My New Year’s Resolution in 2023 is parting company with things, people, or organizations not adding to my happiness.
PARTING COMPANY WITH PHYSICAL OBJECTS
Prior to Christmas, I reluctantly relinquished the quilt rack my mother gifted me. She passed away in 1978 and things that she gave me or belonged to her are still present in my home. Parting with them feels as if I am losing a piece of her. But it was broken. One leg was missing, and it stood on three by leaning against the wall. And, it had been repaired on more than one occasion. Besides, its colonial style never matched my cedar log cabin décor. (I’ve been here seventeen years!)
This is a common problem and the internet abounds with advice on how to handle parting company. Joshua Fields Millburn has the best outlook, explaining that you can hold on to memories without all the stuff.
Still, I have several her oil paintings, her Shirley Temple doll, and jewelry, such as her charm bracelet. Oh, and her demi-tasse coffee cups and Japanese block-print pictures grace my cabin. These are beautiful objects worth keeping; they fill me with joy. Memories of peering into the china cabinet as a preschooler, marveling at the delicate cups, fill me with comfort.
On the positive side, if I ditched these items, I would probably just buy more stuff to take its place, wasting money and not having the sentimental value.
Then, there’s Mr. Rickety, the table I brought back to life in 2017 that my friend had abandoned. I love that table because it’s hand decorated with my writing turtle logo. But, alas, it looks like crap. The replacement looks nice but doesn’t have the personality nor the story behind it that Mr. Rickety does.
Mr. Rickety and the quilt rack went up in flames New Year’s Eve, allowing me to wish them a fond farewell and paving the way for 2023.
PARTING COMPANY WITH PEOPLE
If you’ve done everything to right a relationship and feel that a breakup is the only course of action, a clean and kind break is the way to go. Ghosting or passively drifting away can be painful to the other party. Consider the following:
- Don’t text. Texts leave out body language and tone of voice, leaving plenty of room for misinterpretation. Use this method only as a last resort.
- Keep it on neutral ground. Find a meeting place not loaded with emotions.
- Tell them before anyone else.
- Be direct. Make your intentions clear how the relationship is not meeting your needs.
- Be kind, not argumentative or rude.
- Use “I” rather than “you” which is accusatory.
- Aftercare is important. Expect to grieve the loss of a friendship and work to let go of the negativity and hurt it created.
PARTING COMPANY WITH ORGANIZATIONS
While not anticipating cutting ties with volunteer committees or organizations in 2023, I have done so in the past. My benchmarks are whether I enjoy the group and feel respected. What are the benefits for me if I stay or go? Always break up civilly, not angrily. Burning bridges, whether dealing with volunteer or paid positions gets you nowhere.
Wishing you a wonderful new year and success in parting company with the negativity in your life.
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