Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Answer is Always Chuck

Happy New Year!

It must be all this out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new energy, but a thought struck me when I looked at this question that is the name of my blog: Keep or Chuck?

The answer is always chuck.

If you have to ask, you don't need it.
If you have to think about it, you don't need it.

Awhile back, I was wondering, if I ask myself, "Should I keep this?" the answer is yes, no, or maybe.   If it's a yes, I make a home for it.  If it's a no, I find a new home for it.  But what if it's a maybe.  I jotted the question down, to look it up in one of my decluttering books.

At the time, it was Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer.  To find out more about how this book moved my energy (and got this blog going), read this clutter busting post.  So one day, as I was going through my to-do list, I saw:

  • Look up declutter method for maybe
I cracked open the book and found it in less than a minute.  I wrote:
  • just read Brooks-- maybe means no
I left that note on my list.  Maybe because I knew I needed time to for it to sink in.  Maybe because I'm a packrat and I could not stand to throw away that bit of insight.  Maybe because I knew myself well enough to know I would be looking up "maybe" in my searchable tasklist again.  When I was learning French and Spanish, I would highlight a word every time I looked it up in my dictionary.  If a word was already highlighted, I would put a little dot after it.  I think leaving "maybe"in my list was my way of keeping myself aware.  The messages I need to learn keep coming back over and over again, but I can use a little help deciphering them sometimes.

Last night's realization was not about maybe.  It was about yes.  If the question is, keep or chuck? the answer is always chuck.

Keep means old and chuck means new.  Chuck doesn't just mean getting rid of something, and whenever I keep something, I need to chuck any negative energy associated with it.  Every kept item needs a renewed purpose, or it may as well be chucked.  So the answer is always chuck.  Even if, yes, I'm keeping this, I need to decide what energy to chuck with it, or what new energy I'm inviting.

On New Year's Eve I had dinner with a college friend, who referred to me as an "old-and-always-new friend."  That struck me as perfect, so soon after my realization that the answer is always chuck.  Here I've been thinking about resolutions and goals and all that good stuff, trying to chuck bad habits and start good routines, trying to decide what to keep or chuck about myself.

The answer is always chuck.  Not "chuck it in the trash," but chuck the moment from a moment ago.  Keep this moment, but only for as long as it lasts.  Even if you keep it, you chuck it, because it is old AND always new.