Lent 2021 is over, but I have not pruned 100% of the hidden places (closets, drawers, storage spaces) in my home. As I reflect on these past 6 weeks, however, I keep discovering new insights. Here are 6 lessons that have bubbled up even after the Easter resurrection:

1. 100% is not the goal – Longtime readers of my blog may say, “Hey, you’ve been pruning your household stuff for over a decade. You must have hardly anything left.” Hardly. It’s not that we keep bringing many new things into our home, but –
• Sometimes it takes awhile to be ready to let go of memorabilia or “just in case” stuff.
• Living with nothing is not my goal. I look forward to post-Covid days when having people over for meals and fun will benefit from extra plates, games, etc.
• I’m good at organizing and storing stuff so what I still have is not always evident.
• I’ll never be “finished” because as life evolves so does my understanding of what is necessary.

2. Fasting brings joy and appreciation – I generally give up sweets for Lent, so this is not a new insight, but I’m reminded what a joy it is after Easter to be able to have dessert again. This past Lent I also did some modified “fasting” from the radio and social media. It mostly consisted of waiting to turn on the radio until after I had some quiet time to be present to myself, my surroundings, and whoever may come into my presence. Although this was good in itself, when I did eventually turn the radio on later in the day, it was more of a treat.

3. Being fast and multitasking are not the highest good – By nature I’m a very time conscious person. I like to be efficient and do things as quickly as possible. This leads to a lot of multitasking like reading the newspaper and listening to the morning news as I eat breakfast. I also listen to the radio as I garden and I watch the evening news while folding laundry. (I guess you can call me a news junkie.) Regardless, I found that delaying the radio helped me reflect on the task at hand even if it was just folding laundry.

4. Moving more often would force pruning – We’ve lived in the same house for almost 40 years. This partly explains the accumulation of stuff. Some of our kids’ stuff is still stored here till they are ready to claim it. If we had moved more often I’m sure we would have disposed of stored stuff sooner (unless of course we bought a storage bin )

5. Family harmony trumps purity – I wanted to give away an old meat grinder and my deceased mother-in-law’s china which has been boxed up for decades. I was certain. Jim was not. It wasn’t worth a fight.

6. When to repair and when to let go – I spent time mending a nightgown that was probably not worth it. The fabric was so thin from many washings that it continued to tear. BUT, one day our blender mysteriously stopped working. I was ready to buy a new one. Jim, however, took it under his wing, added some knowledge and oil and Voila! It’s working fine now. Sometimes fixing and keeping an object is better than giving it away.

 PS: For 11 more Lenten Lessons check out the ends of posts Going Into Hiding, From Essentials to Frivolous, Lessons from Letter “S”, and Kids’ Stuff, Junk, & Papers.