I threw something away this week that has been around for a long time. It wasn’t an heirloom, it wasn’t valuable, but it has been around all my life.
Okay it was a kettle. Don’t judge me. It was hard to throw away, but it needed to go. It was actually melting the outlet it was plugged into. It has been repaired more times than I know. My Dad put a new cord on it at least once and my hubby put a few new cords on it as well.
It originally came from my Dad’s work when it shut down many years ago. The name of the company is still visible inscribed on it. It then was used out at the log cabin, at home and on one of our many moves it became ours. We have used it for years. It boils water faster than any other kettle I have ever seen and fits perfectly in a certain space in my cupboard. I wanted to keep it… I wanted to fix it again… but I don’t want it to burn down my house! So I threw it away (Sorry Dad, I’m sure we could have fixed it again but I don’t trust it anymore).
There are lots of kettles out there. The new ones are more efficient and have better safety features! Why is it so hard to let go of the old and welcome the new even when the evidence strongly supports that the new is better?And maybe the old is even dangerous or detrimental to us!
My struggle to let it go got me thinking. What else in my life should I let go of to make room for something new?
The things we have been learning in our Foster Parent training are new to us. Some of the information challenges what we have held dear. We have to choose whether to hang on to the old because it is familiar or embrace the new and learn to love what is often better! The old is often linked to sentiment “That’s how I was raised and I turned out fine.” Or our value system “If people would just (insert statement about religious beliefs or family values here) like we do most of the problems would be solved!” Just because it is familiar doesn’t mean it is the best.
So my question for you is this.
“What are you hanging on to that you should be letting go of?”
Do you have an old habit that is not good for you? Or maybe it’s an old grudge against someone that you need to get over. Perhaps it’s opinions or judgments that are based on incomplete information . Is your view of the world shaped by what you knew to be true 30 years ago even though that world doesn’t exist anymore? Do you hang onto a lie you believe about yourself because you can’t imagine what life would look like if it wasn’t true?
I think the other mother may have chosen to hang on to some old ways of thinking that didn’t allow her to adapt to the new life she found herself in. Raising two kids without a husband in a country where you barely speak the language would be truly terrifying. But there are people who are adapting and succeeding in those types of circumstances all around us. The consequences for her have been devastating, but had she been willing, or able to access the supports around her the story might be playing out differently.
Things are constantly changing! That is something that will always be true. We need to find a way to hang onto the important stuff and change and grow to adapt to the world around us.
So on that note, I have to go out and buy a new kettle!
In the midst of the mess