I took our Christmas tree down today. It was a little harder than usual, since Joel decided to name our tree this year. Goodbye, Firbert, you were the noblest of noble firs. However, even saying farewell to our tree that seemed to have a personality didn't make me too sad. I love, love, love taking down the Christmas decorations. I pretty much prefer putting them away to putting them up!:) I know that sounds funny, but I love the openess of all that space. I like the empty areas it leaves behind.
Probably, that is why I love the new year. It is like a big, blank space. I can fill it up, or leave it empty. The fewer things I put in a space the easier it is to keep clean. That also holds true of the new year. I think that the fewer frivilous commitments I make the easier it will be to keep my important priorities in order. I know that is a lot easier to write than do.
Towards the end of this year I have focused on eliminating clutter. I have been turning a critical eye towards pretty much everything in the house. If we don't use it (often!) and I don't love it, I have been selling it on Craigslist, donating it to Goodwill or just tossing it in the trash! I have been amazed by how many things I have considered "must haves" that I haven't used in years. I have run across things that I realized are really useful but I have been too lazy to put them into service (like the great do-it-yourself cookbook my mom gave me that I am absolutely loving). Or the things that I keep just because I have always had them. We are getting ready to part with a few pieces of our living room furniture. That is actually a big deal, because if you have ever been to my house, you know I don't have a lot!
I plan on doing that with my schedule. There are things that I will always need to do. There are definitely things I want to do.There are things that I have opportunity to do but have just not taken the time to do them. But I have also begun to realize that there are plenty of things that I do just because I have always done them. Or things I do just because I think "everybody" expects me to do them. Those time-wasters are clutter I can afford to be rid of!
The hope and promise of a new year, "fresh, with no mistakes in it" as Anne of Green Gables would say, has always been highly alluring to me. The same is true of this coming year. I am looking forward to 2010, but not because I am disappointed with the results of '09. Rather, buoyed by its successes, I look forward to making even greater strides in the new year. Here's to abolition of clutter, both in my home and on my calendar! Happy New Year!