A good day

"Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful."---William Morris

I am at the place in my life where I only want to be surrounded by things, thoughts and friendships that are nuturing and beneficial to me. This wasn't always the case. For years I lived as a pack rat. I saved old furniture I would "someday" restore, pre-Olivia clothes I hoped to squeeze into again. I also had a sizeable collection of past memories and hurts that sat dusty and heavy on my mind's shelves. Art and art journaling have been my main tools in the sorting and clearing of thoughts that don't serve for my greater good but cleaning out clutter from deep within cabinets and from the corners of closets has also been a sort of spiritual awakening. If an object doesn't resonate with who I am it has to leave. I never dreamed of how good this would feel. Who knew! I was floored. If only I had done this years ago.

The book where I first encountered this concept was Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and I find myself turning to it's pages at least once a week for a tidbit of wisdom to get my feet back on the path when I stray for stray I always do.
For some reason I seem to spot this book frequently at thrift stores. I never buy the copies but I should and pass them around to friends and strangers alike. Everyone needs this book... Is there a book you feel this way about? I'd love to hear about it.

It was a grey day here on Tuesday and as I searched for cheer and color around the house my eyes settled on the opposite-shelves of dark old cameras. Twenty or so. They had been housed for years behind glass doors, untouched except for the Brownie I use to do the TTVF technique. It was with a twinge of sadness that I realized I no longer really loved the cameras. Not really. Not like I used too. I found myself fighting the feeling. Of course I love them I told myself. "They are your collection. They are part of you. You have been lugging them from place to place since you were a teen, " I said.

As I was taking them in turn down from the shelves a thought, clear as a bell, rang in my head. Now that they are leaving I am opening the door for something new, something more in line with where I am today. Cool. I wonder what it will be....

And then...guess what? Something arrived the same day!

Art books!

Given to my husband by someone who was cleaning out her own house. How about that! She remembered hearing once that I liked art. I squealed. Olivia squealed. We spent hours flipping through the pages and talking about life and the beauty of giving.
It was a good day.


Susan said...

Tricia, what a great gift the art books are! I am also trying to de-clutter all aspects of my life. It's not always easy, but it frees you from so many self-imposed rules. One part of me wants to envy you those old cameras, and another part of me knows I have a drawer full of neglected 35mm jewels of my own. Ahhh, when will we learn? (By the way--love, love, love that sweet picture of Baby Olivia)

Susan Tuttle said...

This post really resonated with me Tricia! The quote grabbed me right away. I must really get my hands on a copy of that book.

I do love my inspiration board - and guess where my eyes always go when I look at it - directly to your beautiful artwork!

You are such a dear soul - it is a privilege to know you.


Sharon said...

This is a wonderful post. I'm in an editing mood myself. Maybe I will find some time this weekend to edit. It's a good feeling. Thanks

Chris L. said...

Hey Tricia,

Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the CD you made Nicole. It turns out that I really like "Death Cab for Cutie" (despite their goofy name :-). I think this might be part of getting older... admitting that I actually like slower sentimental music instead of just wanting to rock out all the time. I never would have imagined that I ever wanted to do anything but rock out ;-)
So Nicole says she wants to make you a CD... but I worry about it secretly to myself (and now out loud for the entire Internet LOL). See, Nicole has a vast collection of "booty rap"... I am not sure how you would enjoy a CD full of booty rap, especially given how you are in the process of de-cluttering your life of all the things that don't resonate with you. Well, maybe booty rap will resonate, maybe not, I guess we will find out. Say hi to Kelly and Olivia!

Talk to you soon,


* mY fRiEnDs cALL mE Rella * said...

This is a fabulous and thought provoking post, thank you. If you see a copy of the book for a few dollars.....I think I should look for this book, it sounds like something I need to read.

The books sent to you are divine and I love when that happens. Perfect timiing. Pefect.

xo Rella

Debbi Baker said...

Hi Tricia

I just loved this post as this is one of my "keystone" books and is the reason my blog is called "My Abundant Life". A childhood friend who moved to the US a couple of decades ago to be with her love sent it to me when it first came out and it really changed my thinking! I have lost track of how many people I have given it to since then including all the women in my family. On the rare occasion that I see it in a secondhand shop I buy it to pass along but most of teh time I have had to buy it new (thank goodness it has stayed in print). I love the way you are living the philosophy. Thanks so much for sharing it in this post. PS Did you ever beautify your linen cupboard - I have been SO tempted so many times but as the rest of this household is male I just know it wouldn't work for too long!

Valaine said...

That is so awesome! Life is so good sometimes. I love when days are like that - when we decide to take action and then things happen that fall in line with what is important to us!

I'll have to check out that book.

I love your new art you've been creating. I visit your blog everytime I'm on the computer to see what you've been up too :)

Hope you don't mind but I tagged you :) If you you want you can check out my blog to see what it is all about.

Amy Wagner said...

I loved this post because I too am a saver.
I have recently decided to look at things with diferent eyes and let go of things I always thought I had to keep to keep the memory.
There are a few things I would never willingly part with but some things are just as strong in my mind even if the material item is passed on to someone else to enjoy. Especially when it is something I know will hold no joy when passed on to my kids some day.
Thanks for reminding me through your triumphs to continue my own "weeding"!

Gina said...

What a beautiful story, Tricia. Good for you--clearing out the old to make way for the new. Thanks for the book recommendation, as well.

Until I veered away from painting, I only needed to buy paint, canvas, and paper. Now, there's such a temptation to acquire fabric, specialize printing paper, scrapbooking materials, etc. ACK! More stuff means more space and it’s so wise to draw a line and reevaluate what really speaks to us now.

Di said...

I just somehow stumbled upon your blog and this post really inspired me. I recently took the same action. It was kind of forced on me when I left my husband of 20yrs with basically the clothes on my back. Long story. I did go back and get some of my very personal things and trinkets and art. But it changed my life. I've since re-married and I carry that philsophy on - I'm surrounded by beautiful or useful things. It works for me.

Thanks for the book recommendation too. The one book that I feel like that about is called "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul". I just keep going back to it.

Anyway, love your blog. Thanks for sharing.