It was like a bolt out of the blue – at the end of 2012 – when I realized that I couldn’t get a clean start out of the gate for this year because of all the stuff I was dragging with me. The clutter in my files, on my bookshelves and in my head was like dragging a Santa’s bag behind me – only not full of toys and delight! The past was slowing me down – keeping me from the future I want to create.
So I cleaned out. It was time to travel light, be nimble and face the future with what I needed, not with everything I ever gathered. So I sorted. Every book, file and picture had to answer the question – “will you be a part of the future?”
That was it. I was putting a period to the past – places I had worked, successes and failures I had seen experienced and all the different things I had done. “Will you be a part of the future?” I had been saving the stuff cluttering my office in case I needed it. Then I realized leftovers were making me crazy. It was stuff left from my days at IBM, from doing work that I choose not to do anymore. There were pictures and tchotchkes and giveaways from every event I had ever attended. I had staff on top of stuff, hiding behind more stuff. The glory and experiences of the past were weighing down the future.
So instead of watching bowl games, I cleaned, discarded and painted. It was hard work but the question, “are you a part of the past or part of the future?” became the theme.
This week I was working with my coach, reflecting on 2012 and pointing toward the New Year. She brought in the term “traveling light” into that conversation. I realized that without clearing the clutter of my desk, my office and my head I couldn’t commit to traveling light.
It was interesting was when that same theme showed up with MY coaching clients as went through the same close the old year start the new year exercise. How much more effective would we be – facing the tasks of the new year if we let go off the burdens and trappings and assumptions of past years?
I let go of the vestiges of old work, former positions, and the image of myself as a member of the corporate world. I’m moving into the future…. traveling light – an entrepreneur, a coach and a fellow journeyer.