Welcoming a fourth child into the house, as we’ve done this last month by being a host family for Friends of Chernobyl’s Children, is very rewarding, but also brings with it a lot of hard work and disruption to our ‘normal life’. This of course is to be expected and is a small price to pay.
However Valya went back to Belarus this weekend and I’ve spent a couple of days getting the house back in order, which has felt very cathartic.
Yet again Valya’s visit has been a lesson in gratitude for how much we have – and has helped highlight to me that we also have too much!
In my tidying up I went further and started deeper clearing too; I wouldn’t go so far as to say a declutter, or minimalist approach, but certainly a serious strip back of unnecessary, broken or unloved items. It’s a big house, filled with a big busy family and we’ve been here for 13 years now, so our accumulation of ‘stuff’ is significant despite my best intentions.
A weekend is not enough to do the job ‘properly’, but I’ve made a good start and I’m pleased at the impact on the sense of space – both externally and internally.
It’s reminded me that as an introvert, I find too much noise and clutter draining.
I’ve also enjoyed rediscovering items and aspects of the house that had become hidden or obscured. It’s awakened a sense of new possibility and potential (as well as revealing bits of the house in distinct need of attention!). I was reminded of Timothy Galweys’ equation (who write the Inner Game of Tennis):
Performance = potential – interference.
I realised all this clutter is interference, and I’m enjoying reducing it in order to reveal the beauty and potential that lies underneath.
And of course this external process is a mirror to my internal process, as I reduce my own ‘interference’ of unhelpful beliefs, attitudes and self talk. It’s hard work – but so worth the effort!