Taking out the Trash

Home organization and de-cluttering blogs and vlogs are becoming increasingly popular.  As people become busier, their home lives become more disorganized and messy.  Popular TV shows like Netflix' "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" and YouTube stars such as Mrs. Hinch have amassed huge followings by people who are eager to learn tips about cleaning and decluttering their living spaces.  Mrs. Hinch's followers even have a nickname - Hinchers!

I have no trouble with keeping my living space clean.  I am a neat freak, and inherently driven to organize.  I am not a minimalist, but I do embrace the less is more approach.  I have recently simplified my life from carrying a standard purse to carrying only a wallet sized clutch, and I recently donated several huge boxes of clothes to charity in an attempt to make my closet more practical.  I have no problem letting go.

But sometimes it is not our living spaces that need a cleaning up, it is our lives.  Our habits, our pastimes, our relationships.  What are we clinging to - perhaps out of sentimentality or out of unwillingness to face change - that is hindering us or holding us back?

In my ongoing quest for personal development I have been seeking feedback and reading books in an attempt to maximize my potential.  We all of us have only twenty-four hours in a day.  Some folks, like Richard Branson, seem to use these hours to maximum effect.  Others squander them in idle or unproductive pastimes.  I have been seeking ways to maximize mine.  Life is short.  What can I accomplish?  What can I give back?

I am reminded of the safety video from the airplane attendants, telling us that if cabin pressure drops oxygen masks will release for our use.  They always remind us, "Please put on your own mask before helping others with theirs."  Why?  Because until we are in a safe and fit position to help others, we are not effective and only putting them and ourselves at risk.

So, I examine my life and realize there are habits and relationships that are indeed holding me back from giving back to others in a more meaningful way.  The types of habits or people who suck you dry of energy, who leave you tired but unaccomplished, that leave you feeling like no amount of invested energy will ever be enough to succeed.  And I am committed that even when difficult, these things must go.

Sometimes, whether it's cleaning my garage this week in order to set up my home gym, or in my personal life, it's just long overdue time for taking out the trash.

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