letting go



Remove unnecessary items from (an untidy or overcrowded place)

That could include what?

  • wardrobe
  • kitchen cupboards
  • dvd collection
  • garage
  • desk


The list is endless.  But what about:

  • blogroll
  • Facebook “friends”
  • Christmas card list
  • to do list
  • bucket list
  • hobbies
  • tv programme must watch list
  • obligations


They fall into two main categories:

  • contacts
  • to do lists

I am not suggesting you cut your friends down to two, dropping all others like a rotting fish.  We have concentric circles of friends and acquaintances.  Life would be very lonely with only two close friends and no passing acquaintances, the people you meet at a party or the bus stop and can chat to without any obligation to “meet up for coffee”, yet have enough in common to genuinely be pleased to see them and pass a few minutes of your time with them.  Equally if these were the only friends you had you life would be equally lonely.

However there a some people who appear to have your best interests at heart but in all honesty drain your energy, block your movement forward and leave you frustrated, though you don’t know why.  Julia Cameron calls them the crazymakers, the people who cannot survive without a drama and usually at the expense of somebody else.  They have only one schedule, theirs; they expect special treatment (because of course they would give it to you if you needed it); they live in their reality not yours, your boundaries only count if they fall within theirs; they are expert saboteurs, the ones who plant a tiny seed of doubt “for your own good, I can see the bigger picture”.  And all the time they maintain a brilliant facade as your protector, your champion, the only one who really understands what you want to do with your life.

Let the crazymaker go.  We all have them and they are often the people we least expect.  When I gently let my crazymaker slip away after far, far, far too many years my entire family noticed the difference.  We were collectively less stressed.

Some people are perfectly lovely but were never destined to be in your life forever.  There are some people who live thousands of miles away but with whom I still keep in touch.  It may be irregular but it is genuine and we care about each other despite the distance.  There are some people to whom I am still sending Christmas cards, who live maybe 20 miles away and I haven’t seen for over 10 years.  Why am I still sending those cards?  Every year I feel immense guilt that despite the promises last year, we have not managed to find a single day out of 365 where we could spend even an afternoon together.  Isn’t that telling me something?

The energy you invest in keeping in touch with somebody with whom you no longer have a relationship is draining.  The guilt, the broken promises, sometimes made with your fingers crossed behind your back are all sucking you of energy you could spend on the people who matter to you whether they are next door or on Christmas Island.

I have friends who have bursting address books and for whom maintaining friendships with vast numbers of people is simple maybe even their lifeblood.  But if you are not that kind of person don’t beat yourself up about it, so what?  We are all different and bring different gifts to the table.

Now, whilst it is warm and sunny while the summer lies before you (sorry for my Southern Hemisphere readers, I too have lived south of the equator and used to get more than a little irritated by the sweeping seasonal generalisations made by the other side of the world) lie out in the grass and think about who you would miss if they slipped out of your life tomorrow and who you might be sorry to say goodby to, but you know you’ll feel a little lighter without the responsibility of keeping the friendship going.

Sorry no photographs today.


I’m still on paper week.  I have a morning routine that, acts of God and teenagers notwithstanding, I stick to like burrs to a dog.

  1.  Get up, dress, drink large mug of black tea and large glass of pink grapefruit juice.
  2. Take Singers to station for school.
  3. Return home and have second mug of black tea.  Check emails/blog etc and have breakfast (fruit and yoghurt/porridge/toast and marmite or marmalade depending on mood and state of pantry).
  4. Read and contemplate Bible verses from New Daylight.
  5. Write 3 things in my gratitude journal.
  6. Complete daily entry in slightly offbeat Keel’s Diary.
  7. Write Morning Pages.
  8. Meditate and Pray

After that I am more or less ready to face the rest of the world and am a nicer person for the rest of the world to have to face back.

Now, your starter for ten.  How many of the above require me to use a pen and/or paper?  The answer is 3.  Actually it is less than I had thought.  Are they necessary – ABSOLUTELY!  Can I do it differently – maybe.

New Daylight

Bible reading notes that I have been using for years and love.  And guess what – available online.  I don’t need to buy a book, I can read them on my laptop or my phone.  Advantage Gillie

Gratitude Journal

Three things, every day, for which I am grateful.  Sometimes I just about manage (1) I am alive (2) my family is alive (3) we have a roof over our heads.  But it is rare that I am that desperate.  Yesterday’s were (1) A beautiful walk home from book club along the lane at 11pm (2) Friends like V and L  (3) The soft wet nose of a dog who wants a cuddle.


I could write these in an online journal somewhere, but no, I don’t want to.  I have a beautiful blue soft leather journal The Boss bought for me from Sorella.  I feel happy just unwrapping it.  I love flicking through the previous entries.  Some repeat time after time, some reflect the position I was in at the time and some make me laugh  “Two perfect poached eggs for supper”!  Deuce

Keels Simple Diary


You have to see it to understand it.  I am on my second volume.  I have been a diary keeper from the moment I could write (a problem in itself – what on earth do I do with all those diaries, especially the mortifyingly embarrassing ones full of teenage angst and unrequited love?)  But when you write in a diary you write what you can remember, what you want to remember and how you want to remember it.  With the Keels Diary you have to fill in the gaps.  So for yesterday I had to answer:

Your day was:   a woodpecker     hip     a heartbreaker

Explain why:

This is engagingly vulgar:

What is for good?

The ideal time frame for SOON: a) not to be worlds apart  b) to be home some time after midnight c) surprising others with an earlier arrival or delivery

NEVER 1. Spit in someone’s face 2. Mess with children  3. Burn a book 4. Always be nice   5. One more time.

I had to consciously think about my day, what was it like?  Why was it like that?  What do I think?

It’s maybe not for all, but I love it.  As a little quirk of my own I write each day in the appropriate colour for the day (synaesthesia – go on look it up!)

There is apparently an app for this.  UGH.   I don’t want to fill in an app I want to write and doodle and use the right colour for the right day (Tuesday is yellow)  GAME SET AND MATCH

Morning Pages

Ha!  This was easy.  I use 750words.com  I know that Julia Cameron says that it should be longhand.  But I type faster than I write and I think even faster.  Longhand was taking me ages and leaving my thoughts behind.  Anyway I like the little badges I can earn and these aren’t pages I ever intend to read again. They are a mind dump.  Online is perfect  DEUCE

But is it?  Zero waste is about throwing things out.  Neither my gratitude journal nor my Keels Diary are going to be thrown out in my lifetime (unlike those awful teenage diaries).  It is rather passing the buck to my children, but hey they have to make some decisions for themselves.  ADVANTAGE GILLIE