Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy New Year...Holding On and Letting Go

I wrote but did not publish this blog before the news of the Haiti earthquake and aftermath. This tragedy has touched so many people around the world and the outpouring is amazing. As I publish this blog, it is not without sensitivity to the greater needs in Haiti. With that said.....

For many of us, the New Year brings new possibilities, hopes and dreams for a bright year. Included in this are lists of New Year resolutions that we vow to stick to in the months and year ahead. Losing weight, stopping smoking, getting a new job, getting in shape, finding our passion and the list goes on and on. Many of us start these with sheer determination and stay with them until something abruptly changes our good intentions or they are forgotten.

This year I might suggest taking a look at what you are holding on to and what you need to let go of in order for new opportunities to come into your work, relationships or life. Resolutions give us hope but when we hold on to other things, our resolutions may be impeded. For example, I am trying to simplify my life. As part of this, I decided to let go of my external office space when my lease is up at the end of February. This was not an easy decision. I wrestled with all kinds of issues that came up as to what my professional space is "supposed" to look like.

I am hardly ever in my office as I travel to different business locations. I have kept an office for fourteen years. I have had space that I have only used one or two days a week. I decided to move my office to my home where people can enjoy the beauty of the lake and mountain view. This is located only three miles from my existing space.

This, to others, may seem like such an easy decision especially given today's economic climate, but for me it is less about the economics and more about simplifying. I am always searching for files that are in my home office when I need them in my external office or vice versa. By having one location I am simplifying my work life and creating more balance in my personal life. The economics will be good which I cannot deny as being part of my decision.

In my personal life, I made a decision with my husband, Jeff, to sell our snowmobiles. Another hard decision for me which had, once again, less to do with economics, and more to do with emotional ties. I have been a snowmobiler since I was young, although on and off during my adult life. My late husband revitalized my interest in the sport and we enjoyed many trips together in Northern Maine. I kept the sleds after he passed. Then after my breast cancer, I enjoyed knowing I could still drive the sled and still ride the trails. I love the beauty of the Maine woods, the speed of the sleds and all that is part of snowmobiling. Yet, at this time in my life with Jeff our interests have changed. Just like my office, the decision conjured up many emotions for me. Part of the emotional tie was to my former life with my late husband which I was still holding on to through the sleds. Jeff and I enjoyed the sleds but it was not the same because we have other interests.

I know that by letting my office go and selling the snowmobiles, new opportunities will come into my life. There will be room and time for other things that fit my life as it is now. When we hold on too tight, new things cannot come in. There is no room.

I wish you all a happy new year filled with the joy of letting go so that new possibilities can enter your work, relationships and life. Look at what your holding on to and let go and see what emerges!