January 19, 2010

Culling has always been difficult for me. I’ve become somewhat of a packrat, reluctant to let things go completely. Even when they’ve outlived their use to me.

So moving is a little bit of a … time-consuming trauma. This time, though, I’ve made some tough decisions. Good decisions.

I’ve culled.

Six huge green plastic bags of discarded items sit at the curb next to my black plastic trash can, awaiting the trash collector.

Seven full recycle bins are lined up beside it.

It feels good.

As I went through my things and decided what to pack and what to discard this time, decisions were easier. My “throw-out” pile was larger than it’s ever been and I felt a sense of great ease and relief to have fewer things to carry with me to the new house.

Don’t get me wrong. I still have a lot of stuff.

But I have far less than I used to and that’s a good thing.

Since I’m turning over new leaves, I’ve decided to do the same thing in other areas of my life.

I’ve begun going through my Facebook account and deleting FB relationships that will have no bearing on my future life.

And now I’m taking it one step further and jettisoning relationships that have outlived their useful life.

As I weighed the value of possessions that might have once been treasures (or at least diversions), I thought about relationships I’ve collected over the years.

I’ve kept certain relationships far longer than I should have. Far past the time when I recognized they were no longer additive to my life. If ever they were.

I guess I’ve been a “hope springs eternal” kind of girl.

Letting go has always been hard. But it’s a big relief to come to terms with friendships and other relationships that are not positive.

The friend who never initiates. Gosh, it takes a lot of energy to always be the one to call or write first.

The relative who is needlessly cruel. Tell me again why I engage with this person?

People I’m just not that interested in. What’s their function in my life, really?

I did some hard thinking and came to only one conclusion:

It’s time to remove them from my thoughts and actions.

I mean no harm. It’s just that they aren’t adding anything to my life. So why expend any energy on them? I see nothing wrong in that.

It’s one less burden to carry into my new life.

More room for the fun new relationships and friendships that have already begun in this current stage of my life.

And more space to take greater joy in those who ARE additive.

I now believe culling is necessary in all parts of life. And I’ll be doing more of it from now on.

4 comments on “Culling
  1. Diana Strinati Baur says:

    hear hear (or is it here here? I never know)

    Brava. Maybe one of the reason the Universe is subtly moving you is so you can dump some of your stuff! And I mean stuff in the broadest sense. Moves, the upheaval they cause and the emotions they bring to the surface are a type of cleansing, for sure. Looking at things, all things, straight on becomes part of the process.

    🙂 all i can say at this point is keep moving…

  2. For Your Consideration says:

    This post is very interesting to me as I have been “culling” for a while now. I find the more I cull – the less complicated life becomes. I hope the same works for you as well…

  3. shelley says:

    I fear I could be the “friend who never initiates.” Don’t cull me, bro’! I totally get the need to eject dead weight and toxic relationships, and I find myself putting up walls on certain new friendships as I already neglect the ones I have. Your blog also makes me feel like I need to make sure I’m pulling my weight where I’ve been neglectful, yet I cherish the relationships most that seem capable of picking up where we left off, regardless of how poor a correspondent I’ve been in the mean time. Which can be pretty poor.
    I learned long ago, and some girlfriend relationships have reenforced the lesson: guilt is the most counterproductive emotion in the universe, it stops me in my tracks where action is the needed remedy. So I will trust that no matter where we live and how poorly I keep up my end of the conversation, you will know that I think of you fondly and often; if you ever need to hear it firsthand, you might have to ask. But the answer will always be yes. I wish you
    a happy cross-country trek, preceded by a hugely successful garage sale.

  4. Shel, you are so funny! Of course you are not being culled. I’ll never forget our meeting back in the mid 90s at the Dali…I wouldn’t lose your friendship for the world! I am really talking more about toxic relationships, and those I’ve hung onto without any real participation. Tha would not be you. ;-))))

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