Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31 Days: Letting Go is for Everyone



Well, you'll be happy to know that I did brush my teeth last night. But wouldn't it have been extra-dramatic if I hadn't?

I've gotta say, I was riveted by all of the snarky postmistress stories all'ayoun's shared. Is it some kind of epidemic we're working against here? Is there a good and gracious postmistress among us who might shed a little light? Because I need answers. Like why does it pain mine so deeply that I buy stamps with cash??

So, it's only day 4 and I'm already nervous that you're sick to death of talking about Letting Go. It's just that I think it's really important. As in, I never knew how important it was. I never imagined that I would care so much or think so often about it.

I want to make one thing really clear: This letting go that I'm doing? It's really pretty trivial. I know that in yammering on about it for 31 days I run the risk of over-dramatizing it. True, it feels dramatic, some days. But I also know that it's not even the half of it. Not even the tenth. Many of you could write a book on Letting Go, and you know what? Maybe you should. Because if there's something I'm learning right now, it's that it's good to know what to do next when you find yourself with your hands full of nothing but change.

So, today.

I did a really bad, supremely delicious, positively confusing thing. While the kids were napping, when I should have been packing, I grabbed the camera and took to the acreage. It felt like a sad last slow dance. For a moment or two, I thought I might cry.

But then I didn't.

Still, it was hard. It was hard because it reminded me of all of the different kinds of letting go. It's more than the house or the yard. It's letting go of dreams and ideas, identity and security. It's letting go of fundamental things that I have believed about myself from the time I was self-aware enough to believe anything at all.

It seems there's plenty left to say. I'm just warning you now. If you were hopeful that my 31 Days might veer off-course 'round about day ten, well, you've got 21 days of disappointment in your future.

But if you stick around, I think we might have some things to learn together. Because whether it's a person or a thing or an inkling of a dream, we all have something we need to unclench if we hold any hope of moving forward. And when you push past the jitters and the dark circles and the heartburn, there's a melty, cozy, tummy-flipping side to change that you might just fall in love with.

35 comments:

  1. i'm certainly sticking around. it just pains me to no end because i was too late in hearing about this 31 day thing to jump on board. so i'll live vicariously through you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You don't realize how hard letting go is until you start the journey through it. I feel like my letting go process was forced upon me and I didn't have time to really contemplate... I'm glad you have time to relish and think through this process. You will be so much stronger in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 3 years ago I quit my job because God told me to. I had to let it go on faith.

    It was hard.

    I still have to let go of that again every day. 3 years later.

    xxoo

    ReplyDelete
  4. love you, sweet friend.

    wish we were late night talking, you in your crazy stripedy socks and me shivering in my ripped shirt. miss you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. well, I for one ama LOVING this series. I still can't get the whole, "fingers stained from last weeks news" out of my head. BRILLIANT! :)

    Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. loving your letting go series...when do you move?

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is great, and just what I'm needing to hear. I'll have to go back and read the others. Thanks for sharing your heart. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I prayed, all day for you...not tooting my own horn, just hope it helped!!! You are on my heart sister, sleep well. I too am sticking around for 31 days and then some!!! I can't wait for all the "new" that is ahead of you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Holy smokes...I think we could yammer on about letting go for 365 days straight. Since we're sharing...letting go has been a mighty burden of mine for the past six months. I feel silly, embarrassed to be carrying this burden. I don't want to care about dropping my kids off at school in my sweats because I couldn't get a shower that morning. I don't want to care about a clean house. I don't want to care about ironed clothes. Why six months you ask? That is when baby girl number three arrived. I was told I would have to let go of a lot to mother three, I understood, but I didn't. So to be the mom I know that I need to be I must let go. I struggle every day with it. It seems like a silly thing, seriously, there are mothers that just want food for their kids, and I am struggling with my morning routine to get everyone out the door to school on time. Seriously. Letting go...keep talking, my soul is listening...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am letting go here too. Letting go of the past and embracing the new for my Mom and Dad. Prayers appreciated. I may have to give my 2 older sisters time-outs. They tend to bicker. God help us!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Letting go is indeed for everyone whether we like it or not. I'm glad you're not veering off on day 10 since I'm looking forward to what else you have to say.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Shanny! I've been digging in boxes from my old life all week trying to get ready for my garage sale this weekend. There have been a few challenges with letting go but for the most part I have persevered. I've also had to realize that there are some things I'm not ready to let go of yet and that's okay too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You are not crazy, and you are not alone. Each and everytime we moved, I took a little piece of it with me. Sometimes it was flower starts, sometimes old hardware (crazy, I know.) And, when my parents moved off the farm I grew up on, even though I was married and had my own house, I felt like they had ripped my heart out. Why didn't you post some of the pictures you took?

