You can’t change the past. That’s why we have dumpsters.

“Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, child.
See, heaven’s got a plan for you.
Don’t you worry, don’t you worry now.”
– Swedish House Mafia

I’m sitting in my family room listening to Swedish House Mafia. This is a good song. I like it anyway, but I listen to it because Gwen Sisto likes SHM. I figure if I channel Gwen, then I will become a better weightlifter. I can use all the help I can get.

My family room is clean. I’ve spent the last several days completely revamping it. We had a futon that no one ever sat on, so we replaced it with cool chairs. We found an awesome rug online. I donated or threw away anything that wasn’t being used. I organized everything, so it all has a place. My children cannot possibly tell me – although they will try – that there is nothing to do. There are a million things to do just in this room, and my expert organizational skills have made this obvious.

I love this room now.

The front wall is basically one giant window, so during the day, it is bright and sunny. Even with the new furniture, there is plenty of open floor space. It’s simple but inviting.

The only downside is that it’s hot. We don’t have air conditioning, and I think the children have absconded with the small fan that was in this room. It’s fine because I’ve been meaning to buy a larger fan anyway, so I’ve added that to the short list of things that I need in order to finish reorganizing the rest of the house.

Air conditioning and a dishwasher. I think this house is perfect except that it lacks those two things. First world problems or something like that, right?

I know how much I miss having a dishwasher because I just finished organizing the kitchen less than an hour ago, and part of that process involved 20 minutes of dish washing by hand.

The garage is done. The family room is done. The kitchen is done. One room at a time.

My brain needs this.

The process of de-cluttering and organizing is cathartic. Throwing shit away eliminates stress.

It’s a much bigger deal than that, really. This isn’t a random organizational binge. It’s the process of making this house into something that’s mine and something that’s ours. Instead of a jumbled mish-mash of stuff, the house is becoming a collection of things that we selected for a reason.

This cleaning spree is action with a purpose, a purging of the past.

Nick told me today that people aren’t defined by their past. You are your actions. What you did five years ago was who you were THEN. What you do today is who you are NOW.

Jean-Paul Sartre said, “Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have.” He also said, “Man is what he wills himself to be.”

I am not defined by my past. Every second, I am given a clean slate.

I choose my actions.

I can stay in bed and cry and play the victim, or I can get up, get dressed and decide to have an awesome day. It’s my choice, and my decision – my ACTION – defines who I am.

What can I have if I choose to have it? Who will I will myself to be?

Sometimes the memories of our past haunt us so much that we don’t think we have a choice. We feel forever doomed to be THAT person, the one of our past.

“Don’t you worry, don’t you worry, child. See, heaven’s got a plan for you…”

I have a plan for me, and the trash can at my house is filled with the past right now.

I choose to be someone else – the me of today.

Author: Tamara Reynolds

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