Friday, February 5, 2010

The Gift To Be Simple...

For quite some time I have felt the need to simplify. When we moved from our apartment to our home, I suddenly realized how much STUFF we had acquired.

Thankfully, instead of packing it to move, I was able to get rid of most of it to the goodwill and to neighbors. I even had a small yard sale. It was a real eye opener to me that having a bunch of stuff is not how I want to live! It made me stop and think of HOW I had managed to buy so much stuff, especially when half of it was stuff that we had never even used or only used a handful of times.

They say the things you own end up owning you. I know personally I was not any happier because of the stuff I owned. In fact, for the most part it just stressed me out trying to declutter it all the time.

So here I am, and while I am MUCH better at it, I am still working on the art of simplifying. It's funny the things that actually make you feel better vs. the things that you think will make you feel better. We have 1 car. 1 television set. No cable. No cellphones. 1 landline. No call caller id...and I really don't feel deprived! Sure..there are times when I wish I had a cellphone to call Billy to ask him to come outside rather than waking up and dragging 3 kiddos into his work...or times I'd rather not have to wait for Billy to get home with the car to run errands, but you know what? 99 % of the time it is not an inconvenience at all.

My house still has some little areas of clutter and I am slowly working on them...I think the hardest part is deciding what of the kids art work to keep and how long to store receipts/mail...But I am so much better than I was before.

*Isaac living life contently...oh the things babies teach us!

English designer William Morris said, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." Now that's a great challenge!

Another one I love is, "Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” - Edwin Way Teale

I love a useful product and a beautiful item as much as the next person, but I don't want my life to be full of things. As cliche as it sounds, I want my days to be filled life and laughter.

I know in a culture that thrives on bigger and better and commercialism in all its glory, living simply is not exactly a well supported way of life. I absolutely love in Fight Club when Brad Pitt says,"You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your f***ing khakis."

I know where we got that idea that who we are is based on what we have, but when in the world did we start believing it? Why is it so hard for people to separate who they ARE from what they own???

I would love to hear your thoughts!


Malissa said...

I completely agree. I've always told Owen that I would be totally fine if I had to get rid of everything I own and move into a teepee as long as he and the kids were with me. Now I know that is a stretch because I do love my house but I don't want my house to own me. I don't like clutter so I tend to be a benge cleaner. We use to swear by our DVR but just recently got rid of it to cut back on expenses and at first we thought we were going to die without it but now we really don't even watch tv anymore and are planning to cut off our direct tv as soon as our contract is up. Once I thought about it I realized that it wasn't the end of the world if I didn't watch my shows. Are these shows really impacting my life in anyway? I should be spending the time with my family instead :)

Tiffany said...

I have always hated TV. :) Yes, there are shows that I do love. Well. A show. The Office. haha. So we just watch that on other than that I have never been a fan of cable. SO much garbage! And the ads/commercials! I could only imagine if my kids saw that every day!

Thanks for writing Malissa! I'm glad I'm not the only person out there! My dad thinks we are crazy!

Stephanie said...

We only have one car as well. My husband and I agreeded that we will only have one car payment at a time. So when this one is paid off we will get a 'REASONABLLY' price used mini van and have a small payment. We went without cable for 2 years but got it again when we moved. I am in the same place as you. I wish I could just throw it ALL away. It just stresses me out most days. I hate that our society has become a keep up with the jones'. If you don't have what others have or the abundance of what others have then you must be doing something wrong. Oh to go back in time where our children go OUTSIDE and play rather than be entertained by the tv and toys we buy them!

christie said...

Love this! I agree completley! I hate it when people ask me why I'm so against Colton watching TV (he only watches Sesame Street), like it is a bad thing that I don't want him polluted!!! I was watching the Notebook the other day(because I am a sap) and loved how they sat on the porch and read to eachother and how they were line dancing, good clean fun, thats how life is supposed to be! And its amazing how many things you can do if youre not glued to a tv or phone. Technology has somewhat been the downfall for the American family, which is sad because family is so important! Good for you and your family!