I used to absolutely dread the "taking down of Christmas." And what I mean by the "taking down of Christmas" is the taking down of the decorations...every last ornament, garland, and twig of greenery that adorned my home. It always seemed so sad, as if I was rejecting Christmas and no longer showing my love for the season. I felt like I was divorcing the holiday once it was old and done with and had run its course. I would put it off at least until New Year's and then maybe even push the dreaded task to the second week of January so it would still feel celebratory on my anniversary. But, alas, it had to happen. The taking down is as much a part of Christmas as the putting up. Once I finally got around to psyching myself up and mentally preparing to part with the season I hold so dear, I could not get it down fast enough. As decorating for the holidays sometimes takes a slow, methodical approach, taking it all down is a sprint to get finished as fast as possible. Get those containers loaded up, sealed, and on their way to the attic or basement or wherever they hang out till next December. In my case, it's under the bed for lack of closet space (don't tell anyone!). But why I dreaded it so I don't know, because I remember feeling so clean, fresh, and uncluttered once I got the strength and the wherewithal and the utter gumption to get busy and get it done...ahhh, a slate wiped clean for new possibilities. For that very reason, I've learned over the years to embrace this time. So this year was different and all my Christmas decor is down now before January 1st, except for a couple of strings of tiny lights which will linger on my console and in my cloche on the dining room table to ease me through the long cold days of winter. Light is a must during winter time and those little lights make me so happy!
Now that the holidays are behind us and a new year is once again approaching, I like to take this time to purge not only the clutter that has filled my home over the six weeks leading up to Christmas, but also to purge emotionally as well. What clutter daily fills my heart and mind and takes up space there that I can get rid of and, by doing so, make my perspective just a little bit clearer and make room for something new? What attitudes and mindsets need to be thrown out and replaced with something clean and fresh and healthier? What goals and desires have I let fall by the wayside this past year and allowed to become faint memories instead of the distinct possibilities they were at the beginning of 2017? Every year in January I remind myself that a new year means new chances to do and be better, a time for new opportunities, and a time to embrace newly realized hopes and dreams and maybe even revisit some old ones. During the first month of the year I try to take plenty of time to reflect on the past while looking forward to the future, and to find solace in the quiet, purging days of winter. Purging is a perfect way to spend the month of January.
And then there's the renovation...the seemingly endless stacks of wood, tools, dust, and clutter of every imaginable kind, and the equally astounding to-do list on the horizon. At the onset of this job, we had hoped for a six to seven month timeframe but, boy, were we ambitious! Even though we are not where we'd like to be going into 2018, we are thankful for how far we've come and are still looking forward to a spring listing. I can't deny that at times recently I have been very discouraged. It feels as though we've had a good bit of back-tracking on this project. But renovating homes is an emotional roller coaster, to say the least. Sometimes you feel exhilarated; sometimes you feel like you're headed for a dangerous drop but it's too late to turn back and you have to hold on tight and plunge forward. And for some crazy reason, you keep doing it and it continues to fill that place where you entertain possibility and creativity and a little bit of living on the edge. But like the holidays, when a renovation project feels as though it's dragging on and on, it behooves us to take some time off, refresh our perspective, and look at things in a new light. That's exactly what we've done over the Christmas break, and I am excited about finishing up this project and moving on to the next one. Now that we have toasty heat to keep us going in this dead of winter, we can roll our sleeves up and get busy once more. We have a gorgeous soaking tub installed in the master bath and it sits atop some beautiful porcelain tile. The gas logs have been purchased for the fireplaces and are sitting on ready. The kitchen cabinets are waiting to be installed and the countertops will be finalized this week. I hope to have some pictures to share soon.
Every year I feel excited for a new beginning. There is something about new beginnings that gives us hope. And there is something about purging that makes us feel clean and refreshed. We have moved probably 10 times in the last 10 years, and sometimes it feels like my belongings are scattered from here to there and everywhere in between. We have an apartment filled with the necessities of everyday living, a storage unit filled with all the things we think we cannot yet part with, and quite a few items loaned out to family for safekeeping. Sometimes I find myself in the middle of a pity party, telling myself that one day my life will be organized and I will be able to account for everything I own and, better yet, have a place for each thing I possess and every one of those things in its designated place. But then I remember to count my blessings once more, to be thankful for the good ol' crazy here and now, and embrace the present and every new adventure that comes my way. And wherever we're hanging our hat at the moment, purging is one way that I can make every place I live feel more like home.
Thanks so much for reading my thoughts during 2017. I'm happy someone wants to listen and I truly appreciate you riding along with me on this journey. Continue to follow us and our home renovations all through 2018 and beyond...I wish you a very Happy New Year, and some quiet winter days filled with the satisfaction of a good purge...
(To top off all the activities of the Christmas season, we have four birthdays in our family in December! This nana is about partied out!)
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
- Charles Dickens
Posted by CC
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