Is it time for a life audit and edit?
Posted on January 24 2016
I love the quote above by personal finance expert, Nathan W. Morris. I must admit, the “ruthless” life edit was something that took getting used to on my part. There’s always the fear of what people will think of you. If you cut off a destructive friendship, they’ll see you as a horrible person, even as they continue to hurt you. If you say no, then you’ll be viewed as inflexible. If you choose yourself, you’re most definitely selfish. Somehow, you begin to think that it’s easier and more convenient to leave things the way they are. You come up with all of these excuses to continue to hold on to garbage and clutter.
I am of the belief that if something doesn’t add value to your life, then it doesn’t deserve to be in your life. A few times a year, I perform a life audit and follow it with a life edit. I examine my relationships, my work, my passions, my finances. I take a look at where my energy is going as well as who and what I’m spending my time on. It’s not easy to face the truth when you’ve been hiding in the shadows.
…you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul. Anna Quindlen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life.
I tell myself often that having a quality life means being thoughtful, observant and conscious of everything happening around me. Audits and edits are not a one time thing. You need to frequently make use of them in order to have a quality life.
Whenever I get a chance, I love to watch my mother in her garden. I observe as she cuts and prunes. It looks harsh as she cuts away branches, leaves, and even buds. If you had no idea of the pruning process and were watching this, you’d think there’d be nothing left after. The fact is that you prune to remove the damaged and unproductive parts of the plant. You prune to shape and direct the growth of the plant. You prune to ensure a healthy and blooming plant when its season finally comes.
Letting go of things and people we’ve become accustomed to is never easy. They could be space fillers but we refuse to let them go because we’re afraid of having an empty space. An empty space is very awkward for a lot of people. The interesting thing about life however is that you can’t invite something new in, until you create the space for it.