check this site out Sometimes in life, an otherwise mundane and uneventful act can evolve into a life changing realization.
http://jeffharpole.com/?p=280 You see these boxes?
These boxes are the result of my futile attempt to organize my children’s rooms. It happens every year, right after the holidays.
After a slew of toys, gadgets and gizmos make their way into the hands of my well-deserving (yet sometimes overindulged) kids every holiday season, Mom—that would be me—has to figure out a way to get it all to fit into their already jam-packed rooms.
The end result usually involves me shouting obscenities, assuming the fetal position in a corner for a while, then eventually throwing about 95% of their toys into a heap of boxes—much like the ones you see here—until I muster up the energy to sort through the stuff.
This year, that “mustering of energy” equates to about seven months time.
For seven months I’ve sat in disbelief, trying to wrap my head around how my kids have managed to accumulate so much stuff over the years.
For seven months I’ve stared at the boxes, contemplating the notion of just taking the whole damn pile out to the backyard and setting it ablaze.
For seven months I’ve been putzing around the house, frustrated and overwhelmed by the thought of even beginning the arduous task of organizing the boxes—only recently realizing that, for seven months, my kids haven’t asked for a single item in the boxes since I’ve packed them.
SEVEN MONTHS. And they haven’t missed a SINGLE THING.
And that’s when I asked myself—why, exactly, are we keeping all of this stuff?
While pondering this question, I pan over to the rest of the house and realize it’s pretty much the same story.
Take the kitchen for example. There’s got to be at least 20 or so gadgets in my kitchen that I’ve never laid a finger on. And 20 or so more that I’ve used maybe a handful of times. Let’s face it—do I really need four cheese plates? How about twelve wine stoppers? Do I really drink that much wine? What am I, a lush? Wait, don’t answer that.
Then there’s the living room/dining room. Why do I have 550 million tchotchkes on my end tables/coffee table/bookshelves/china cabinet? It drives me bananas to have to move the damn things every time I have to dust, never mind the fact that every other second of any given day I have a cat/dog/child knocking one of them over.
And then, there’s the garage. For the love of all that is good and holy, the garage. Walking into our garage is like walking into an abyss. Aside from the tools, sports equipment, bicycles, and various other effects, there are more boxes. As if there aren’t enough of those lying around. What’s worse is some of those boxes originated from our previous home when we packed them to move into our current home. That was two and a half years ago. Yet there they remain, unpacked, collecting dust.
Again, why exactly are we keeping all of this stuff? After pondering this question for a while longer and not coming up with a good answer, I decided enough is enough.
And now, “enough is enough” has brought me here.
It has brought me to a place where I’ve shifted my perspective. To a place where I’ve decided maybe the answer isn’t reorganizing the stuff, but rather unloading it. And while I’m at it, perhaps we need to “unload” in other areas of our lives as well. Maybe our family doesn’t need a 2300 sq ft house with a 2 car garage and a pool. Maybe our family doesn’t need two cars (which of course comes with 2 car payments and 2 gas tanks to fill). Maybe I don’t need 3 Coach purses, 2 Michael Kors watches, and 37 pairs of shoes.
You see, I‘m beginning to realize that maybe all of this stuff isn’t making me or my family any happier. In fact, it might be doing the opposite. That’s what A Simple Life in Progress is all about.
It’s about my family and I and our progression toward living a simpler life. It’s about us exploring the idea that real happiness is achieved by having less and doing more. It’s about unloading some of the excess so we can focus on what’s most important in life—health, relationships, living life and being happy.
I’m not sure how far we’re going to take this, but I’m looking forward to the experience. Are we ready for the change? Absolutely. Will we have setbacks? I can pretty much guarantee it. But as the old saying goes, “Nothing worthwhile is ever easy”.