I did a clean sweep of my Google Reader. Believe it or not, I had over 300 subscriptions on there. I did not read them all — how could I? But they were all there, constantly making me feel like I had a lot to do. I am re-adding the ones that I actually READ, but slowly. Funny, the amount of blog-reading I do now is about the same, but I feel so much more peaceful.
About 6-10 times a year, I give myself permission to be really ruthless when I’m going through the house. Anything that I don’t love, or that isn’t respected enough in our home to be kept in good trim, goes into the wastebasket or the Goodwill box. I shouldn’t say “anything” because there are some things I mostly keep my hands off; they are small enough and/or owned by someone else, and I leave them alone. And I only weed through books in the spring or summer; the rest of the year I just pile and stack those.
So I have been going through and tossing things. It is quite freeing. In some ways I wish I could do with my house what I did with my Reader — just clear the whole lot, then reintroduce what I really need. Once we did that in effect. We had to move to San Francisco to be with Aidan. We literally followed his ambulance all the way there then rented an apartment and brought the rest of the kids to join us. So Kevin would drive back home (a four hour trip each way) to get what we realllly needed from our house. It was surprising how little we needed and how we could “make do”; I have never forgotten that lesson, though of course there is a counter-thrill in having plenty. I know that getting rid of things or not getting them in the first place seems to partake more of virtue than accumulating things, but there is a kind of virtue in managing and stewarding a plenitude, too. It certainly takes more brain power, though, and it is not one of my gifts, and it’s not exactly how I want to spend my time, so that’s why I periodically have to go on “house diets” or “blog subscription diets” or whatever, and get rid of the excess.
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