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Eating an Elephant

What a week! It feels great inside to make a decision and to have a clear goal to attain. The path to the goal might be difficult, but I still love having something on which to focus. This week turned into a normal juggle between home and work. Our daughter wasn’t feeling well this week, so I had to stay home with her and miss some work. That normally stresses me out because I have so much to do, but this week was different. I was glad to have some unplanned time at home to begin to look around and decide how I want to start this downsizing plan. It only took about five minutes for me to become completely overwhelmed at the size of the project! I honestly had no idea where to begin. Over our almost 18 years of marriage, we have accumulated a lot of stuff! I couldn’t decide what needs to go and what needs to stay. I could tell our daughter was watching me. She has always been an old, wise soul in a cute little girl body. She has a wonderful way of bringing me back to center and reminding me of the lessons I try to teach her. I told her I was having a hard time trying to decide where to begin. She laughed and said, “Mom, how do you eat an elephant?” I love when I get confirmation that the things I’m trying to teach her have taken hold. I was reminded of the morning we were chatting as I was taking her to school. She was feeling overwhelmed at her busy schedule of school, homework, and various other activities. I then asked her how to eat an elephant. We had a great discussion about doing it one bite at a time. Now, she was teaching me and she was right. I have to eat this elephant one bite at time!
My first bite was to tackle the junk drawers. You know, the places you throw things that you don’t want to get rid of but you have no idea where to put. I brought in a large trash can from outside and began to fill it up! I did this for all of my hidden places and organized as I went. Two 39 gallon trash bags full later and I had eaten my first bite! Next, I went through some of our daughter’s toys. Awhile back one of our best friend’s dad coined my favorite term ever – Gibblin’ shit. This refers to all of the little junk our children collect at birthday parties, fast food restaurants, etc… The stuff we hate and they love. Out it went! Next bite eaten.

Children are so different than adults when they feel bad. Children don’t whine and lie around in self-pity. Our daughter had a small fever and didn’t need to be at school, but she didn’t feel lethargic. I believe she was inspired by my actions, so she decided to head to her room and start her own downsizing. I received some great advice on my last blog (go read it) so I was very careful to not step in and try to control what she decided to keep and to purge. I gave her four categories to classify her belongings: 1. Things she wants to keep; 2. Things she wants to donate; 3. Things she would like to sell; and 4. Things that need to be trashed, then I left the room. She’s such a rock star and I am so proud of her. She did a great job and everything was her decision, so she feels fantastic about her work. Another bite eaten!

Over this weekend, I moved on to my next bite. Purging the various things I’ve collected and that are sitting around the house. They are nice and look great, but I don’t need them and don’t want to move them. Some of you may have noticed that I went a little crazy on FaceBook selling things. This was a small bite and just the beginning of our downsize project. Stay tuned over the next several weeks. I will be selling furniture and clothes as I have time to sort through it all.
I’ve gone back to read my first few blog posts. Wow. They were pretty negative sounding. We all have ups and downs in life. I began this journey because I’ve been in a down time. I’m ready to climb out of that valley. The first few steps (elephant bites) have been taken. I’m feeling energized and ready to

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