For week twenty-seven in our fifty week calligraphy challenge we were asked to look up archaic or obsolete words, letter them and include their definition. When I read the prompt I was busy cleaning up my studio, going through every cabinet and box to determine what would stay, go, or get moved to a better space. That clean up led me to an old stamp set my husband and I bought many years ago, and what a perfect tool to help illustrate archaic words. The large letters in each word are stamped, the others were written with Sharpie markers. I had no idea we had so many silly, old words out there with strange meanings and yet it was fun to imagine how and when they were used in conversation.
Out with the old, in with the new, or maybe just rearrange things so everything fits better. It took me all day yet every minute was worth it. Something just feels better when we clean up, clear out and make the spaces where we spend our time more conducive to our lives. We spend so much time doing, building, working, and just living that we forget the pile up of “Stuff” that eventually wears us down. Getting a handle on our stuff means facing those tough choices, the ones where that special item has lost it’s usefulness or sentimental value…so what to do with it?
Stuff in and of itself is not bad. Most of it at one time or another had a purpose. Stuff becomes a problem when we let it control our thoughts and actions which eventually prevents us from living a full life. I had a friend lose a family member recently. They had not been to that person’s house for years. When they showed up to clear it out, HOLY COW! It took four dumpsters to just get the first floor cleared. They are now moving upstairs and have no idea how long that will take. It is an extreme example yet serves as a reminder that we need to deal with our stuff before it over takes our lives. One pile is annoying, two piles is a chore, three piles is a problem, four piles means tough times are ahead.
All my cleaning and my friend’s story brought to mind that we really don’t know people until we see where they live. Our spaces help define us, reinforce what is important in our lives, and help us become who we are today. Failing to deal with the stuff – and let’s face it, we all have stuff – wears us down. It can build to the point of toxicity which bleeds into how we feel about ourselves and our space. Let this post serve as a gentle nudge to encourage you to deal with the archaic and obsolete things in your world. Jump on it, get it done, feel better and remind yourself that a little hard work pays off in more ways than just nice cupboards!