That evening, Bill showed me how the can opener worked as he easily opened a can of tomatoes for me while I prepared dinner. Bill put the opener on top of the can – not to the side like an ordinary opener would work – and he quickly sliced the top off the can.
I tried it with the next can of tomatoes but couldn't get the opener to work. The blade wouldn't turn and Bill had to take over to finish.
From then on, every time I had to open a can of beans or tomatoes or soup, I fought with the can opener, trying to get it to do its job.
I hated that thing.
I spent a long time (years, actually) fighting with the opener, swearing at it (I called it fuckity fuck fuck), and getting mad every time I made chili or pasta sauce for dinner or when I simply wanted soup for lunch. Until one day, I was done. I stormed off to Target, grabbed a fat-handled can opener from the display of utensils, tromped to the register to pay for it, and brought it home, throwing fuckity fuck fuck in the give-away pile in the garage with a flourish.
Bill's question, understandably, was, "Where did that delightful, newfangled, easy-to-use can opener go?"
But the real question was, "What took me so long?"
Why was I holding on to something that made my life harder?
I'm asking this question again and again as my schedule gets even busier with Signs of a Happy Baby book marketing, managing a new assistant (thank you!), and working with new body therapy and coaching clients: What am I holding on to that makes my life even harder than it has to be?
Here's my preliminary list:
• Chores that can be delegated to my boys - not done perfectly but DONE.
• Facebook posts from people I don't know.
• Emails from marketing gurus, branding consultants, copywriting coaches and the like, when I can't remember why I signed up to be on their lists in the first place.
• Clothes that don't fit well, shoes that pinch, hair care products that don't live up to their promises.
• Alcohol because it no longer agrees with my perimenopausal brain and body and creates inner battles that I don't want to fight anymore.
Gone. All of it, gone. Delegated, ditched, or discarded into a growing pile in the freshly emptied and organized garage that's just waiting to be filled again after our yard sale last month.
And whether the item goes into the virtual trash on my computer, into the trash can alongside the house, or into the garage, its disappearance frees me, eases the weight on my shoulders, and reduces the things that fill my brain when I wake up for no reason at 4:30 a.m.
Letting go feels good. So good that I want you to feel it, too. Throw something away today. It doesn't matter if it's a pair of shoes, a bad habit, or an old way of thinking that no longer fits. Let go of what you're hanging on to that makes your life harder, for really no reason at all.
And, as your reward for creating space in your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual home, watch philosopher/comedian Jerry Seinfeld as he reminds us that "all things on earth only exist in different stages of becoming garbage."
Feeling stuck? Don't know where to start? Too attached to your stuff to let go? Let me help. Schedule a free consultation call with me and we'll figure out what comes next (and next after that).