter “imperfectly”, in tiny babysteps? Is it cheating?Am I procrastinating? I don’t think it matters. Flylady would remind me that Flying is a process of love and imperfection. Decluttering imperfectly, is Flying. Flying imperfectly, is FLYING.