I started this year on a mission to organize stuff.
Those who know me may be a little surprised at this since I’m already a person who doesn’t like clutter and is constantly getting rid of things.
But this time it was a little different, this time it was personal.
Almost Anything Can Have Sentimental Value
Often many, or even most, of the things we seem to always be sorting through and putting back on the shelf or in the closet have a sentimental value. I use the term sentimental loosely because we can usually find sentimental value in just about anything. Ticket stubs, cards, gifts from someone all bring up a nice memory—or so we tell ourselves.
What happens when those ‘memories’ of yesterday burden us from making room for new ones? Or they feel more like an obligation to constantly move them around so we can’t find what we really need for today or make room for tomorrow?
It’s as if we have a book that we love and keep reading it over and over and never read something new. As if we think that nothing could ever compare to this book so we never pick up a new one.
Your Story Starts Today
At the start of the year I read Marie Kondo’s book about the magic of tidying up (it's always been magical to me) and one thing particularly stuck with me to help me realize and embrace letting go of things that may have become baggage instead of bringing joy.
It was to recognize that some things serve a purpose for a time in our lives, but that may not serve the person we are today. So it’s not that we didn’t appreciate and love something, we’re just ready to move on to find new joy. (Although I can’t fully support Marie’s beliefs on how many books we should keep—that’s where I draw the line.)
These concepts also connect to the characters I love to write and read about. If a story only ever focused on the past, and the characters never moved forward, the story may not be as interesting. We want to see our characters break out of their shell, make progress, and discover new things. So why don’t we apply these same principles to our own lives?
Live Through the Characters- or Become One
It’s comforting to hold onto the past, but sometimes it’s more exciting to see what the future might bring—even if it’s just the joy of having a closet that we can open and know what’s in there and where to find everything.
I did take this a step further this year and changed my job after working in a position for 16 years. This decision was both terrifying and exciting. It wasn’t something I would normally do. It’s something I would make my characters do in my stories.
But I thought perhaps it was time that I faced that inciting incident and let a new adventure begin. While other times, it’s enough to live vicariously through a character in a book and enjoy a quiet, organized space of my home.
How Are You Writing Your Story?
Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her website, Facebook& Twitter