On Letting Go

I jotted down a few random thoughts during the past week and only as I was readying this post did I realize they all have to do with letting go. (I'm sorry if that gave you an Elsa earworm.)

Letting Go of Electronics

The first has to do with recycling. I take seriously the "reduce" and "reuse" parts of responsible, ecological living. Still, sometimes, you gotta recycle, which always makes me feel as if I'm getting away with something. Figuring out where to drop electronics, specifically, gives me some exponential version of that feeling. Because sometimes you put random electronic items that are long past their useful life into a box, and only occasionally (once in ten or more years) do you wonder what to do with them. 

To be clear, we're not people who go through electronics quickly. No "latest" version of anything in this house. These items weren't just "obsolete" in technology terms; they were actual decades old in human years, which makes them museum pieces to technical folks. 

And while I tried to copy files from the devices before wiping them, I'm sure I missed a few random photos. Will I miss them? No.

Letting Go of Habits of Mind 

During the pandemic, I was introduced to the wonders of grocery pickup. Sure, stores had empty shelves, but if I ordered enough duplicates, I could count on getting more or less what we'd enjoy eating, with only a few surprises.

Recently, I picked up a grocery order. (I may never go back to shopping indoors myself again.) As I was putting ALL THE FOOD away, I realized that I need to stop ordering as if the grocery store’s shelves are empty. 

Their shelves are full. So are mine. Everything is available again. Time to evaluate my order strategy and let go of the scarcity mindset. ("Scarcity mindset" can sound awfully shyster-ish, but I mean it in a more literal sense. I need to internalize the fact that plentiful options do exist.)

Letting Go of Someday/Maybes

A someday/maybe is something you might do someday, maybe. It's from Getting Things Done, a couple of books and now businessy/self-helpy empire that helps you organize your life and, uh, get ... you know, things done. 

I have a lot of someday/maybe lives. In one of them, I make collages from things. I've actually made a few collages and I enjoy the process, but then what? I have a collage that I have to store, and someday someone else will have to throw it away. 

So, trying to be more realistic about how many somedays I might have to do maybe things I enjoy, I've been clearing out what I fondly think of as “art supplies” but which is actually semi-interesting paper junk. It helps to repeat “What even is this?” and “Why would I ever need it?” as a sort of mantra.

Earlier this week I was digging through the markers I use daily in my bullet journal/calendar and saw a roll of almost-finished washi tape. And I tossed it! Right into the garbage! Right then! Even though it wasn't 100% finished!!

And then I wondered who this girl/adult even was, throwing away washi tape as if she hadn’t had it for about ten years and never liked it anyway? Well, she's the girl/adult who had had this washi tape for about ten years and never especially liked it. 

Goodbye, washi tape.
Thank you for your service.

Next step: stop acquiring things to let go of. And, in my writing life, perhaps I can let go of older writing projects or drafts, someday/maybe "wouldn't it be cool" ideas, and other detritus of a writing life--so I can work on things today. Hooray, more to learn!