Saturday, November 19, 2011

holding on & letting go.

I noticed these little helicopters were about the only thing left on the tree after a big wind and rain storm Thursday night. They seemed to be holding-on with all their might as the breeze tossed them around. The tree is pretty much bare except for a few leaves and helicopters still holding-on. I wonder why they hold-on so long? How do they know when it's time to let-go?

a couple


a few


holding on

Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows that I hold on to things. My office is a perfect, literal example. Books, CDs, cards from years ago, photos, trinkets and treasures from my childhood on up to my college years and first few jobs. In fact, while up in my office looking for a CD for Max, I came across an email I had printed out from May of 2004, before leaving that job to move down here and start my new, married life. It was from a co-worker, thanking me for doing such a great job at my job. And today, as I read it seven years later, it made me smile. It made me feel really good. And I briefly thought, I can't throw this away! You don't get that kind of praise as a stay at home mom. Not even close.

letting go


Life is a lot about holding-on and letting-go. Holding-on to hurts feelings, expectations of myself and others. Holding-on to disappointments and sadness and worry. Holding-on to anxieties about the my future, my son's future, my parents' future. Holding-on to "stuff" - we all have so much "stuff" in our lives. Do we really need it all? All those books we've read and we know we will never read again. All those CDs we've put on our iPod. All those cards from loved ones. Why do we keep it? What are we really holding-on to by holding-on to all of that "stuff" - the "stuff" we can touch and the "stuff" that touches our heart and soul. Unfulfilled dreams? Pieces of our younger days? Memories of when times seemed simpler? All of this holding-on wears me so far down, that you'd think I'd just fall to the ground in pieces. And some days I do - or at least I feel like I'd like to, but I can't. I'm a mom. I have a small child. I have to be the responsible one now.

And so I guess I'll let-go of what I can. The things that feel safe to let-go of. And at the same time I'll likely hold-on to a lot of things. The things that keep me sane. The things that remind me of that happy-go-lucky girl I used to be.
And that note from that co-worker? I pinned it up on the cork board in my office. It made me smile; it was just as if he was standing before me telling me what a great job I'm doing now.
{Some things really are worth holding on to.}

10 comments:

Stacey said...

First off, these photos are beautiful.

Second, we are so alike. I hold on to stuff mainly for sentimental value. I have boxes of cards and letters that I have saved that people have given me over the years. My email has a box called "save" which is mainly filled with emails from people that have lifted me up, given me advice, said something nice. Stuff like that means a LOT to me. Hard for me to let it go.

However, I cleaned my closet out last week and realized I had a few dresses that I wore on my honeymoon (11 YEARS AGO) that I was saving. For what? Not like I was actually going to wear them again (they would never fit and they aren't really in style anymore). But I was keeping them purely for sentimental value. Because every once in awhile I would come across it in the back of my closet and remember when I wore it. Crazy, I know. (You'll be happy to hear that my crazy self packed them up along with 4 other bags of clothes and brought them to Good Will.) :-)

Letting go of the other life stuff is hard for me too.

Michelle said...

The photographs: STUNNING!

And yes, why? Why do I hold on to stuff? I got rid of all my high school yearbooks years ago because I'm not actually sentimental about objects. It's the practical stuff I have a hard time with. Like CD's. Seriously, why do I still have a stack of those?

I'm going to challenge myself to let them go this week.

Do I throw them in the trash or donate them to charity?

urban muser said...

beautiful photos. love the detail. and your words...perfect.

Marvett Smith said...

Beautiful images. I especially love that first one. I have been a bit of a keeper most of my life as well, but recently I have started to clean things out. I think I hit this spot where I needed to move on. It has felt good to let things go and begin looking for new things to hold onto.

Amanda said...

Loved these photos and your words. I esp loved the 1st and 3rd photos - that bokeh is lovely.

Naomi said...

Lovely photos, lovely words Andrea! I, too, tend to hold onto things that end up just taking space. Like, this huge envelope I have of birthday cards, cards when we had Owen!, cards when we had Max...etc. But, I do it because I want to look back and remember. Although, eventutally I will ditch my birthday cards because I also don't like random stuff just laying around taking up space...I'm kind of neurotic like that. ha :)

Tracey said...

I love these photos and I love your thoughts too. :)

Karli said...

These are truly stunning. The 1st and 3rd ones are my total favorites. WOW! The colors, the gorgeous background. Perfect in every way!

Karli said...

Seriously stalking back by again. You must run and frame that 3rd one immediately! :-) GORGEOUS!

Casey Martinez said...

I agree the pictures are beautiful but, the way you write with them is even more so! What a gift you have with words:). I grew up with a Dad who kept everything and a mom who wanted to get rid of everything and she purged our toys all the time. I guess I took after her in life in a lot of ways. I hold on to very little but, sometimes I wish I had more that I cared about or felt sentimental towards and I don't just mean things. Or maybe that is a good thing, I don't know. lol. I have been so out of touch with all blogs and have missed keeping up with you! I'm so sorry. I hope you are doing well friend! Blessings!