De-cluttering life and…then what?

EggplantsBy Susan Caba
Resale Evangelista

Simplifying life, yes, but to what end?

News flash! There is nothing–nothing, not even a dust bunny–under my bed.

There are no boxes of miscellaneous papers, the basket of workout clothes has been emptied, I’ve made room for spare blankets in an appropriate closet.

I only found two things that were unexpected or surprising. One was a mink or fox winter scarf kind of thing, which I vaguely remember buying a decade ago–and obviously never wear. The second was a Real Simple magazine from February 2011, with an article titled “The Clutter Cure: Expert Advice for Paring Down.” Need I say more?

Anyway, now that I’ve plunged into the task of de-cluttering and simplifying life, a question arises: What for?

De-clutteriing could, I suppose, be an end in and of itself (some people call that house-keeping, and do it on a regular basis). But you’ll notice the word “clarifying” in the subtitle of this blog. Clarifying implies focusing on a direction, doesn’t it? I’m trying not to use the phrase “finding my purpose.”  That just sounds so vacuous.

However, that’s the zeitgeist right now. It’s a baby-boomer thing. Our parents called it a having a mid-life crisis but, as you know, we boomers don’t like to be lumped in with anything our parents experienced. And we sure as hell don’t want to think about mid-life, as that could inevitably lead to contemplation of–gasp!–death.

Jane Pauley’s new book re-frames the topic nicely, as “Re-imagining the Rest of Your Life,” in which she tells the stories of people who have reinvented themselves (willingly or not) in their 50s. I haven’t read it. I probably won’t because I find it’s too easy to read a lot of books on a topic and then do nothing to actually achieve what it is I’m reading about.

But I do like the idea of re-framing or re-imagining life. Those words imply an evolution, rather than an abrupt or absolute change. In fact, it just occurred to me that “clarifying” is also an evolutionary process–like focusing binoculars, to see an object more clearly.

Let the evolution begin!

4 thoughts on “De-cluttering life and…then what?

  1. melaniewriting

    A dear friend in Eau Claire, Wisconsin just retired after almost 30 years as a county social worker. One night over a glass of wine, she described her terror at the word “retirement” and the baggage it claims to a close friend. Her friend responded by smiling and said, “well, dear, just think of it as your graduation!”



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