    ReplyDelete
  14. since my father past away three years ago my mom has had to move four times! Each time is painful, nerve raking and a wonderful growing experience. It is beautiful to see how God works, it may not how we necessarily like it, but His ways are definitely best!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am really enjoying your series. Currently I find myself letting go even though my location and situation aren't changing. Letting go of expectations...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have just read an excellent book "Recovering from Losses in Life" by H. Norman Wright. Not that you have time to read now, but it is a book that I think everyone should read. Life really is about change and to thrive instead of just survive we need to learn how to deal with loss. Wish I would have read this book years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think talking about and thinking about letting go means something to each of us...because we all know exactly how hard it is. Whether we're letting go of a missed opportunity or a large thing in our lives we cannot control, it's an important lesson to learn. For some things, however, it's an everyday experience that we have to consciously perform, it doesn't just HAPPEN because it needs to. I could say I have "let go" of the fact that I cannot have children, but I have to let it go every day--just a little.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well said, girl.

    As always.

    My most recent "letting go" was over the past 3 years when I realized I'd never be able to have a baby/give birth. It took a good year or so until I was okay with it and was able to move on. But the getting to here part was not easy or fun.

    At all.

    Now that I'm on the other side, I'm SO excited about my future child- where he or she will come from, the background, genetics, etc. It's all so exciting!

    But if you'd told me in 2008-2009 that I'd ever feel this way, I would have called you a liar and slapped your hand for buying stamps with cash!

    GOTCHA!!

    Listen- whether your letting go is in regard to a house or a pet versus a loved one or a dream, it's all pain. It all FEELS painful and uncomfy while you're in the thick of it.

    I see you eventually writing a book about this time of your life so as to help others.

    And yes- Oprah will have you interviewed on the OWN network for it.

    xxooxxoo~

    TT

    ReplyDelete
  19. So here's the thing. I'm with you in your concern that things might get old for people not me after 31 whole days. I fear I've already greatly overused the word "love" and have started considering synonyms. But I'm with the others who commented before me, If ya write it I'll read it :)

    That being said, I know I'm being tacky what with your looming insanity and all...and feel free to ignore me if the answer isn't super simple...but IS it simple to link to your label (31 days series) within your blog post itself? I'm going borderline nuts trying to figure it out.

    I'm praying for y'all every day :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, Farmgirl. I coud listen to you talk about just about anything, for pretty much any length of time. Especially this. I'm counting on you to teach me a thing or two about letting go just in time for me to let go of my baby come this June. I told the Keeper just this ayem that I'm starting to have little moments of panic about the whole thing, so speak your words of wisdom, Shamu.
    I'm listening.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I agree with Teresa you could make waiting for paint to dry interesting!!!

    ~we wanna know how that garage sale went???
    letting go of your inner hoarder, perhaps? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Shannon, You said "it is more than the house or the yard..." but be prepared to miss the house and the yard...another thing to let go of. But you know why we miss it so? Because we do pour our hearts and souls into what we do. It is who we are.
    xo, Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  23. Miss Flowerpatch, Might I just say this post was so beautifully written. As an ex junior high language arts teacher, I feel I would know that your essays must have been the ones your old english teacher's saved for last. This one was a particular favourite: It's letting go of fundamental things I have believed about myself from the time I was self-aware enough to believe anything at all. Content of course, as always a dose of goodness.
    Dana

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ooooh I have a lot of "letting go" to do. I'll be around all 31 days!

