Prying the Lid Off of My Bucket

Lithia Park Photo by Sherri Woodbridge
Lithia Park
Photo by Sherri Woodbridge

I’ve been trying to get organized.  Decluttering. Simplifying life. SIfting through my bucket box.

To others, it could translate a little differently, like: Getting your ‘affairs’ in order.  Making a new (‘life’) plan.  Cutting stress.  Starting a new habit (or two) or breaking an old one.  Cutting clutter.  Going through ‘stuff’. Methodizing ‘things’.  Putting things in ‘order’.  Making a ‘power productivity program’.  Designating time.  FREEDOM.  Spring cleaning. Setting goals.  Cleaning out.  Sorting through junk.

I’m sure you could come up with more.  For me, it’s been a bit of spring cleaning (trying to get a head start so I can finish before summer this time), setting some goals, sorting through things, cleaning out other things, and/or putting things in order

Another thing I’m doing is trying to fill and empty my bucket, or box.  I have a little box covered rather primitively and given to me by a very special person who hid a packet of soup in it when once I thanked her for the delicious meal she made for her sister and I. I loved the box and was elated to find out it was a mix so I could make it!  The box became (and still is) my ‘bucket’ box.  It holds ideas of things to do, to make, to write.  I am good at filling it.  I slack off on opening the lid to actually doing what I put in there.

In his book, Unfair and Unbalance: The Lunatic Magniloquence of Henry E. Panky, the author, Patrick M. Carlisle, makes the statement that, “a Great Man, in his querulous twilight years, who doesn’t want to go gently into that blacky black night, [will] cut loose, dance on the razor’s edge, pry the lid off his bucket list!”  I don’t wish to be querulous now or in my ‘twilight’ years, but I am ready to cut loose, dance on the razor’s edge and pry the lid back on my bucket box.  Perhaps live a little more – or a lot.

I think when you have a chronic or a terminal illness (or intimately know or live with someone who does), you tend to look at life differently. It becomes more valuable as you realize in one way or another, your time is limited.  Limited by days or mobility, functionality or abilities.  You tend to see things in a new light and what was once was not, now becomes a possibility.
For me, to make things more possible, involves being more organized and de-cluttering my ‘life’.  That is all materially, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

I guess you could say I owe this enlightenment to my daughter.
She and her husband came up for Christmas this past December and one evening (in front of her husband, no less) said to me, “Mom, you’ve really got a lot of stuff – a lot of clutter – laying around (yes, she used that word).  You’ve really started becoming a pack rat.”  The shameless boldness to speak to her mother with such truth. Hmph!

The actual truth is – I think I’ve always been a pack rat.  I’ve just organized (or hidden) it well.  So – she doesn’t know it but, her comment lit a fire under me.  January 1st, I made a decision to get organized AND clean out (two different things).  I think what has happened is, I started cleaning out (de-cluttering) and the organization started happening.  When the organization began coming back (I was once super organized), I began to feel less stress and ‘free’. I began thinking of setting goals and designating time anew.  I began thinking about what to take out of my bucket box and doing something about those ideas, whether they be something to make, do, or to visit.
When I began to think of goals, designating time naturally came into play.
Yesterday I heard a woman say, “I realized that I have spent more time thinking about food than thinking about God.”  Shouldn’t that be the other way around (and she was getting to that, I realized as I stood talking to her)?

So, as my life becomes and continues to be reordered, reprioritized, reorganized, I am hoping to get it to look something like this:

~God first in deed, speech, and thought.  What does that look like for me?  He comes first in my attention and affection.  If He truly is the most important, He will get the best of both ~ quantity and quality of time and love.  If that is working well, all the other areas of my life seemto work  well, no matter the circumstance.

Everyone is a child of God and deserves to be treated as such.  There are no exceptions.  What does that look like?  Forgiveness.  Unconditonal love.  Random acts of kindness.  Phone calls/notes to friends and family.  If they matter, it should be obvious.  I have a responsibility to love like Jesus.  If I truly love Him and follow Him, I’ll act like Him and others won’t ever have to question if I love them or if they matter.  My words, my thoughts, and my actions will reflect this.

~De-cluttered.  What does that look like for me?
Thoughts can tend to change as the old thoughts are no longer welcome and I let them go. I believe this stems from the desire to put God back in His right place in my life: first place.  When I give  Him priority in all things, I easily see what needs to go.

Are there material things that you hold on to that are a reminder of past hurt?  Emotional memories that keep you from experiencing true freedom and joy?  Maybe it’s time to de-clutter our inner lives, too.

~Open the bucket box and take something out. I love new dieas.  Something new to try.   Going somewhere new.  Sometimes, however, I get so distracted with new ideas that they stay just that – ideas.  I want to begin to take these ideas out and do something with them, even if it’s to throw them away.  After all, what am I going to do with a note that says, “3 clothespins and yellow paper with Josh”?  (A note I quickly jotted to remind me of some sort of a craft to do with my youngest son when he was five.  What do I do with 3 clothespins, yellow paper, and a five year old?)

What was that quote?  I am ready to “cut loose, …dance on the razor’s edge and pry the lid off my bucket box.

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