Since my website has launched I’ve received a couple of requests for topics from readers, which I very much appreciate. One of the requested topics was from a friend who lives nearby.
“You live in such a beautiful area,” she said. “How does that help or interfere with your MCI condition?”
I’ll begin by validating that I do live in an exceptionally beautiful area of Southeastern Minnesota’s bluff country. I’m surrounded by forests, a vast array of wildlife and a view of the Mississippi River. I can walk in our woods and never see another person; I can sit on our porch or deck and watch birds feast; and I observe the stars and moon without city lights interfering.
I’ve often said living so close to nature is good for my soul. And now I add, it is also good for helping me deal with MCI. Walking, gardening, and seeing beauty out of every window in our home helps calm me when I’ve been frustrated by a messed up recipe, a missed appointment, or being unable to recall a past event.
While I am extremely grateful for the natural beauty of where I live, it is not only the outdoor environment that can have an effect on my condition. My indoor environment—my home—also plays a huge role in how I cope. Lately I’ve been trying to de-clutter. Anyone who knows me would say my house is not cluttered in the first place. Clutter, as a noun, is defined as a disorderly heap. Clutter as a verb is to fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner. I don’t fit either of those definitions; I don’t like messes, and I’m very organized. I’ve always gotten great pleasure from ‘tossing’—a pleasure that’s increased as I age.
Still, I want and need to continue to cull. I’ve inherited and bought antiques which no longer fit my style or hold sentimental value. I’ve kept my once professional business clothes far too long, and I am ready to let go of hobby items which I no longer have interest in or am incapable of completing.
My motivation for simplifying is two-fold:
- I want to relieve my children of the task of clearing out needless ‘things’ when I die.
- Perhaps more relevant; getting rid of excess and paring down helps me think and function better and reduces my stress.
Giving up items, without remorse, feels similar to the practice of learning to let go of not remembering an event and not fretting about it. For instance, if my family asks, ‘Mom do you remember (insert occasion or event)?’ and I answer ‘no,’ I’ve asked them to not try to give me clues or hints, which they think might help me remember. I tell them if I’ve said ‘no, I don’t remember,’ I’m really saying the event is gone from me totally. No hint is going to resurrect it.
I find that I’m increasingly okay with that void now. I’m learning to accept it is a waste of time trying to recall something that isn’t of value to me anymore, just as it’s a waste of space to keep an object in my home that’s no longer serving me.
Do you have a topic you’d like to read about on my blog? I’d love to hear from you!