If you’ve been here for a while, you know I’ve had my fair share of major moves in the past couple years. After three years of being a “single married mama” living in Washington, DC, with my (French) husband living in England, I packed up my babies and moved to Paris.
The year in Paris was a busy one full of change, uncertainty, challenge, learning, and love. Then when school was out, we headed back to our summer home in Provence for a slow break. And within 24 hours of arriving, I heard a still, small voice inside that said “Maybe we should just live here.”
I kicked the decision back and forth, then dropped it totally when the ants moved in and we lost the Internet for over a week. I mean, I’m a straight-up urban-loving city girl who would wither in the countryside… right??
But I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. But when there was just three weeks left before the next school year started, I felt the answer: we’re moving into this dream house, full-time, in Provence.
It was a smaller transition than the previous year’s move from America to Europe, but it was still a massive change for me. I’d lived within city limits of a metropolis for 20 years, and had always loved the buildings, the lights, and busy-ness. Living in a foreign country is isolating enough without actually being physically isolated!
But here’s the thing: things can change. We can change. Our lives and likes can change (and, by the way, they can change depending on different times and circumstances, and change back again). Change can be scary but also oh, so, good.
Yes, cities were previously my jam, but that doesn’t force me to live in the same paradigm now that my priorities are different. I’m changing, and so I’m choosing a new environment. It’s a big experiment in happiness, but the slow living seems to really agree with my spirit and my babies – who love the forest, the horses, the space, even the insects. (Last week, Sage found a tiny baby spider on a chair, stopped, stared and sighed, then said, ‘Mama, I just LOVE all the bugs at our house.’ Ha!)
Of course, with every big change, you leave things behind. You let some things go… for good! And I’ve got a great self-care strategy all about that…
Specifically, let’s get real about letting go of old emails (aka one of the absolute best things to let go of for good!). It seems to be such a small thing because they’re intangible, but they take up so much mental and emotional space. This morning, I woke up to 32 new messages since just last night, most of them generic mass mailings. I cringed, and pined for the days when email used to feel fun and manageable. I used to look forward to logging in and reading notes from my friends, getting photos, and feeling more connected to the world.
But somewhere along the line, things changed. Now, my inbox fills daily with solicitations, invoices and newsletters. My communication with the world, and those in it, feels like less talking and more yelling.
So, ready? Try this easy but oh so effective self-care strategy: simply delete what doesn’t serve you. This isn’t some major comprehensive email cleanup, just a five minutes or less process!
Here are a few steps to help you lighten your load of unnecessary e-info:
- Scan your inbox.
- Notice how each email subject line makes you feel: excited, or overwhelmed?
- Set a timer for five minutes, and delete/unsubscribe from anything in the mental “Overwhelm” column. Get them out of your inbox!
- Hint: This means that if you’ve got nine or 90 emails in your inbox that are causing you internal chaos, let ’em ALL go. You can begin again, anywhere. If you’re tempted to keep something you think you “should” read, delete it (or, at least “Archive” it). Have something you actually need to read? Keep it in your inbox, or move into a simple “Misc.” or “Not Now” folder.
This is a super-easy process, and a self-care clutch move.
Give yourself permission to eradicate mental and virtual clutter, and you invite in more clarity and emotional breathing space that you need.
Oh, and one more thing: if you find that my newsletter, or any other, isn’t resonating with you anymore – that it isn’t in the “Excited” mental column – please give yourself permission to unsubscribe. It’s okay. It’s your choice. Staying on the list doesn’t serve you, or the person writing it, I promise!
‘Wishing you courage and calm as you make the big decisions that feel right for you… and as you let go of the old so that you can explore the new.