Here we are at the New Year. I’ve been preparing for this for a few months now. I LOVE new beginnings..a clean slate...a re-do...a blank canvas. I mean, the New Year just has opportunity written all over it! I’ve been implementing a new strategy- planning ahead- a successful resolution from New Years passed.
Typically I get so busy in December-resurrecting Santa Claus, turning my home into a Martha Stewart inspiration, sprinkling pixie dust and Christmas spirit throughout, squeezing into my elfin costume while wrapping presents in every spare moment of having an empty house. It’s exhausting! Then December 31st rolls around and everyone’s announcing or posting their New Year goals and resolutions- their plan to add in a new exercise regimen, start a new nutrition plan (holla!), spend more quality time, read more books….and I got nothin’. By the 11th hour I manage to come up with a few ideas of what I want to accomplish for the coming year (see previously listed examples).
But as I’ve been looking toward 2017, with an impending move to New England and managing my family both near and far, co-creating and launching a new passion project and working more-than-part-time, I just really don’t want to add anything else to my life right now. Actually, I want to SUBTRACT from it. And quite honestly I feel pretty balanced with what I’m doing from day to day- it's just that I feel like I'm drowning in
I have this dream of living simply. Becoming a minimalist Or to live as minimally as I possibly can...which has just seemed sort of an impossible dream to realize with a big house full of stuff, a backyard pool that requires stuff and a family of 5, all of whom have a bunch of stuff. I want to be free to do and go without worrying about managing my (and everyone else’s) STUFF. I want to be able to travel or pick up and move across the globe if I want to without being weighed down by all my things.
I’m figuring if I’m able to part with HALF my possessions, I should be able to live in half the home, paying half the rent or mortgage (maybe... this is Connecticut after all). And theoretically, I should have that much more valuable time and money to do the things I love with the people I love.
In Feng Shui, the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing people with their surrounding environment, it is said our things are always speaking to us, “Dust me…”, “Remember when…?”, “I need replaced, fixed, painted, re-done or I don’t belong here”, whether we are conscious of it or not.
I find myself at a place in life where I want to wake up and, as my friend Karen says, decide what I want to do rather than what I have to do. I mean there are some things I will HAVE to do. And in a family of 5 it isn’t entirely my place to throw away other people’s stuff. Fine!
But at the New Year I find myself contemplating these questions: What can go? What no longer serves me or brings me joy? What will letting go of this item afford me the ability to have or do in terms of quality time and money? Or dream? Or work towards?
I’ve been getting ready to BE ready to do this for some time now...years, really. And NOW is my chance. This year I’ll be moving to New England and we will be going with half our possessions- including the sentimental stuff...all reduced by half. I think I’ll need some help with this last one because I’m incredibly sentimental, but what good is it doing anyone if these mementos are in boxes, shlepped from house to house... hidden away for years?... a lifetime?
I’m not real sure what my life- our lives- will look like on the other side. You know, after it’s all gone. What will be in the void? What opportunities? What friendships? What conversations or adventures? I’m thinking everything will be at least more meaningful, on my end anyway. I’ll be less preoccupied, less tired from toiling, and more engaged maybe? I really can’t imagine it... I do wish I could picture it because I think it might be good motivation to get from here to there.
I guess we shall see….
I'm experiencing a paradigm shift of sorts seeing the words "minimalism" and "decluttering" everywhere. Books, conversations, podcasts, articles and emails to my inbox. 'Energy flows where attention goes', as it's said. Have we as a society just accumulated too much and reduction becomes the natural order? Keeping up with the Jones's, the Kardashians... chasing the money and prestige, spending long hours...days even, at work...a slave to our things. And for what? Is this really living? I ask myself.
What do you hope to clean out and purge this year? A room you’d like to re-purpose if you could just get it cleaned out? An overstuffed drawer? Your finances? Your garage? Your friends list? Do you find yourself just closing the door and ignoring that “noise”? Share your clearing-out intentions below and your favorite methods or books for decluttering your home, finances, office space, and your life!
Jeanmare and Cristy are creators and contributors of the Living Simply Nourished Blog. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee!), find a cozy spot, scroll around, read some stories, find some inspiration, and enjoy!
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