What are you holding on to?
Finishing the goal
My last article talks about starting to decorate my daughter's room (again) and it's finally finished!
I had started on the painting and it was a random process. I wondered if it was ever going to be actually finished. The biggest job was the flooring which we finished on Easter Monday.
We decided to put down laminate flooring as her carpet was disaster. She would spill stuff and not tell me, it was absolutely covered in yuck.
This used to really annoy me, make me quite angry and feel like she wasn't taking care of anything. I now know it's part of being ADHD/autistic (not for everyone, but for her).
Holding on to clutter
I'm not very tidy either. I used to think I wasn't a "tidy person", I have been working on that belief for several years but I now know that it could also be ADHD for me too.
When I went to take the bins out the other day it was a classic Jenny moment, I took it to the front door, then went to do something else that had caught my eye on the way. I took it out later, and on the way back in I obviously got distracted again and left the plastic container in the hall. Later my partner brought it into the kitchen "oh yeah, I forgot I left it there".
And that's how an ADHD brain can work.
So, when we started on her room again, my daughter very eloquently told me that she likes to have a tidy room, she needs a tidy room, but she just can't manage to keep it that way. I understood.
She also explained she needed to have less stuff. Perfect! I agree.
I had been trying to reduce "stuff" for 3 years. The thing is, when we started it this time, I realised it wasn't her that was attached to anything, it was me.
Every time she wanted to get rid of something I thought was special I would question her and eventually she said, "I just feel bad getting rid of things because I know you want me to keep it".
Urgh, don't you just hate it when your kids are right, and they teach you a thing or 2!
We have now removed all the things she selected (including her expensive desk).
She loves it!
She has a room that if she wants to change it again (no painting allowed though!), she can. The floor can be wiped, and we can change the rug if she gets bored.
What are you holding on to?
It also got me thinking about hanging on to stuff.
How often do we hang on to things for the benefit of others?
The relationship (don't want to upset the parents/kids/friends).
The lack of confidence (if I start to be more confident, maybe my friends won’t like me).
The job (if I do something different and it doesn't work, what will people think of me?).
We hang on to so many things that don't benefit us, just to suit others.
Own up, how many of you have Christmas presents in cupboards hidden away so you don't have to feel bad for getting rid of something someone gave you, even if you don't like or use it?
As a parent, it's sometimes hard to let our kids make those sorts of decisions but I have had to let it go so she can start to have the clear space that will hopefully help her feel calm.
Think about the expectations you put on others too. Do you make them feel as though they need to do certain things or be a certain way, and if they don’t it makes you annoyed, confused or angry?
This awareness has to run both ways. Look out for the things you are holding on to to please others and look for the expectations you also have of those around you.
When letting go of things is hard, I find having support helps. When I’m deciding to get rid of clutter, I usually ask my partner for his opinion (it’s almost always "get rid of it"). This helps me because I have permission.
What permission are you looking for to live the rest of your life how YOU want?
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Jenny Jarvis is a UK Life Change Coach and NLP Practitioner who has empowered her clients to live a life of their dreams, unleash their relationship with money and start and grow brands and businesses to great success. A truly inspirational individual, Jenny is also the mum to two amazing teens, a Reiki Master and motivational speaker.
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