What Kind of Museum Does Your House Hold?

Spring is in the air! Well, more or less. Warm weather, coupled with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Question of the Day, motivated me to open the windows, let in the fresh air, and begin some serious Spring purging.

While taking inventory of what to keep and what to toss, I discovered quite unexpectedly, that I haven’t been living in a Museum to Grief, as Liz suggested, but instead a Museum of Failure. Every broken thing I haven’t gotten repaired is one more thing looming on my To Do List. Every outfit in my closet that doesn’t fit is one more pound I haven’t shed. Every reminder of a life that no longer exists keeps me in a holding pattern of What No Longer Is.

So the time has come to ask myself, why in the hell am I keeping all this shit?

First off, I came to the realization that if something was in need of repair, I was kidding myself that it was ever going to happen. The fact that I had lived without it meant one thing: I didn’t need it. I tossed that failure right into the trash, and, man, it felt good. Larger items got stored for the upcoming Spring Clean Up where, I am quite certain, someone will snatch it up off the curb, repair it, and make it their own.

Moving right along.

My bedroom closet ended up housing an alarming number of clothes waiting patiently to be worn but that no longer fit. It occurred to me that when I look for something to wear, I come face to face with clothes I plan to fit into “one day”. On a daily basis, I am unconsciously reminding myself that I have failed: Failed to lose the weight, failed to fit into something I once wore, failed to reach a goal I set for myself. I needed to accept those clothes weren’t ever going to fit me again and to give them to someone who could use them. And that’s exactly what I did.

Then came time to address the things I have desperately clung on to that simply had to go.

At the top of the list was the terracotta pitcher I received at my bridal shower from someone who meant the world to me. I had convinced myself if I kept that pitcher, I would be able to hang on to the friendship. The truth is, some friendships rely heavily on proximity and this was one of them. I decided to sell it on Varagesale. When the woman who bought it from me held it in her hands as if it were an Academy Award, I knew it had found a good home.

The multicolored chairs I loved so much and where so many important conversations in my life took place were the next to go. They were designed for the life I created while I was married and had no business being in my new home. Not only did they not match anything, they served as a constant reminder that the life I spent cultivating didn’t work out. It pleases me to no end knowing they went to a lovely couple who lost everything they owned in a fire right before Christmas.

The more I purged, the more I wanted to purge! Things that had been haunting me were no longer around and had found homes where they could be appreciated. My Museum of Failure had turned into a House of Great Rewards! I not only felt emotionally rejuvenated, I had some cash to boot.

From now on instead of surrounding myself with things that remind me What Could Have Been or What Might Be or What Isn’t, I am going to start living in a place of What Is.

And, of course, be grateful.

What kind of museum does your house hold?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Fear,

Dear Fear,

First of all, I want to thank your for your input. I appreciate your honesty. I can see how you believe I would be interested in subscribing to your philosophy considering this partnership has gone on between us for so long. But the thing is, you have been calling all the shots for a very long time. You have been determining what direction we will be going in, or more accurately, not be going in. I’ve listened to your doubt and embraced the insecurities you have imposed on me. I’ve been comforted by your presence because it has been a consistent part of my life. You are the familiar face I recognize in a world of uncertainty.

You have talked me out of making decisions, claiming to be looking out for my best interests when really I think it is your best interests we have been serving all this time. I have willingly empowered you to become a stronger force in my life. I have fed you the fuel you needed to become stronger and bigger. I’ve allowed you to dominate my life.

You’re the toxic friend I have to let go of in my life. You’re the one who reinforces my lack of confidence. You remind me on a regular basis that I am not good enough. I need someone to lift me up not drag me down into the abyss of self-doubt while pulling away the rope. I need someone who believes in me, not someone who believes in suppressing me.

You have filled my head with so many versions of “What if…” that I never even considered the possibility What if you are wrong? What if all the stuff you have been telling me isn’t the truth at all but devious fiction you’ve created to serve your own purpose?

