Casting Off 2016

2016. What a kerfuffle.

I’ve never been more ready to move on, to cast off all that hinders and run a new race.

I usually spend the last week of the year remembering and reminiscing. I get out my calendar and look at the things I did and the places I went. I re-read my journal and spend time thanking God for all he has done over the past 12 months.

This year? No.

I didn’t have a terrible year, I have much be grateful for, but I’m ready to move on. Thankful to the Lord for all it, but I’m done.

So instead of taking a walk down memory lane, I’m preparing for the new year by divesting myself of things around my house that bum me out. Things I don’t want to carry into twenty seventeen. Like chipped dishes, pilled sweaters, the too small pants that mock me every morning, the emails and voice messages that, let’s face it, I’m never going to respond to, and the papers that populate every room. Sigh. All the freaking papers.

I’m generally neat and organized. I dislike clutter. I don’t go to bed with dishes in the sink and I make my bed every morning. I tend to under-buy so I don’t accumulate a lot of unnecessary things, I do, however, hold on to things unnecessarily. Like clothes that don’t fit or are falling apart, and other things like grudges and resentment, bad habits and discontentment.

Marie Kondo is an organizing consultant and lifestyle expert who writes primarily about creating a happier home and a better wardrobe. Her premise is strict but simple – in deciding what to keep you ask yourself one question: Does this spark joy? 

“Continually assessing whether the belongings in your life spark joy allows you to hone your judgment. Over time, your ability to identify what is worth keeping will extend from your home to your career to your relationships. You will be able to discern what makes you happiest and most contented in other aspects of your life.” Marie Kondo

According to Kondo, before you can decide what sparks joy in your life, you first need to get a sense of the problems you face. You have to get it all out on the table and look at it. In the case of clothes, you take every single item out of every closet, examine each piece, and ask yourself, does this spark joy? If the answer is no, away it goes.

A simple enough proposition when it comes to closets and cupboards, but what about the real stuff, the things buried deep? The broken relationships, the ruts and routines, the things that hold us back from our dreams? Each one needs to be reckoned with and assessed: is it worth keeping, or is it time to cast it off?

It’s easier to hold on to the familiar than to let it go and face life without it. There’s a comfort in holding on to things, even chipped and pilled and ill-fitting things because they take up space and make us feel less alone.

I’m tired of holding on to things out of habit and settling for the familiar. I’m ready to cast off all that hinders and run the race ahead!

What do you need to cast off in order to run freely into 2017?

10 thoughts on “Casting Off 2016

  1. Cara,
    I read her book and started the process…SO GOOD! Good reminder I need to finish and truly ask myself that in other areas of my life…I miss you friend! I pray you have a peaceful,
    divesting of all that does not bring you JOY this New Year’s and I’m looking forward to seeing you in 2017.


  2. AMAZING thoughts!  I feel like you and I are on the same page with things.  You always speak out loud the things I am thinking in my head.  Thank you.   Hope you had a nice Christmas.  I would love to get together sometime soon.  I am free generally after 3pm during the week or on the weekends works too.  Luke got his permit yesterday!!! Another life change that is good and hard all at the same time. Love you. Amy


  3. Is this written by the same friend who pared herself down to 12 items? or something like that? How could you possibly have anything left?


    1. that seems like another life…so long ago. when i was in india i wore 3 outfits for 4 weeks. 3! for 4 WEEKS! and the same bra. and i was perfectly happy. well not about the bra…that was gross. this is what suburban america has done to me sandy. or what i have let it do to me. damn you target.


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