I have been on an eight-year journey of trying to simplify my life, my belongings, my relationships, my calendar, my whole person. Just reading that list reminds me that there is nothing simple about simplifying. At least for me, it is not simple.
Over the last eight years I have read blogs, books, quotes and articles on the whole “becoming a minimalist” movement. It seems so easy, just get rid of the junk, don’t buy anything, and be content. Why then is it so difficult?
As I look back over the last eight years I have learned a lot about who I am, what I like, and how I function. We as a family have taken on a lot in eight years. Homeschooling two boys is nearing completion after 16 years this summer. We moved internationally and lived in Singapore for two years. For the last 26 months we have been providing emergency placement foster care for infants under two years old, they stay with us an average of five months. All of these things involve a lot of time, and a lot of “items” to accomplish.
I love new, exciting, and adventurous. I also love things to be predictable and constant. So what does this have to do with simplifying my life? Everything! It has everything to do with simplifying or the lack thereof.
I have come to the grand conclusion that LIFE IS NOT SIMPLE. Even with weeding out some toxic relationships, getting rid of van loads of stuff, organizing closets, and keeping downtime on the calendar I feel I have a long way to go in this process of simplification. It is a continuum akin to cleaning, it really never ends as new opportunities and items with keep coming into our lives.
In all fairness, I feel that we as a family are in a better place than perhaps we would be had I not been on the journey of simplicity for years. Honestly, I don’t know that is really is a place that I will ever fully reach.
Life, my life, involves people (not simple) and serving those people (really not simple).
One must ask when reading all these blogs and articles is it wrong to have more than 33 items in my wardrobe, is it ok to get into a new hobby, what if I just simply want something? I was talking to a friend last night and she said that she has told her class of middle schoolers that the four most dangerous words in the English Language are “Buy Now One Click”. Amazon is oh so convenient and oh so dangerous in the journey of simplification.
It’s a process, right? Every decision we make towards keeping things simple matters. It is worth striving towards in 2016, be content, ask the “do I really need this” questions but do not neglect who you are as a person. Continue to reach out to others to minister to them and their needs as this is where the real richness in life comes from.
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid, really isn’t simple, it’s quite complex.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Matthew 6:21