Spring has arrived, but it’s been raining for the past few days. But never fear! Even if you’re cooped up in the house, you can take full advantage of the season by getting a head start on your spring cleaning.
Decluttering is in the freaking air around here. I cleaned through all the bathroom cupboards and cabinets last week and ditched old body care products, expired medication, and that one bottle of pills I wasn’t sure was for humans or cats.
It feels so good to make space in the house and reclaim square footage from its cluttered state. There is more open space, and it makes the whole house feel roomier. Ahhh, sweet space.
In my adventures this week, I came upon a used copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. My point in writing this blog post is twofold:
1 ) This book is a prime example of an “aspirational possession.” (I may have made up that term. But let’s go with it.) An aspirational possession is something that you don’t use, but like to think that you should, or could someday. I aspire to be a person who sits outside under a tree and reads about Thoreau’s years at Walden Pond and thinks great thoughts.
But alas, this book has been sitting on my bookshelf since they day I got it. Which was…three years ago? Maybe four? I picked it up once and started reading it, then got distracted on page six and abandoned it. This time, as I picked through my bookshelf with an eye to purge, my eye landed on Walden right away.
I purge my books about once a year, and the last couple times, I’ve thought, “I’m keeping Walden! I love classics, and the concept is right up my alley, and I’m going to read that one of these days.” But this time, I thought…”Sure, I love classics. And Walden probably is right up my alley. But if I haven’t read it yet…I don’t think I’m going to.” Plus, if I change my mind, there’s probably ten copies at the library.
Instead of saving this book for later, for the proverbial “someday when I’ll be in the mood to read it,” I’m calling it. I am not in the mood to read it. At least, not enough to let it keep taking up space on the shelf.
I feel like old Henry would probably approve of me getting rid of his book. Just like I’m not mad when people unsubscribe from my mailing list*. You should only say yes to the right thing at the right time, you know?
2 ) Before I dropped the book in the giveaway bin, I thumbed through the conclusion to see what wise and wondrous parting words Henry left us with in looking back at his time at Walden Pond. And wouldn’t you know, Mr. Thoreau’s parting words dance quite well with my Love What You Have course:
The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor-house. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace…Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change, we change.
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Things do not change. We change. It’s absolutely staggering how much your life can change when you love what’s right in front of you instead of wishing to be elsewhere, isn’t it?
Happy Tuesday, my dears!
* Did you hear that? I just compared myself to Henry David Thoreau. I’m feeling cheeky today.