Clearing Away

It always surprises me how much better I feel when my countertops are cleared away and down to the essentials, which include my canisters, a beautiful bowl, a small basket woven for me by a good friend, a tiny vase, and 4 depression glass coasters I have had since 1979.  

These “essentials” make me happy.

Aside from the baking ingredients inside my canisters, the rest of the things are essential only to my soul. I like the way looking at them makes me feel, but I want a LOT of space in-between them to feel at peace. I need peace. 

Heritage, humble beginnings, friendship, family, beauty…it’s good to be reminded of those things every morning when I take a moment to absorb whatever thoughts are slowly emerging from my brain. 

Other items like “the candle of the moment”, a working grocery list, library books, or a recipe I’m making are the extra life props on my countertops. They live there in rotation for a while, but never permanently. 

You could say the state of my countertops is a window to the state of my mind.

Clutter = chaos for me.

Right now I’m living with too much clutter.

When I systematically remove, rearrange, or deep six the clutter, it feels like I’m also processing the chaos in my mind. 

The pandemic brought a different kind of clutter into our homes and into our lives. 

The very real symbols of that global mess have taken up space in selected corners of our homes. 

Lysol wipes, 90% rubbing alcohol, various masks in zip lock bags, a digital thermometer, a life saving oximeter, and all the vitamins known to man…bulky pieces that occupy too much room in our homes and in our minds. 

For two wonderful weeks I pared these corners down and breathed more easily.  Then the cycle started over and the corners came alive again. 

But something changed inside of me…a perspective shift.

I don’t allow these items in my kitchen anymore. 

They don’t need to occupy that space, plus they wreak havoc with my sanity and my peace. And I need peace as much as I need just about anything else. 

This is most likely a “way of life” for a while, but I’m not going to act like I’m on “red alert” every day anymore. Like the BP meds I started taking when my first born was in kindergarten, pandemic supplies will have a place in my life, just not center stage. 

I’m using the pandemic as an example here, but it is not the ONLY important issue for all of us. 

Life is full of challenges to manage, adjust, and adapt.

Curve balls happen every day.

There are problems to solve, behaviors to change, and bridges to be built, for heaven’s sake.

We find ways to live with all kinds of chaos, uncertainty, and daily protective behaviors. We do it when changes, good or bad come our way: job change, job loss, retirement, births, death, accidents, success, marriages, divorce, new homes, new relationships. We manage through all those big things and eventually move them into our own personal “normal”. 

In all of this adjustment, we move on, clearing the way for life! 

This writing piece started out as one thing and became another thing, much like all the things in my head.

And as someone who sees the big things in life through the lens of the little things…it seems fitting to say that today and tomorrow I’ll be clearing away a few more “countertops” in my life and I’ll be doing that for quite some time. 

Bit by bit, doing the small work to get to the big work of clearing the way for life…that’s where I am right now. 

Like the commercial for Capital One, I ask this question of you: What’s on YOUR countertops? 

6 thoughts on “Clearing Away”

  1. Fantastic article Linda with your normal style and grace! I love your symbolism! And ots perfect timing for me since I’m once again trying to downsize a little more on this next move! And I’ll have smaller counter tops and therefore less clutter! However more living space (inside and out) for more real living! Which translates to less clutter in my life when I officially retire in 2022! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You go girl!!! You have done the work! Now soon…you will be able to reap those benefits!!! Proud of you!! And looking forward to fun in your morning room and on your deck once it is built. And that great front porch deserves some coffee time together too.


  2. I love this blog. I need to heed your wisdom, instead of just reading it and thinking, “Yeah, you’re right, Linda!”😊
    It’s not easy to unclutter after 50+ years of collecting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Decluttering…VERY HARD!!! As I said…I am in a huge de-cluttering stage right now. I declutter some each day…still, there is more I would like to give to somebody else who needs it more than I do.


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