    By the way, when we moved last year from our first home of 11 years I hugged my beadboard goodbye. I paid for beadboard in my living room from a bonus I received when we had very little money and I loved that beadboard. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think you are right and I'm glad I can take this journey with you (it's less daunting that way). Keep writing, we're not bored, and we will learn from your wisdom. So glad you take the time to update us when you must be so super busy!

    ReplyDelete
  26. "All change is loss and all loss it to be mourned." Letting go, is hard. And yes, you can write books on it. As your children grow, you'll learn that you have to let go in different ways.
    In the twenty years I have been married, I have moved twelve times, three different states, with five children. At present we are getting ready for move thirteen!

    I have let go of a dearly loved home, friends, places, memories. Some moves weren't so hard. Others I fell into depression over. Letting go, became a dread, then it became a gift. At least a part of it did.

    So for now, I recommend, enjoying the memories you have of your old home. Cry, let your children see that you too are mourning the changes. As for those of us observing you from a computer screen, we can be, if you let us, ones to help bear the burden. Keep sharing your steps of letting go....you may help someone who is struggling too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. lovely :) off to read the rest of your "letting go's "

    ReplyDelete
  28. Write about it every single day if you need to. After our move, I pretty much did just that. In fact, I still find myself sharing my thoughts about it. Mostly because I still am trying to process the change (and it's been a year). Some things take time to let go of. I'm so glad you are sharing this journey!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I like the melty, cozy, tummy-flipping feeling once you decide to let go of the hard stuff....I know what you mean.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Sister, you have nailed it on the head! Change, while full of sleepless nights and doses of pepcid, is an awe-inspiring, spirit-fulfilling, thirst-quenching, seeing-exactly-what-your-made-of moment. I say, talk away.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You write so beautifully. And yes, letting go does bring forth all those butterfuly, gut wrenching "oh no....what have I done??" feelings that make our hearts beat so fast in the middle of the night, but the beauty of God is that when you put your faith in Him, he takes all the risk out of it. Yes, it is still unknown and scary, but really isn't that what life is all about? Not one of us really knows when our world can suddenly turn topsy turvy or end for that matter. Taking the time for pictures and stilling your heart is just a perfect way to embrace and say goodbye to something beautiful and ready yourself for the new and wonderful to come. You could do a life time series of letting go, and we can all still learn something new.

    ReplyDelete
  32. letting go is hard and wonderful all at the same time.
    we're presently "letting go" of the American dream...
    this idea of losing all of our equity and starting over at 38 is awful if we sit around and compare ourselves to all the people who are building their American dream like nobody's business...BUT, if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who keeps us in perfect peace, then it's not so hard after all.

    The "American Dream" says, "I deserve," and I don't want any part of it. :)
    (most days)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I praise God when I think about the things He's helped me let go of. Then I remember all the things I haven't, and pray for more grace to help me with that. I also have to give Him thanks for all the things He's straight-up taken away. He's moved some mountains to help me see Him more clearly.

    Can't wait to read the rest of your days of 'letting go'... I'm on board with this series!

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is so timely for me to day. Keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  35. i imagined you doing just that. i could see it in my mind.. that slow dance of frozen moments. sometimes I think that's why i love living in old spaces... i can almost hear the love sighs of those goodbyes that were there before me. i think of how many feet walked my 100 year old floor.. and i think of how many will walk there after i'm gone. i think of the 200 year story of grace that i am all wrapped up in.. it's good to be part of something older and bigger than you. you may not realize how much my heart is hanging on your every word. He is faithful. :)

    ReplyDelete