Loose Ends, A Lenten Practice (2)

I have started gathering loose ends, writing them down on slips of paper, curling them into twists with scissors, and tucking them into my Loose Ends box. Some loose ends, like dust, are never finished. Some will eventually get done, like the leaky faucet I mentioned the other day. Other loose ends went officially to my “today” list. It’s amazing how much I accomplish once I commit. Since I committed to this Loose Ends practice, many things have shifted, just because of the decision to begin.

I whittled the contents of my inbox, from 208 emails down to 38. I deleted a few, but moved many into a new file named “Loose Ends”. What is left in my inbox are emails about upcoming zoom meetings, and current items for action. Just doing that made me feel more relaxed and spacious.

I also determined that some things do not need to be completed; not all books need to be read. Sometimes one chapter is enough. I can send unfinished books back to the library, or pack them up for the church yard sale. It is a relief to let them go.

I have an ongoing list where every book I’ve read and released in recent years is recorded. I started that practice 40 years ago, when most books I read were from the library. I know I haven’t caught all the titles, but it’s fun to compare what I read in 1981 to what I’m reading now.

It’s harder with books that I love, that belonged to my parents, or that were given to me from the bookshelves of people I respect and appreciate. Marie Kondo says to decide what books to keep based on how you feel when you touch them and look at them. Does the book give you pleasure just by its presence? Don’t decide by opening the book, she insists. Um, no. I’m not there yet.

Deciding what to keep, what to toss, what to pass on to others is now one of the curled up slips of paper in my Box of Loose Ends. But already three boxes of books are gone or ready to go. It’s like a breath of fresh air, like opening a window on the first springlike day. I’ve even dusted a bit, lol!

Box of Loose Ends

Published by dreambringer

Retired from a career in private practice psychology. Ordained to ministry in the United Church of Canada. Mother, grandmother, dreamer, writer.

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