All Baby no bathwater
I was speaking to a dear friend of mine the other day about a recent realization I had about myself. Let me preface this story with the statement, “I am not a hoarder”. I just have a lot of stuff. A lifetime of teaching, multiple hobbies, a book/magazine addiction, and a mad streak of sentimentality means that I will never live the spare elegant look that I see in some homes. I will forever live with piles of books, art supplies, pillows, and more fabric than can be sewn in this lifetime. I digress. I was sharing with my friend that I have shipped 2 -20′ containers of goods across an ocean to my new island home. Yet, I am still obsessing about the 6 items that I cannot find after a year of living in Jamaica.
It occurred to me that I was not acknowledging the safe arrival and deposition of thousands of other objects that made it to this destination. This led me to the thought that if I truly needed these items ; I should stop wasting creative time looking for them . I should just replace these items. DUH!!! I wasted so much creative energy searching through boxes incessantly. So, that is what I finally did. I replaced the things that worked for me. There’s this place called Amazon and they will bring you stuff you need. And, quite a few things you don’t need.
Which brings me to the discussion of legacy. What behaviors and rituals do you have in your life today that serve you? What practices allow you to be better and draw closer to the people and vocations that you love? Here’s a novel idea; Let’s embrace all of those things and let go of all the rest. So how this works is you observe everything that is working for you in your life and drop everything else that doesn’t. Easier said than done you say, so here is my example: My family was not overly demonstrative when I was growing up. We were not touchy feely, say I love you’s before you leave the house kind of people. I’m not sure why because I knew how loved I was and it felt weird that we were not more handsy. So, I decided when I had kids that I would do the uncomfortable and be the I love you spouting parent. No kid would escape my hugs or boisterous encouragement. Well you can imagine what happened… You guessed it. I ended up with three huggy feely, smoochy, talk about your feelings kids. I changed my family legacy. It was and is amazing.
You can change your family legacy, also. Maybe, you might need to eliminate boozy Thanksgivings, so that friends and relatives will still be talking to each other at Christmas. Maybe, you might throw a family reunion, so that your kids become close to their distant cousins. Or maybe, you might nightly read bedtime stories, so that your kids think that bedtime stories are the only way you put children to bed.
It’s amazing to think we have all of that power. We can create a wonderful legacy. We can pull that beautiful baby out of the water, wrap them in a warm fluffy towel, and throw all that unnecessary bath water away.