My dining room looks like a bomb went off in it. The chaos matches that provided by the recent snowstorm that dropped thousands of trees, rendering all infrastructure in our area useless. No power. No internet. No roads. What else is someone to do but tackle those “someday” projects in the house?
The upheaval has reminded me why change is so damn hard. The end result will be great. The getting there is hell on earth.
During the snowstorm, my husband took advantage of me being out of town (yes, I escaped snowmageddon) to finally update and rearrange the server closet in our house. After living here for almost 20 years, it needed to happen. Technology has advanced considerably over that time, and the number of obsolete wires in that closet are only outnumbered by the trees the snow storm took down.
His first step was to take everything OUT of the closet. Do you know how much stuff you can stuff into a closet? Every surface in a 20 foot radius was covered with the things he has been stuffing in that closet for years and years and years. It’s not a pretty sight. It’s so bad that, for the first time in history, he suggested I extend my trip. Not for my safety or comfort (stay off the icy roads, we don’t have power). No, it was so I didn’t have to see the mess.
It’s easier to stuff things into a closet than it is to see the mess or make decisions about what to let go of.
The change (ie clean closet) is going to be great. Facing the process of getting there is taking a lot from both of us. He has to decipher all the wires and get rid of the deadweight without taking down the systems in the house. (So far, satellite TV in one room is the only casualty.)
I have to keep my mouth shut about the mess. I’m not sure who has the tougher job. I’ve had to change how I think about the mess – and it helps. A little bit. So does have a deadline for the finish date, enforced by inviting friends for dinner at the table that is currently buried under a pile of stuff.
That’s the thing about making any kind of change. It requires us to go through something uncomfortable. The bigger the change, the more discomfort we have to face.
We have to look at our stuff – which is sometimes emotional garbage, grudges, or comfort eating, just to name a few. We have tease out what matters to us and keep what is valuable while letting go of what is not. We have to risk making a mistake – and that can be enough to keep the closet full of stuff.
It helps to remember why it matters. When you have a handle on that, you can live with the discomfort, the mistakes and facing the stuff.
What change are you avoiding because you don’t want to go through the discomfort? What tiny thing can you let go of? What really matters now?
What do you need to blow up to make it better?
Inspiring new ways to look at learning, growth, and reinvention, whether in leadership, athletics, art or life.
Once you have subscribed, you will be sent a confirmation email. Please go and check your inbox, if you do not see a confirmation email, it may have gone to your spam folder.