January weather has been a trying month for many of us in Western Washington. To make things even more interesting the beginning of the snowstorm was the final move out weekend of a place I had lived for 11 years. It is amazing what you can accumulate when you live somewhere for a long time. I had been slowly moving my things out for several weeks with the intent of only having what I was going to sell left in the house.
Things were going okay until the snow. This of course affected the estate sale, leaving far more to find a home for than I had ever imagined! Amazingly, organizations hungry for donations braved the dangerous conditions elated to have so many things to further their missions. We could not have met our deadline had it not been for our wonderful friends and our cumulative networking. Networking isn’t just for business!
We were still digging ourselves out of the snow when the ice storm hit, leaving us without power for three days and our back yard looking more like a battleground with all the fallen trees than a place of refuge. However, the hardest thing that happened that week was having to put down Tyla, my 15 ½ year old cat I raised from birth. She had not been doing well the past month yet we were delighted and hopeful when she seemed to rally upon arriving at her new home. For three days she was exploring everything, drinking water and even showing some interest in eating again. Then the power went out. She went downhill very fast and after two days I just could not see her suffer any longer. Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is let go. But… letting go does not mean you stop loving or forget.
We brought her home and buried her under the beautiful concrete cross that now hides under the shattered tree, where in the Spring lily’s will bloom. As we came inside, I looked at the boxes of my unpacked stuff. All the time to pack, move and preserve my special memories now seemed silly. I realized that so much of my stuff I have kept to stir memories; memories that have really always live in my heart. Our hearts have an infinite capacity to hold all the memories we wish to carry, good or bad. They go with us wherever we go, neatly packed and the good memories fill us with warmth on cold stormy days.
I know many of you have gone through hard times both in your personal life and in your career. Sometimes we tend to hand on to “things” longer than we should. “Things” can be more than objects. What we tend to focus on tends to be what me produce. If you find yourself stewing (or steaming) about something that happened ask yourself, “what can I do to make it better”? Perhaps it is following the chain of command to resolve an issue, perhaps it is something you have no control over. Bad memories can literally eat your heart out. There is a line in a song, “Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em”. Sometimes, in order to win the game you have to let a bad hand go.
We can focus on the damage done by the storm, which we have no control over, or be grateful we survived. I look outside to the fallen trees and notice how much more sunshine they let in. It is beautiful. Our roots should run deep so when the wind blows it may bend or break a limb but not destroy us. New limbs will grow and now so will the grass!
Negative memories weight heavy on your heart and good memories make it float. As Valentine’s Day approaches, remember to fill your hearts with good thoughts and memories. While your hearts may be full, there is always room for more and so much easier to pack!
Happy Valentine’s Day from this Hart to yours!