Why didn’t I do this sooner?

I have in a folder a heap of “draft” blog entries — some dating back several years.  I was going to just ‘blindly’ delete the whole folder since I generally write inspired by studies, current events, or experiences for single entries, message series, or Bible studies.

Today I reread the following entry, written two years ago in the midst of an activity that lasted a couple of months. What’s interesting to me is that while this happened two years ago, hindsight demonstrates it was just a precursor to what began to happen just before this new year, this 2021 year.  

Written February 2019 

As I go through our home in this process of eliminating clutter, I keep wondering, why didn’t I do this sooner? And, you know what? I have no good answer except that it wasn’t time yet for this overly-sentimental girl. I don’t know if I wasn’t ready for the work or if I didn’t have the prompting to do it or if I just thought: forget it, the task is too daunting — but one thing’s for certain: I didn’t know what I didn’t know! 

I think that’s one of the greatest deterrents of not doing things: not knowing what we don’t know. As an example, I didn’t know it would feel so nice to have space between items in a cabinet — to have empty spots on a shelf or plenty of room in an area. All I know is that at the end of the year as I was putting away our Christmas decorating items, I had a sudden urgency to get busy decluttering our home.

Somewhere around Christmastime we got wind of a local newspaper article regarding an update for the progress of the airport expansion near our home — we’ve had knowledge of the proposal for well over four years now (well, actually for a couple of decades), but this news just seemed more certain.

the clean slate of the new year was before me and clutter was in the way.
That’s a hard hard story for another day, but it dawns on me now that I must’ve internalized that news and without intentionally acknowledging it — that, or I finally recognized the clean slate of the new year was before me and clutter was in the way. Whatever the case, I’m glad it happened that I felt an urgent need to go through every room {not the bedrooms of the two kids at home} and eliminate clutter.

This is the first time in 41 years that we’ve had an “extra” room in our home. It’s also our final year of homeschooling — thirty one years of homeschooling has meant accumulation of all sorts of materials, a permanent “homeschool area” filled with books, and arts and craft supplies. So that ‘extra room’ and the closing of our homeschooling chapter has allowed me to ‘permanently’ set up my sewing machine and have a stamping & paper crafting/hobby room. With a guest bed. ~smile~ Why didn’t I do this before now? I couldn’t.

But this brings me to thinking about why we don’t eliminate clutter, why don’t we clean out things? Why do we put off getting rid of things or the work of deeply-cleaning our homes? Maybe we don’t know we’d someday wonder why didn’t we do this sooner?!?

It seems that we think we’ve got a lot more time than we do. So, in all this work {and the thinking time I’ve had in it} the interesting lesson I’m learning is to tackle things that come to mind: today if at all possible, to use and appreciate the things I have, to be content with and purposeful about things — bcz I sure don’t like this recent feeling of wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. And, today’s all I’ve really got.

[I wrote about this process here, here, and here


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