A quote posted on another blog I follow caught my attention. In his book The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life, author Thomas Moore writes:
"You can't force simplicity; but you can invite it in by finding as much richness as possible in the few things at hand. Simplicity doesn't mean meagerness but rather a certain kind of richness, the fullness that appears when we stop stuffing the world with things."When we stop stuffing the world with things. That's what gave me pause.
Over the past several years I have been on a mission to rid my life of clutter - physical clutter, emotional clutter, all kinds of clutter - that, in retrospect, I had spent years deliberately collecting. I surrounded myself with all kinds of things and people and became involved in as much as possible because that seemed like what I was supposed to do. I thought it would bring me comfort.
As it turned out, all the stuff and the people and the activities didn't make me happy at all. And I sort of knew that all along because even while I was dusting around the stuff and stubbing my toes on the stuff and fretting over what an acquaintance said at a dinner party and wondering how I would ever possibly find the time to focus on any one thing, I was finding joy in the simplest things.
Watching my children play in the yard.
Hunting for wild mushrooms down some back country roads with my husband.
Sitting in my big, comfy chair with my feet tucked under me and reading a book.
Gulping down an ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper on a hot summer day.
Hanging the laundry on the line outside to dry.
Finding the cats sleeping away the afternoon in a sunny spot.
I finally realized that if all these little things were making me happy, all that other stuff wasn't very useful to me. It was just more stuff to clean, more stuff to worry about losing or getting ruined, more stuff to think about, more people to try to please.
When I think of "stuff" in the literal sense, I think of how much I hated dusting the house when I was a kid. My mom had knick-knacks. Lots of them. She had collections. Every weekend I had to move all those pieces and dust the shelves and put all the pieces back where they belonged.
I loathed that chore.
I don't have collections. A limited amount of space and my love for personal sanity have encouraged me to continually analyze the usefulness of items in our home. If we don't use it, need it or love it, it probably won't have a place here for very long.
This has been an ongoing process, but one I don't think much about anymore. It's just a part of my life. I don't have to force myself to live in the moment; I just do. I don't overthink things so much anymore; I just let them be. My focus has shifted. When we stop stuffing our world with things we allow ourselves the freedom to enjoy whatever - or whoever - it is in our lives that we truly love.
~ ~ ~
Like most Sunday evenings I am preparing to switch gears in the morning, but instead of getting back into weekday mode the kids and I will be getting into vacation mode. They're on spring break this week and we're heading east to visit daddy.
I am ... wait for it ... leaving my computer at home. One less thing to pack in the truck and lock in the hotel room, and one less thing to distract me from fully focusing on my husband and children. So this is my last post until next weekend when we return home.
Unless I go through blogging withdrawals and then I'll look pretty funny sitting next to the pool typing on my phone.
I'm not above that, though.
Have a great week.