Breast cancer survivor and clutter clearing author learns to walk her talk

Clutter clearing cancer coping author and motivational speaker We can learn to live our priorities fully (and not just surviving or getting by on a day to day basis) by clearing out the distractions and focusing on what is important to each of us, our families, and our lives. Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools: We'll get you through this by Barbara Tako, two-time cancer survivor and published author and motivational speaker on the topic of clutter clearing. For updates on this new book, click here.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Don't trade clutter for clutter: spring cleaning emotional clutter

One afternoon several years ago I was sitting in the sun out on the deck with my cordless phone, a roll of tape, a chopstick, and my daughter's blaze orange hooded sweatshirt. I was trying to rethread the cord back into the hood. This process just about exceeded my small sewing skills. So this is what I "do all day." It felt trivial, but I knew it would matter to my eleven-year old when she came home from school in an hour. 

I was a little bit surprised that I was being kind to myself by allowing myself to perform this task outside in the spring sunshine. Why can't we be kinder to ourselves more often? Go sit outside. How hard is that?

Maybe I felt I had earned a reward. Earlier that day, I looked at houses  with a realtor. It was a discouraging depressing process. I couldn't help noticing other peoples' clutter. Everyone seemed to have a lot of it. I was discouraged when I learned how little I could get for my money. Trade offs. Trade offs. Trade offs. Cheap millwork, dark paint jobs, abused sheetrock, and ugly wallpaper... 

Was it time to move? Would trading one box with a view for another box with a different view be an improvement? Pay the realtors and the closers and the movers. Pay more. Get less? What was the point?

I think I felt a need for change. I think that is part of human nature. Would we move? Right then, I didn't know. Would a different house be a better house? 

I thought when I came home that I would feel better when I saw our house. All I saw, sadly, were the well-known flaws in our existing house and an eleven-week -old puppy that had been left in her crate all morning. More parental guilt. That was another reason I was outside working on the sweatshirt--for the dog's sake, so she could be outside. So much for taking care of myself.

Do you ever have days where nothing seems quite right? Maybe you don't like the clothes you put on this morning. Maybe you changed clothes and still don't feel quite right. Nothing satisfies. Spring is in the air. Spring is the season of change. Will change, just for the sake of changing, fix anything? If you are having one of those days, here are my suggestions:
  • Go sit outside.
  • Contemplate the pros and cons of the change.
  • Above all: Don't change anything when you are having a bad day.

    Change for change's sake isn't change for your sake. You deserve better. What do you do when you feel like this?

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