Snakes tend to slough off their skins about once a month. It’s a factor in their growth. They usually get rid of their old skins in one single piece but, depending on their health, species, age, etc, the skin can come off in pieces. The process can take several weeks and, before the onset of sloughing begin, the snake will display some changes in their behavior: hiding, acting defensively or a decrease in appetite or activity.
I think we humans also go through a similar process. We don’t shed our skin the way snakes do, but we do shed cells every day and according to the How Stuff Works website, we shed about 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells an hour and that, in a month, the skin you have then will be completely different from the skin you have now.
But I’m thinking more of this sloughing off process in a metaphorical rather than a literal sense. Although it’s still pretty darn cold here, it’s nearing the end of February and the first day of spring is next mouth. The sun is coming up earlier and setting later. You can’t help but feel the change in the air. Spring is coming, if not right away then soon.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, there’s a good chance I’ll be moving in June. I’ve already started getting rid of stuff. Especially books. It’s been interesting, though. Deciding which books to get rid of and which to keep. I’ve had a lot of these books for a long time.
But I’m starting to feel like a snake must feel before it sloughs off its skin. I need to get rid of the old to start over with the new. Stuff that used to mean so much to me just doesn’t have that same thrill anymore. I’m changing and I can feel it.
However, before that change can come about, I have to get rid of all this stuff. Right now my place is a mess! I’ve got books scattered all over the floor. Some of my bookshelves are already half-empty with stacks of book sitting haphazardly on them that I still need to go through and decide whether to keep or get rid of.
I’ve already sloughed off five full boxes of books. There’ll be lots more before I’m through. There’s still all that stuff I have stored in the basement! I can’t help but feel the weight of it all. I’m keeping the stuff I know I’ll need, but here’s the catch. I’m not sure what I’ll need down the line. I’d hate to get rid of something and then find out later I wish I hadn’t. There are some books and some items I know I’ll keep because I know I need them right now.
But as for later, who knows? I’ll just have to trust my instincts and hope I make the right decision, because no matter what, my goal is to get rid of about, oh, 50 to 60% of my books and stuff. I don’t know if I’ll make that goal, but I’m sure going to try.
I’ll have to be more ruthless about getting rid of stuff the closer I get to moving day. I think I’m still being a bit soft about deciding what to keep. I pick up a book and find some excuse to keep it, but honestly I know I don’t need it.
I absolutely hate moving, but I love having moved. There’s nothing quite like starting over in a brand new place. But, before that happens, I’ve got to slough off the old skin of my old life in order to make room for the new skin of my new life.
It’s never too late to start over, and it’s never too late, if you find yourself going down the wrong path, to turn back and take another.