“Good Riddance Day”
Every December 28th – today – we recognize “Good Riddance Day.” Celebrate is probably the wrong verb, so let’s keep it as recognize, observe, or participate.
For our aging in place concerns, it allows us to achieve more organization in our homes with less stuff than we had a day or so earlier. We get to focus on items we no longer need or want and to get them out of our homes – as trash or donations.
The three meanings of “Good Riddance Day”
Originally created as a way of cleansing ourselves of limiting beliefs, negativity, and other less-positive emotions and ideas, Good Riddance Day certainly allows us to perform this cleansing ritual. Considering the year that many people have faced emotionally with the quarantines and self-isolation, there may be many limiting beliefs or negative thoughts that need to be purged from our thoughts. Today is the perfect time to begin addressing these and to move on from a year that most of us found to be challenging in many respects – the second application of Good Riddance Day.
The third meaning that applies is to remove items from our homes that have been allowed to remain. Maybe we have brought them into our homes to get through the unknown situations we have been experiencing or possibly they already were present. Still, we don’t need them, and they are cluttering our lives and our living space – us and our clients.
Collecting items is so easy to do
One of the main reasons that people age in place rather than move to another home – aside from the fact that they really like their home and see no feasible reason to contemplate a move – is that they have amassed so much stuff over the years. There could be an accumulation of decades in the making.
People hold onto seemingly good clothing or shoes (and sometimes new with the labels still attached) that they never wore, outgrew, or the styles moved on. Some of the clothing needs minor repairs or is stained.
We have old sporting equipment that we might intend to use again (assuming that they are still in working condition and that technology has not replaced them with a lighter or more effective model). We might have broken appliances that we intend to fix (again assuming that we can even get parts for them or that the company that made them is still in business). We have a collection of spare parts, bolts and other fasteners, touch-up paint, and similar items that were left from various projects we worked on or completed. And the list goes on.
Cleaning is such a challenge
A constant consideration in aging in place discussions is decluttering our living space and organizing what we keep in a better, more streamlined way. We encourage our clients to do this, and we attempt to set the example by doing it ourselves. Nevertheless, this is one of the hardest, most difficult aspects of getting older. Along the way through life, we collect and retain various mementos and souvenirs to remind us of the journey as well as items we think we might use again even though that is usually is highly unlikely.
Each year, we have spring cleaning which is the official signal that the wintertime is over and that it’s time to move on with our lives in a new season. We aren’t there yet for this season, but it’s coming.
The concept of spring cleaning is solid, and most people admit to participating in spring cleaning although the dates and length of the event are fluid. However, we don’t have to wait until spring cleaning or to set aside time when the seasons change – although this is great. When now have a day (today) devoted to cleaning, decluttering, and organization.
While this is a very tall task for a single day, each December 28th (today), we observe “Good Riddance Day.” It’s a time to rejoice in getting rid of things that have been holding us back physically, emotionally, or psychologically. There are many areas in our lives where can apply this concept, and coming at the end of one year and at the head of a brand new year is perfect timing.
Moving forward with less stuff
No one is judging us on the amount of stuff we have accumulated – we just need to condition ourselves to get by with less of it. We still get to hang onto the important stuff – at least for now. But how much is stuff we can do without? This is the real question, and today is the sign many of us have been waiting for to begin doing something about it.
While it’s unreasonable to expect that we would get through everything we have been saving or holding onto, the nice thing about a day such as this – Good Riddance Day – is that we have been given explicit permission to begin cutting back on what we keep. All we need is that nudge to get started, and there’s no better time than today.
Happy “Good Riddance Day.”