I did not end 2022 quietly instead I took the opportunity to clean my office and re organize my creative and personal space at home. The closet in my office has been jammed with papers and miscellaneous material that for some reason or another I felt compelled and steward to keep. If I am quite honest about it really I was to lazy to sit and take the time to go through it all piece by piece to keep, donate, pitch or burn it. It was a solid two days of committed and intentional progress. I literally started at 6:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve morning 2022 and by New Year’s Day 2023 at 4:00pm everything was done, burned or boxed. Although the project was tedious and time consuming the results not only expanded my space but also expanded my perspective and soul as well. I found a lot of duplication, I found things no longer relevant and I found treasures I had forgotten about. It felt so free to feel my way through it all, acknowledged what it was and then to let it go. I often tell my daughters that when I am gone I do not hold them bound to my things. I have had my time with my collections, with my stories, with my photos with my memories, it is not a burden I want them to feel obligated to carry on. I believe often the best way to honor a life is to let the things they loved find purpose and meaning to others. The desk in my office is from an estate sale we attended, I loved her story of being a social worker and helping those from her home. I honor her life by using it as an instrument in my home and part of my story, and when my time is done with the desk it will serve someone else or become wood as a fire for someone’s warmth. Praying this year for more space, to remove the clutter and entanglement of expectations, comparisons, criticism and judgements. I’ve heard it said for beauty to come from ashes something has to burn. May 2023 be the fire that burns away from us all every bitter and heavy thing that robs us of our peace and progress. May we do the hard work of feeling through and identifying what serves us well and then discard or balance the things that keep us from being free, present, kind, genuine, alive and beautifully fired to reveal the best version of ourselves. Free to laugh more, free to love more, free to be in others pain and help if we can more, free to celebrate with others more, to dream more and free to live this life how ever long well and meaningful, more. YM- You Matte


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