Planning Ahead: A Gift to My Future Self

This overcast and rainy day has already been surprisingly productive. I have cleaned out bins, unwrapped packages, I have prepared a meal for my family from scratch and made enough to freeze some for a later date. What a gift. Tomorrow both children return to their respective schools and this deadline has me feeling the urge to be productive to move small hills before they turn into mountains. I am proud of myself and pleased with my progress. 

Each of these steps in and of themselves is small. They are tiny little leaps that collectively create a giant step forward. I am grateful to myself for making this possible. This work sometimes feels unproductive, it feels as if I am only treading water and not truly swimming but like ducks floating on the waters surface underneath the waves I am kicking like crazy. 

And that’s what these little victories are all about. They’re about making the time for the little things that collectively push me forward to my goal and also make everything else feel easier. It is caring for my future self. The preparation of a delicious homemade meal that is not just for this moment but will nourish my family in the future – I have given my future self the benefit of having a nutritive meal ready without having to put in the time or effort. I have given future me a gift. 

Much as the delivery of a utensil holder and shoes is not particularly glamorous – but past me knew we needed these things and did the work to select the perfect pieces that would fit tidily into our new space. The delay in their delivery could not be helped but the reward of being able to unwrap these gifts and clear up our counter is wonderful. It was a delightful surprise for my partner who knew these items were coming but didn’t know when. 

I watered and pruned our tomato plants. This year’s fruits have not been particularly abundant or delicious. The tomatoes are watery and lacking flavor – what I am most looking forward to is the opportunity to roast and freeze these tomatoes for soups this winter. I am still using the tomatoes harvested last year in this year’s bisques and sauces. Again, it’s small steps, pulling out the kitchen sheers and collecting the leaves that have fallen and that need to be pruned from the plant so that it may thrive and nourish those buds that will turn into fruit. 

I went through boxes of old clothing, items I had held onto out of sentimentality. Items that meant something to me at the time or that I felt were too nice to just pass on so quickly. Looking at those sweet pieces now I am struck by how silly it is to hold on to those items that do not serve me. I am holding on to clothing that some other child might wear. It might bring them joy and they might delight in wearing them. Therefore, I went though the collection again. I kept the pieces that were particularly meaningful, and let go of the rest. I do not need every garment. No child requires items that are too small for them to sit in storage. I am relieving myself from the burden of having to go through these items again in the future. 

It is a gift to have so much that we may share with others. It is a joy to let so much go out into the world to hopefully make someone else’s day brighter. I am so grateful that I have given myself and my family the gift of less. I am making room for the things that are truly meaningful and valuable to me. I am making space for the people and ideas that will spark my imagination and help me to move forward. I am not clouding my physical space or my mental space with accumulated items or tasks that belong to someone else. And let them! Let them feel the joy of opening a new treasure or of having something in their home that is useful and valuable to them. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of that chain of events and to give the gift of a better day to someone else. I am full of gratitude for what I have been able to set free today. It has been a liberating and exciting day. It feels quite powerful to be this light, to let this much go, and to be free of the burden of caring for or tending to these belongings any more. They are free and I am free and it feels wonderful. What a gift!

When you donate do you feel better? Does it feel this good for everyone else? The sensation is lightness isn’t it? Or do you feel something else?