Category Archives: ridding our life of the unimportant

Ridding Up Is Hard to Do

In Neil Sedaka’s 1975 hit, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” we hear the misery of lost love:

Don’t take your love away from me
Don’t you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I’ll be blue
Cause breaking up is hard to do

Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again

I beg of you don’t say goodbye
Can’t we give our love another try?
Come on, baby, let’s start anew
Cause breaking up is hard to do

Instead of breaking up I wish that we were making up again

“Ridding up” is defined as a Midwestern idiom, meaning to get rid of, clean up, to empty. I’ve never done much ridding up. I tend to collect things.

In some ways, for those of us who collect things (a politically correct way of saying hoarders), “ridding up” can feel like lost love. We know we can’t do without that which we are about to throw away. The minute we dispose of it, we’ll need it. Why throw something away which is perfectly good? Etc, etc, etc. And after we finally release that object, with those sticky fingers that just won’t let go, aren’t we tempted to pull it back out of the waste?

Well—you knew this was coming—I’ve been forced into ridding up. We are moving to another house. And I have lived (and collected) in our current house for 28 years. That’s long enough to fall in love with a lot of junk. But some of it has to go. Wow, it’s tough.

As I was working on this thankless task, it hit me that ridding up was actually part of the Plexus Principle. All the junk I never use anymore is actually part of the bonds that tie me to the rack. These objects take up space, require maintenance, use financial resources, and interfere with the plexus that I want to create.

In I Peter 1:13, we are instructed to “gird up the loins of your mind…” Now “gird up your loins” refers to lifting up the long loose tunic and tying it around the waist in preparation for work or battle, turning that dress into shorts. Some translations of I Peter 1:13 refer to “clearing up” the mind, “getting ready for action.”

So, in a sense, ridding up is girding up, preparing ourselves for the important tasks, unencumbered by a long flowing tunic that could drag us down. Snipping the bonds, tying them up into a plexus of our choosing. The problem for me is, I never liked shorts. Of course I don’t wear a dress either. Isn’t there some compromise?

So how about you? What things do you keep that are getting in the way of your plexus? What do you need to rid up?

Take a Break

It’s been too long. I’ve been taking a break. My excuse: It’s been the Christmas – New Years break. I didn’t actually have any time off in the office, other than December 25th and January 1st. But it’s time to take a break anyway.

We all need a change of pace occasionally, time to get off the squirrel cage, time to slow down, time to recharge the battery.

With New Years Day comes talk of New Year’s resolutions. I don’t make those anymore. They all get broken. But my wife and I have agreed to set aside time during an upcoming vacation to discuss where we are and where we want to go – a time to reflect.

January should be a time for life planning. We get so caught up in the urgent that we neglect the important. We forget what plans we had already made. It’s time to reflect and start over.

Where are we now? Where do we want to be? What direction do we seem to be heading? Is that what we want? Where do we think God wants us to be? Are we working to achieving that goal? Is it time to “repurpose” our life?

This isn’t original with me, but I highly recommend the following:

  1. Set aside a time for this purpose.
  2. Get away from your normal setting.
  3. Do this with your life partner, if you have one. What a great time for a brainstorming date.
  4. Prepare yourself by reading or rereading books that have inspired you in the past. Find new ones that will help you plan for the future.
  5. Write down your decisions – achievable goals, plans, a path to get there.
  6. Put your written plan someplace you will see it everyday.
  7. Review it regularly and make changes as appropriate.

Now get out there and take control of where you are and where you’re going. And let us know about what you’ve changed, what successes you’ve had.

Remnants of the Rack

I don’t know about you, but I never have enough time, not even time to get the important things done.

Maybe I try to do too much. My wife tells me I’m manic. She’s probably right. But as I review the things that are important in my life, the things I want to be part of my plexus, I find that I don’t have time for many of them. “Experts” tell us that if we truly want to do something badly enough, we will find time for it. What that really means is we will have to let go of other things of lesser importance. But why are some of those things so hard to relinquish?

I feel like I can see that wonderful plexus beckoning me to come relax in the comfort of its hammock. But as I try to climb off the rack that has imprisoned me, I find bonds that I just can’t cut. Why? Are they true obligations that I must tend to or feel irresponsible? Am I still stuck in the business of my occupation that demands more than its fair share of time? Am I doing things for others that I don’t really want to do? Are there still people invading my boundaries, and I just can’t keep them out?

So, how do I change things? I certainly don’t have all the answers. And I haven’t followed my own advice very well to snip those bonds. But I am starting to identify the remnants of the rack that remain. And I am making plans to free myself. I need to slow down in business and look for models that don’t require so much of my time. I still need to learn to say no more often. I need to sell possessions that are a time trap. I need to give up responsibility for organizing activities.

Will I succeed? I don’t know. Just as breaking out of prison brings freedom, there is a high chance of getting caught and again being imprisoned. So there is a skill in remaining free, or at least an ongoing effort to remain so. Hopefully the allure of the plexus will be a motivation to break free and remain free. I know it’s motivating me. And I can’t wait to climb into that hammock.

What are the bonds that are holding you in a life you don’t want? What plans have you made to change things? Or what are you doing already to change things?