A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to clean out my junk drawer even though it wasn’t Spring yet: according to the groundhog, anyway.
While I was separating my rubble into categories, it occurred to me that our junk drawers provide a perfect metaphor for how we live our lives.
How had I accumulated notepads of old friends’ shopping lists and broken door handles from my great aunt’s rental apartment? Why did I feel the need to hoard five pairs of scissors, three hammers and two extra dog collars?
Did I strategically plan to stockpile various tape brands in the kitchen… or use Thomas Goetz’s decision-making tree in deciding to place the Nyquil next to the wrench?
I think not.
Your junk drawer, like your life, undergoes a natural sort of entropy. Every so often, you should take time out and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really need to hold on to this object or this relationship anymore? Does it fill me with energy and happiness? Does it serve me?
- Are my communications filled with clutter? Am I direct? Do I ask for what I want and need, or do I hope my partner/friend/co-worker will read my mind and figure it out?
- Must I accumulate several of the same things even though they’re identical? Are my friends, habits and ideas all too similar, or am I open to new people ideas and experiences?
Our sales presentations get cluttered as well. We add a little of Tom, a bit of Sally and that piece from top closer, Tony. Pretty soon we talk too much and don’t sound like ourselves.
As humans, we fall prey to old habits. We must consciously look at areas of our lives that need cleaning up, and then methodically and proactively do so. And then keep doing it.
Every so often, the universe has a way of cleaning things up for us. We unexpectedly lose a friend, a beloved pet, a business deal, or an entire global economy collapses.
We must adjust to new circumstances. My personal experience is that when I’ve lost something I thought was irreplaceable, it’s eventually replaced with something much better.
The key to embracing change is having faith that when we get rid of the junk and clutter, something or someone even more magical will take its place.