How many of us live, breathe and operate our lives under “obligation” and “duty”? Granted, there are many things in life that are definites; like jobs, family responsibility and commitments. However in reviewing parts of my life, I am finally recognizing ever changing “definites” that can be fined tuned and/or removed totally from my life..
I believe periodic self-evaluation is a good thing that keeps us from falling into ruts and routines. How many times have you looked back and wondered why you let something go on for so long without recognizing you have the power to stop it?
Here is my list of 5 top things that I am choosing to let go of.…
- Toxic friendships. Many times what we get confused with friendships, are not really friendships at all. We have acquaintances that we do things with, but get minimal enjoyment from. Or we have some, where we always seem to be the ones giving and seldom are on the receiving end. Some of these friendships have gone on way past the expiration date. LOL! Ask yourself what are you getting out of the relationship and if you find it is unbalanced, cut it loose. It was not meant to be. Or it could be that it was just meant to be for a season. People come and go in our lives continuously and we need to recognize when it is time for it to come to an end. Continue to be cordial, kind, but you set the limits and you decide your level of interaction. Be assertive.
- Worry and fretting. We tell ourselves we have a handle on it. Yet worry has a way of creeping back into our minds and if we are not careful can set the tone of our views and can impact our joy. Scripture tells us in Matthew 6:34: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (If you want the entire passage on worry, read beginning at verse 25). But recognize that it is so very true. Either you are going to believe it or not. Let it go! Worry will change nothing except you. It certainly will not fix your problems. But rather it will add another dimension to them.
- Procrastination. One of the hardest things in retirement is for me to stop doing, is to tell myself “There’s always tomorrow”. I find this has become my routine response to just about everything. I tell myself, “Well, I didn’t clean my house today….there’s always tomorrow”. “I didn’t finish that project I was working on….there’s always tomorrow”. But what you are doing by procrastinating is pushing things off further, adding to the worry (subtly) of getting things done and most importantly not making the best of time management. Time which really truly could be spent accomplishing small tasks which will not be lurking around in the future, thus freeing your mind for other things. Get the idea? If you don’t stop, it becomes a cycle and soon you are like that hampster on the exercise wheel, running continuously and going nowhere. You must stop it and take control.
- Guilt. Because I am retired, I am pretty free to do what I want to do. And I am finding because I am free, people who are not, often have jobs for me because I am free. First, let me say I do not mind helping out friends. I do so willing, however, there is a core group of people that feel just because you have time, you can automatically do things when they ask, because they ask. There is no guilt in saying “No”. Keep saying that over and over until you believe it. While I am getting there, personally, I have a bit further to go. And so far, it is very freeing.
- Things I don’t need. One of the hardest things about being a career teacher was holding on to things, just in case I need them for a future lesson. And unfortunately, that carried over into every facet of my life. I hold on to things, just in case I need them in the future, whether it is an outfit, I may lose 10 pounds and fit into again in the future or a 12 piece Christmas china setting that I might need if I have a party in the future. Do you see where I am going? I am not using it now. Probably will never use it again, and there is absolutely no need to hold on to it, just in case. Let it go!!!
Out of all of these, I don’t know which is the hardest. And my list is so much longer of things I am letting go of. These just seem to be the 5 top ones I am sharing. I encourage you to make this a year of letting go. Come up with a list, try your best to stick to it and free yourself of unnecessary baggage. You will find you have more control than you thought of many parts of your life. You will feel better and you will certainly feel freer.