Patti Digh starts her book with this story:
At some point in your life, you'll only have thirty-seven days to live. Maybe that day is today. Maybe not.Unsurprisingly, this caused Digh to wonder: "What would I be doing today if I only had thirty-seven days to live?" And her answers to that question resulted in this book.
Such a day arrived on October 24, 2003 for a 6-foot, 5-inch tall man with a southern accent, a golfer's tan, five World War II Bronze Stars, and a forest-green Lincoln Town Car. On that beautiful day, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died just thirty-seven days later.
That man was my stepfather, Boyce.
The book is filled with stories and suggestions; there's a good chance you'll find at least one idea that resonates with you. Here's the story that relates to decluttering - a story of Digh's daughter, Emma, showing her portfolio of drawings to some illustrators at a convention.
As one of them turned the page in her portfolio, I heard Emma say, "That's not really a good one."
"Emma," he said, "if you don't like something, take it out of your portfolio. You don't want to have anything in here that you need to make excuses for." ...
"I understand, she said. And suddenly, so did I. ...
What in my portfolio (where portfolio means house, life, brain, relationships) should I keep? What should I sell? What should I toss?