The Best Lesson: Letting Go, Turning Loose

This week Mister Soandso has had to be at work early and stay late so I’ve been doing the morning school drop-off as well as the afternoon pick-up. For a non-morning person, it went surprisingly well and we were on-time every day. It’s probably sad that this makes me so surprised and happy.

Biggest is across town in the pre-IB program, while Middlest and Littlest are still at their old elementary school. Transporting our kids means making a triangular trip about the metro area that includes driving past our old house.

As I headed home yesterday I had a wee realization. This past week, in fact longer than that but I’m not exactly sure when it happened, I no longer look at our old house and have feelings about it.

I have, officially, let go of it.

I don’t know if I should be happy or sad that it took me so long to be able to let go of it. On one hand, it was a great house and a really great home for my family and I for 10 years. It makes sense that it would take me a bit to transfer my affections, so to speak. But it also seems crazy that it took over 7 months for me to stop having my heart strings pulled by a wooden structure!

As I was navigating traffic and a trip to the Donut Nook on my way back home, I mulled over the whole thing. (Which seemed a better use of my brain power than wondering what the heck all those other drivers were doing that made their laps so interesting while driving.)

Why did it take so long to stop thinking about my old house when I had so excitedly built a new one? Moving was a good thing and something I actively set about doing. It wasn’t like we moved against my will or anything.

And I think it was because I was living in flux for most of those 7 months. Without a target to move towards, it is easy to get stuck on what was rather than what can be.

Now that we are unpacked and fully living in our new house, everyone seems less stressed, less quick to anger or angst, and less jittery. I’m fairly certain I am not the only one who took a bit to fully acclimate.

Without anything else to capture our attention or affection, it is so easy to not know how to let go of a thing. I like how my father-in-law put it: “it’s like he just couldn’t turn loose of it.”

IMG_7386Letting go requires either the muscle to fatigue to the point that it can’t contract any longer, or consciously choosing to let go of the object. To turn loose of something is an idiomatic description of letting that thing freely make its way regardless of your will.

In either case, letting go and turning loose can be hard as hell to do, but having done it, either feels wonderful.

There are so many things that I have tried to learn to let go, as well as others that needed to be turned loose.

Insults and injuries…let the memory of them go. Bad relationships and hurtful people…let the pain go. Fears and anxieties…let their power dissipate until it is gone. Misplaced dreams and expectations…turn them loose so that they can either come back at the right time, or find a new home. People and relationships that no longer soothe…turn them loose so there is more of my heart available for the people who do soothe me.

As much as I’d love to have the physical strength, agility, and health of my 20s, I thank the gods daily for getting the chance to be 46. Because now I have learned some of the best lessons. Letting go and turning loose of things that no longer apply or help or make me and my life better, that has been a wonderful lesson. I know I’ll have to keep doing my homework before the lesson is 100% absorbed, but I’m a damn good student and I study hard. And this lesson makes all the others easier to understand.

*In case you are wondering about my new penchant for writing upon myself, I only use images I have personally created and since I have no idea how to do all those adorable pinterest-esque images, this works for me. Plus, I really love the way it keeps me thinking about stuff. They become an affirmation of sorts. 

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One thought on “The Best Lesson: Letting Go, Turning Loose

  1. This is one I have trouble with. Barneses are not good at letting things go, either good or bad. Work in on it…

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