I Know Why it was Broken

Dear FlyLady,

I have been fluttering for a few years now, on and off. Given how much more peace I feel when I’m “on”, I don’t know why my inner brat is successful at forcing me “off”. But I am working at it and FlyLady lessons seep into my daily habits and my home is progressively better.

A recent testimonial about stuff made me think about a recent experience. One fall weekend away with my sisters, an antique crystal cookie jar, a wedding gift to my parents, was broken by my daughter. When I came home, I made an effort to not let it bother me because it is just stuff and I didn’t want my daughter to feel bad~ and to be truthful it was broken because it didn’t have a good home (too much kitchen clutter) and was knocked off the fridge. The only thing intact was the lid.

But for some reason it really bothered me (I just didn’t let dd know it  did). About 2 weeks after she asked when I was going to throw out that  lid since the cookie jar was smashed and gone. I replied that I just wasn’t ready to give it up. Now I know that I had no reason to keep it, it really wasn’t sentiment (my parents divorced when I was a kid, their wedding gifts don’t represent anything special to me), it was just something that I had always loved. Flylady in my ear told me to toss that lid but I just wasn’t ready. A few days later while I was in Goodwill looking for clothing for Halloween costumes, I couldn’t believe what I saw. The exact same cookie jar, no lid, just the beautiful crystal jar. How could this be? A cookie jar, at least 45 years old, exactly like mine that had just broken but without the lid, that I just happened to have saved? Seemed impossible but somehow fated that I have
this cookie jar.

Fast forward 1 month- due of a leak under our counter, we had an unexpected kitchen renovation. My somewhat small kitchen had lots of cabinets but to cut costs and make the kitchen more open and modern, we decided to buy minimal cabinets and shelves. It turns out I love our kitchen with less storage space- it seems the more space you have, the more ‘stuff’ you stash. I decluttered and downsized more that 50% of our dishes, cooking tools and bulk food items (when I got to the back of the cabinet, much of the food should have been tossed long ago) Why did I have 6 different kinds of rice and 8 different kinds of flour or grains? It was out of hand.

But now our kitchen is streamlined and only the essentials remain- food and tools we use and those things we love- like the crystal cookie jar that now has a proper home, displayed (safely) where it makes me smile.

Now, this shouldn’t be a testimonial to hang onto bits and pieces of missing things but it is a testament to keeping only those things you use or love (and making sure that it has a home where it can be safe & enjoyed).

FlyBaby C.

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