He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

01 August 2013

Becoming a Minimalist

I'm just gonna throw this out there because I'm certain I am not alone...
Every so often I find myself overwhelmed with life but I am unable to explain why. Sometimes it happens on a good day when the kids are listening well. There is often and under current of discomfort that leaves me unable to relax and often feeling like I'm drowning in "stuff".
The kids will take out a particular game and my skin will crawl because I know the mess that would soon come out of that box. I will look for something to wear for the day and would try the same shirt on again expecting it would fit me brilliantly THIS time and be disappointed when it didn't fit just right again. I will walk past the same unfinished project and grumble about Hubs not making the time to finish it when I was just as capable of doing it myself and I just can't find the motivation. I sometimes find the motivation to deep clean the house only to get bogged down midway through or distracted by little projects in the way. I know that "things" don't bring me peace or joy and only fleeting happiness but yet I still want more.

Are you there with me?
I don't know, maybe I am alone in this but, not long ago, something in me told me I needed a change. The problem was that I couldn't seem to put my finger on what it was.

So fast forward to now...
We are hosting a big ol' tag sale (garage sale, yard sale...)  in a couple of weeks. I have been pouring over all of our earthly goods for months, touching just about everything we own and making the decision to either keep, sell, donate, or trash.
Round one of my tour around the house left me feeling as though I could do better and so I began round two determined to pull out more "stuff". I held things in my hands that I had struggled over whether or not to keep in the past, I asked myself tougher questions like
"Yes, it's cute, but why has it been in the storage closet since we moved in?"
"Yes, CJ looked adorable in this but seriously, will you remember this twenty years from now?"
"Your taste has changed since the old house, why are you still hanging on to this?"
or how about this one...
"Yes, I hate it, but they gave it to us and wouldn't that just be terrible of us to get rid of it?"
and then I would find myself just placing the same items back on the same shelves or hanging them back in the same closet because I couldn't convince myself that it was time to let go.
It's the stuff I wore before kids that I'm working on getting myself back into.
It's the first toys that we bought for the kids that they never played with but I remember giving to them.
It's the vase that has a beautiful form but is completely lacking function.
It's the shirt I always loved on Hubs even though he never wears it because he hates it.
It's this kind of "stuff" I have been struggling to let go of because I seem to be able to conjure up a reasonable excuse that letting it go just seems to be a waste.

So I went on Pinterest, as I usually do, in the hopes of picking other people's brains about proper motivation  for getting rid of "stuff" and I found Simple Living - 30 Days to Less Stuff and More Life. 

I found it ironic that as I was looking to get rid of things in order to have less I ended up buying another book to get me there.
(It was the Kindle version. Does that count?)
It doesn't really matter to me now because I ate this book up!I stayed up late reading it from "cover - to -cover" because it was so practical. It broke down the projects into simple steps, one day at a time and my favorite part was "Day 1" where you're asked to conjure up your dream house and dream life. What it would look like? What would your schedule look like? What activities would it include? What activities would you be certain not to?
I nearly kicked myself because that is the same principle that Gary Ezzo uses in BabyWise and the one that I have hung on to since first reading his thoughts on parenting.... "Start as you mean to go on". Basically, have a goal, work towards it, and get rid of anything that doesn't work to get you to it. It's such a simple principle and yet I forget it so quickly.

Set. A. Goal!

So I did. I even asked Hubs what his thoughts were on the matter. What did he want our house to feel like? What were places he loved to be and why? What did he want HIS schedule to look like? What did he want for the kids? etc. Honestly, after that part I hit the ground running and didn't want to look back.

So who's with me?
Who is not living the life they wish they were?
Who is feeling like they're treading water and can't seem to get where they wanna go?
 I'm not suggesting that I am a life coach and have all the answers, I'm simply saying that I have a problem and after making a few changes I have begun to see a little light breaking through...
And I've decided to take you along for the ride.

Want to read more in this series? Check HERE

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