Last year at this time, I was in Capetown, South Africa living life and enjoying a wonderful retreat with friends and my two daughters. The photo above is a reminder of that trip just before Christmas, 2019.
Who knew what 2020 would bring? I had lots of plans and was excited to get the year started. As we all know things changed a few months later for all of us.
Still, some things never change. At the close of every year, I begin a process of thinking about the victories and losses of the year. I think about who and what is good for me and those things and people who are energy and time syncs that need to be eliminated from my life. December has always been a time for cleaning out the old and bringing in the new or simply appreciating the good things in life and putting things that are not useful out of sight and mind.
So it’s time to clear my space.
First, I take a physical inventory of my home. Your home is your castle and I like to keep mine fit for a queen. I have a few pairs of shoes with 3-4 inch heels that have to go. Ouch! I love shoes. A few outfits that I haven’t worn for quite some time will also find themselves in the Goodwill donation bag.
At work, I clear out old files and work papers that I no longer need and give the office a good cleaning. I’m pretty organized and do this throughout the year, so this only takes a few minutes.
Next, for the emotional clean up. This has been an extremely tough year for me because I lost my mom in March, just six months after losing my dad. I try to pay tribute to them and the many lessons that they taught me daily. I don’t show vulnerability often because although I am the baby of the family, I was raised to be strong and take care of business. I am and have always been the “business leader” of the family.
My dad was a brick mason and would sometimes take me with him to bid jobs. I watched as he described the intricate details of the work that he would perform for them and what his price would be. My dad was a craftsman and very good at what he did. If he really didn’t want the job because it was cumbersome or involved cinder blocks (which was hard on his back) he would bid it high, but because he was so good, he was still the choice for many people.
My mom would sit me down beside her as she made out inventory sheets to order food and supplies for her job as the supervisor of the J.M. Fields cafeteria. I remember her showing me how she set the prices of menu items based on the cost of the food from her distributor and the labor cost of her employees.
As for things I need in my life – family! I am blessed to have a wonderful relationship with my family members. I cherish each and every moment with them, whether in person, by phone or virtually. Even in our grief, we manage to share in moments of joy and laughter.
My spiritual journey is ongoing. I am less interested in religious activities and more in my relationship with my source of power – Jesus Christ, and in serving Him through my service of others. I respect all religions and belief systems, without discounting my own. As the old saying goes, “you’ll either believe in something or fall for anything.”
The biggest change for me is usually in my relationships. I truly believe that there is a reason and a season for things and people. I am very selective with who gets to spend time with me. Time is limited and anytime that someone spends with you is a gift, whether it’s a 15-minute phone call, an hour-long lunch or an afternoon just relaxing. I take none of it for granted, nor do I allow others to take my time for granted.
Activities that no longer serve me or my life’s purpose will be taken off the table. Period. This opens up time and space for opportunities that are just around the corner. I have already experienced that this year. As I have released some responsibilities from my plate, greater opportunities have been served.
What do you need to clean up in your life to make room for better opportunities?