You believe that I don’t matter, that my thoughts and opinions aren’t valid, that I will fail if I give it a try.

And maybe you’re right.

But maybe you’re not.

Maybe, just maybe, I do matter. Maybe my thoughts and opinions are valid to someone other than you. Maybe I’ll fail but maybe I’ll try again and succeed.

You’ll be missed like any bad habit one acquires and tries to give up. I imagine you will find a way to try to creep back in my life. But I want you to know YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE ANYMORE. I’m dissolving this partnership. I’m stepping out of this dance I have become so dependent on and accepted as truth. I’m finally looking you in the eye and seeing your for what you really are

An excuse.

An excuse not to try, not to create, not to live.

Goodbye, Fear. We may meet again, but next time I will be prepared for you. I will acknowledge you but I won’t embrace you and let you back into my life.

Ever again.

And that, you can count on.

Melle

Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast Magic Lesson #9

Bonjour, World! C’est Moi, Melle!

So I signed up for the WordPress online course, Blogging 101, and the very first assignment was “Introduce Yourself to the World.” I chuckled to myself, piece of cake, as I scrolled through my blog to the part that said Much Ado About…Who? I fully intended to copy and paste (a skill I have nearly mastered) and have my first assignment under my belt.

That line of thinking quickly came to an abrupt halt.

The Much Ado About …Who? description had been written in 2012. A LOT had changed since then.

Deep breath. I got this.

I promised myself when I signed up for Blogging 101 that it wouldn’t end up in the pile of all the other commitments I had made to myself. It wasn’t going to be the step class I paid a month in advance for but only attended the first class; it wasn’t going to be the pact I made with myself to actually read the Book Club selection rather than Google the Spark Notes summary ten minutes before the meeting; it wasn’t going to be the promise I made to consistently post on my blog…

By signing up for Blogging U., I would be held accountable for the question I have been asking myself since, well, 2012. “To Blog or not to Blog.”

So my moment of truth has arrived and it’s time to get on with it. Shall we?


Who am I and why am I here? I’m Melle Richardson, a forty something mother of three who was born and raised in the state of California. Nearly two decades ago, I was transplanted to the Midwest via proxy of marriage. Originally, a stay-at-home-mom, I became a single mother and then ultimately an empty-nester. I am currently trying to navigate my way through a very technology based world in which, against all odds, I misplaced the very necessary directions. Equipped with a positive attitude and an awesome sense of humor, I am determined to succeed at whatever I do even if I’m not completely certain what it is I want to do. My immediate goal is to graduate from Blogging U. at the top of my class.

We live in hope...To Be Technology Savvy

We live in hope….Ah, To Be Technology Savvy!


Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal? I do keep a personal journal but it’s time to branch out and become part of the Global Conversation. As the singular member of My Own Worst Critic Committee, I am willing to risk it and branch out into the world, haters come what may. (They can’t be any worse than Me, Myself, and I) —(Right?)


What topics do you think you’ll write about? I’d love to write about current events and how they pertain to me (of course) but I would have to be savvy enough to figure out the configurations of my blog and write something–anything, really– before the topic I was writing about was no longer trending. (I feel confident Blogging 101 will provide me with the necessary tools to make this dream a reality.)


Who would you love to connect with via your blog? OMG! Who would I love to connect with via my blog? Elizabeth Gilbert of course! We would Eat good food, Pray about me figuring out the logistics of my blog and Love every minute of it! CAN.YOU.IMAGINE.???


“Let’s cross over” in Italian from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love. Photo via Instagram.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you have hoped to accomplished? If I blog successfully throughout the next year, God willing, my blog will be made into a movie and I will be played by Julia Roberts. No wait! If I blog successfully throughout the next year (and by this I’m guessing the Blogging 101 people mean I will be able to post my own blog without any outside assistance), Liz Gilbert will write a screenplay in which Julia Roberts and I can play two super technology savvy sisters who blog their way into Happily Ever After.


So there you have it.

Enough about me, right? It’s time for you to decide what you think about me.

Let’s do this!