Fear...and Placeholders

The other day I opened my fridge door for something, forgot what it was and stood there, looking at what was in the fridge, especially in the door shelves. I realized that I had things in there that were at least @#$%^&* years old.

Why? What are they doing there?

I don’t use them, they’re old and crusty – salad dressings, special oils, sesame seeds and flax seeds, chopped ginger in a container – and at this point I’ll probably never use them up. They should be thrown away, should have been thrown away years ago.

What’s going on? Why haven’t they been thrown away yet? Is it fear or inertia? Maybe a little of both.

All those bits and pieces, half- or quarter-used supplies reminds me that there are other places I have place-holders, things that I bought at some time, thinking I needed them or would use them, but I didn’t and I haven’t. So why are they still there in my office, in my car, in my sewing room, in my drawers? How much energy, both mental and physical, do I use up simply maintaining them?

If I leave them in place, taking up the space, nothing changes. They’re place holders, bulwarks against change. They’re familiar, comfortable, safe because I know what they are and where they are. Choosing new things, or, gasp!, just allowing empty spaces, could take effort and thought and commitment on my part. But the phrase “Nature abhors a vacuum” niggles at my brain when I think of tossing the things I don’t need and don’t use. What would go in the place of all these various items?

On the other hand, what would happen if I got rid of things I don’t need or love or use? Oh, scary. Who would I be without them, with all kinds of empty space available to be filled up with things I love and use? Well, that suddenly got deep!

So…tomorrow I’ll start, one item at a time. I can do this. There are 365 days in a year, 52 weeks. If I clear at least one place holder out of my house, or car, or storage shed, each day or each week, by the end of the year I will either have 365 or 52 bits of space reclaimed, or have new to me, beautiful and/or useful items in all or some of those places.

Picture: Pexels / Kindel Media


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