¿Do you have enough space for your passion?

This weekend we helped our grandmother to move into a smaller flat, an incredible challenge for a person who lived through the Spanish civil war and the post war years marked by scarcity in about every area of life.

Iaia (the Catalan version of “grandma”) has coped with these experiences by hoarding stuff: I counted 47 towels, 13 bottles of laundry detergent, 12 very similar winter coats, 53 pairs of shoes (most of which she’s not allowed to wear for the heels and her hips do not get along very well), 8 frying pans of very similar sizes. Of course each and every one of these items is absolutely essential, either because it was a present (the hand-stitched towels), or they were on offer (the detergent), or very expensive (the coats and shoes). “Just in case” is the ultimate reason, should there be no reason left.

However, the reality is such that the new flat is only about 2/3 of the former one. Iaia HAD to downsize, lest she wouldn’t fit into her own flat. Two coats had to go, we inherited 3 detergents, some of the shoes had to go into the storage unit. Very little was actually tossed or given, most things were just stacked closer together, converting he flat into an intrincated work of Tetrix art. Somehow, we made most of her stuff fit (sneaking out some of those extra pots here and there), however, there is no space left for anything else.

Iaia lives in the past. She has no interest in learning new things, in trying new things, in experimenting the world. An occasional weekend trips with her grandchildren is all she asks of life. And the trip better includes a working TV to watch her favourite shows of the Catalan TV3. Iaia doesn’t like change and she’s certainly not interested in adding more passion into her life.

But Iaia is almost 80 years old. She lived through a war, raised two children, managed to get a divorce as soon as this was legal in Spain and build a new life for herself. Are you at that stage in life already? Or are you still looking for your purpose, for your passion, for your mission in life?

Looking around in Iaia’s flat one thing is very obvious: there is no space for new ideas or new activities. If you look around your place, is there space to accommodate new experiences, to allow for creativity, to make new connections (personal, neuronal, innovative)? Or is your flat a monumento to your past self, who has been a tiny bit too lazy to get rid of the stuff she never uses anyway?

Maybe it’s time to declutter. To get rid of those things that are not meaningful for you anymore, things of the past, things that (even though they were a gift, very cheap, very expensive, hard to find, dear to your heart) are not YOU any more.

Once there’s space, new opportunities will come. Just make sure the door is open.

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