Letting go

I am a little confused about letting things go. I like to get rid of THINGS that I'm not using. I don't want to dust, charge, or store them. Not using = gone. More ephemeral concepts are another story. They sort of eventually escape from me covered in claw marks or slink away in the night when I'm not looking.

I would like to discover the happy medium between throwing things out when they're still useful and keeping things far beyond the point of sanity, and I speak of things such as concepts and relationships.

"We've always done it that way" is the sentence of doom in the workplace, but I'm just fine using that very idea to crawl into a personal rut and furnish it. Why? Is the inside of my head so fantastic that I want to be there all the time?

Not to put to fine a point on it: hellz to the no.

In overthinking this, I've decided that "should" may be one of my more formidable enemies. I should have done this or that by now. I should be able to do this. I should feel that way. More sinisterly: other people should behave in certain ways. They should not do certain things.

I estimate I've spent about 5 years of my life altogether (out of 40 so far) angry about what other people should do or not do. When examined closely, this is insanity. Focusing on what does exist would, on the face of things, be a big time-saver.

I spend so much time trying to figure things out that I become mired in fantasy. By this I mean that I become so distressed over what I perceive as illogical behavior that I try to make sense of it. To do that, I spend a lot of time and energy attempting to explain other people's emotions, thoughts, and behavior: that is fantasy. A good portion of the time I can't even explain my OWN emotions, thoughts, and behavior. What chance do I have with others? And why bother? Is it really any of my business?

A friend told me two things a long time ago that struck me and then subsided into my subconscious. One was "people are not thinking of you nearly as often as you think they are" and the other was "what other people think is none of your business." I understand a little more what she meant now. Most people walk around wrapped up in themselves and their own motivations, immaterial to me, and any attempt to thread those motivations through their behavior TOWARD me is doomed.

Or, in other words: "the only things you can change are your attitude and your underwear." Not other people's attitudes, or, typically, their underwear (exceptions do occur in nursing).

Anyway, I would like to find the world that IS and function there, free of old ideas and "shoulds" that are requiring a lot of dusting and care and not doing anything at all for me except taking up space. I don't really have a plan for this other than to remove obvious roadblocks, no matter how big a leap of faith it takes. No problem, right?