The Art of Continuing

So it’s been a month since Adam or I last posted. I have a million excuses why, but mostly it boils down to the fact that life continues. Always. Whether we keep up or not, well, it is what it is.

And we haven’t been keeping up with the blog.

Not that we haven’t meant to. I have probably ten different blog posts rolling around in my head at any one point in time, but sitting down and getting it done has been another story. In light of that, I’m going to take this opportunity to sort of “start over” and remember why we wanted to start blogging in the first place.

We want to inspire people. We want to show how making conscious decisions to live lightly on the earth are life changing, but they don’t come besotted with negative connotations. In fact, many are easy to do, and these acts help your budget as well as your eco-conscious mind.

Despite this, there are times when you will struggle, and it will be hard. Such is with all that is worthwhile in life. It is not always easy, but it always worth it. Always.

One of the mini trials Adam and I have walked through recently was coming to a point where it began to be hard to get rid of things. See, we’d run out of all the easy things to part with like our extra clothes, kitchen items, etc. All those things that might seem a little hard to part with but in reality you don’t miss as soon as they’re gone. So, this left us in a bit of a conundrum.

I prayed very early on that we would learn to live with our hands open. That we would give. That we would sacrifice for someone else. And well, we’re hitting that point.

So what do we give away when all the easy things are gone? What indeed. There’d been one particular item lurking in the back of my mind these past few weeks, and at first I didn’t have the strength to deal with it. Because it was hard to think of parting with it.

My wedding dress.

The beautiful dress that I wore for exactly one day of my life, that has been preserved in a box and awaits endless storage while I worry over inconsequential fears. Like my family will be mad if I part with it. Or my potential future daughters will want to wear it. Or society says its important for a bride to keep this part of her wedding. Or whatever.

In reality my wedding dress is just a thing. It’s just an item that I’ve attached meaning to, and because of that I have a hard time parting with it. Which means in some way, I’ve allowed this thing to have power over me. Because really, what is more important, me keeping this dress forever or parting with it by either donating it or selling it and giving the money to charity.

The answer seems clear. But why then do I struggle with it so much; why is it hard to part with this item? Because some other bride could be just as happy on her wedding day in this dress as I was, and by doing that, I’d be reducing the resource use of our society by keeping one dress in circulation instead of having an untold number stored up somewhere just waiting but never being used for what it was made to do.

I think we do this with a lot of items in our life; we hold them close to us, convince ourselves that we need them, when really we don’t. We’re so easily lulled into the sense of ‘necessity’ because we’re told that if we don’t have these things we’re not affluent. Or cultured. With the day and age. Or whatever.

I am trying to refuse being held captive by these things that are just that, things. So I’m learning to live with my hand held open. Even if it hurts. Even if it’s hard at first. I’m learning to let go, and in that middle of that, I’m learning the art of continuing on. Of moving forward. Of being less and less tied to the things of life, and more free to spend my time thinking about what really matters. Like all the wondrous life that surrounds me and begs for me to care about it in the faces of the people I pass and the trees that give me air to breathe.

So what about my dress? I took it to the local bridal resale shop. If it doesn’t sell there in a few months, I’ll simply donate it to one of the marvelous non-profits that use wedding dresses in many wonderful ways. I’m not holding the fear of what others will think of me. And my future daughters? Well, I hope they’re fierce and strong and independent, and if they want a tradition to carry on at their wedding, maybe they’ll have a potluck or plant a tree, both of which Adam and I did on our wedding day.

Beginnings are usually relatively easy. It’s continuing on that’s that hard part. Because once your feet can’t touch the bottom anymore, you have two choices. You can go back to safer water, and pretend like you’re moving forward. Or you can go forward, continuing on even when it isn’t easy anymore, even when you’re not sure what that means.

And there’s beauty in that, the art of continuing.


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