Stuff requires our energy, time, attention, money and space. Whether we’re cleaning it, storing it, reorganizing it, insuring it, repairing it or protecting it, it inevitably has some type of control over us.
After a house fire, many years ago, I learned how freeing it felt when many of the things I had held on to were gone and how unnecessary it was to replace them. More recently, because of economic reasons and divorce I’ve moved three times in three years, downsizing significantly more with each move. I am grateful for what I have –and just as grateful for what I don’t have.
I’ve learned that although de-cluttering is a part of simplifying one’s life, it’s not all about stuff. It’s also about the chaotic mess of our day-to-day living. Demanding work schedules, children’s after school programs and sporting events, long commutes, and the 24 hour connection with the world through technology have robbed us of the things that matter most. We’ve grown accustomed to a noisy, constant, hurried, sleepless, exhausting and materialistic lifestyle.
The bombardment of advertising, the insecurity of comparisons, the indebtedness of accumulation, the thousands of websites, hundreds of channels and the millions of choices at our fingertips have invaded our time, thoughts, energy and emotions. Our daily life is consumed with meaningless habits, useless distractions and enslaving influences.
We are stuffed, mentally, emotionally, physically. Crammed, like a hoarder’s house, wall to wall, floor to ceiling, basement to attic, with barely enough room to function. We are too busy, too tired and too plugged-in to notice how complicated and detached our lives have become. Our calendars lack white space. Our schedules lack down time. Our bodies lack rest and our relationships lack attention. Life, I mean the real simple pleasures of life are hidden away somewhere beneath the stash of misplaced priorities, wasted time, shallow goals and distant relationships.
But it does not have to remain that way. The truth is we all have choices. They may be difficult choices, but we have them. We all have options. We may not like our options but they exist just the same. Regardless of the complexity of our current situation, there is always something we can do to begin the process of simplifying our daily life and finding peace, laughter and happiness in a relaxed, clutter-free, light-hearted and intimately, loving environment.
The hamster wheel of life has kept you busy. And busy may seem easier than navigating through a complicated maze of tough decisions. Take time to explore, unravel, rearrange, simplify, prioritize and live. A year from now when laughter is common in your home and love is evidenced in your eyes, when peaceful sleep returns and pillows dry no more tears, then, oh, then will your heart be glad that you began this necessary journey on one dark and desperate day.