While I was working crazy hours as an EMT, I began to feel overwhelmed with just about everything. I was too overwhelmed to make healthy food choices; too overwhelmed to keep up with the housework; too overwhelmed to put things away when I was finished with it; too overwhelmed to read my monthly subscription to Country Living. After awhile, all I could see when I was home was more work that needed to be done. Maybe it was because I was tired all the time but it got me thinking about what was important in life. Am I working so that Country Boy and I could have a cool cell phone or 120 channels or more of nothing on TV or the latest electronic gadget that is obsolete by the time I get it home? These 'things' are just not important to either one of us so we decided it was time to simplify our lives. It is a process and choices have to be made along the way but once the decisions are made and you are in the process of decluttering, it is rewarding and freeing.
I have slowly been making my way around each room in the house. Today, it was time to tackle 'the office'. I have dreaded this room more than any other mainly because, not only is my desk (with tons of paperwork that you never know if you need to keep it or not OR how to file the odds-n-ends papers *sigh*) in there, but all of my crafts are there as well. I enjoy doing all sorts of crafts from scrapbooking to crocheting and many in-between! So you can just imagine all the stuff I have in there! I had to decide which ones I enjoyed the most and let the others go. This may sound a bit harsh, but I am finding out that I don't have enough time to do them all and they were just adding to the clutter. I have come to despise clutter of any sort and I have a difficult time being creative while I'm surrounded by clutter. I read the following recently on eartheasy.com about Simplifying and I think it explains what I was feeling perfectly...
Clutter fills more than our shelves and closets - it permeates our lives. We work hard to be able to afford things, many of which require care, cleaning, storing, insuring, protecting... and the media and merchants are constantly offering us the next "must have".
I have a long way to go yet in the office but I made a really good start today and I am happy with my decisions. Bonus: the office is already looking better!
You ask what I'm doing with the stuff I'm clearing out? I'm going to have a yard sale sometime in April. Should be fun!
Let me just clarify that Living Simply will mean different things to different people. For some, it may evoke images of a low-income or a back-to-the-land lifestyle which may be unappealing, impractical or unattainable. Don't let what others (may or may not) think determine how simply you want to live. The choice is up to you. And, if you are true to yourself, you will be happy with your decision and what others' think won't bother you.
I know this is getting long (and it's getting late) so I will wrap it up before I lose you (if I haven't already *smile*)! I came across this scripture recently and it pretty much sums up what Country Boy and I are trying to achieve in our simple life; living a quiet life, working with our hands and depending only on our Lord...
I Thessalonians 4:11-12
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. NIV
I could say so much more, and maybe I've been talking in circles, but I challenge you to take some time to decide what's important in your life and then start by making some simple changes that will help you focus on those things rather than all the 'clutter'! Make a decision to stop being overwhelmed and then take it one day at a time. You'll be glad you did!
This hawk has made a nest in one of my neighbors' trees. I took this shot before I went to visit my neighbor and I couldn't tell with my naked eye if she was even on the nest. (Maybe I should start wearing my glasses all the time!)
I'd love to hear some of the things that are important in your life and some ways you are tackling the clutter head-on!
Till next time,