Life is overwhelmingly complicated at times. Between careers, kids, taking care of the house, family, friends, and schools, the life of a mom (or dad) often resembles a juggler or plate spinner at the circus, running from one end of the ring to the other, keeping everything in the air.
My husband and I often laugh at how naive we were, thinking we were busy before kids, when we were newlyweds and he was working as a funeral director and I was in school. The two of us used to dream on the balcony of our tiny apartment, while eating peanuts in the shell, drinking beer, and grilling out. We’d dream about things like having a house, a new car, and a family. We worked hard to reach our goals: first car, second car, new career, first home, a bigger home, three kids. Each step we acquired came with a sense of accomplishment and pride. But aside from our kids, the rewards we felt after reaching these goals wore off after a while and we ended up looking for our next challenge.
Now, amidst the commotion of our big family and the hassles of the crazy busy life we’ve created, we’re longing for what we used to have. We crave a simpler life centered around family with more time to sit on the patio and watch the kids swing.
Because of this, we’ve been getting back to basics, focusing on family time, eating at home, paying down debt, and un-cluttering our home as well as our schedules. We’re paying attention to what really matters to us. The goals we set and purchases we make are preceded by much discussion to make sure they reflect what matters.
It’s a constant struggle against the desire to have more as every new “latest and greatest” is heavily advertised, promising to make our lives better, save us time, or bring us happiness. The only elixirs that fight the desire are gratitude and conscious reminders that simplicity is not a punishment, it’s a reward for wise choices we’ve made.
Simple Abundance 15: “Simple Gifts: Embracing Simplicity”
Simplicity doesn’t mean going without, it’s an upgrade to something better. You’re worthy of having the best, so why settle for something that doesn’t fit your life any more? Let go of something if it doesn’t bring you joy. Say “No thank you” or “I’m sorry I’m not available,” the next time you really wish you could. Give yourself permission to do what matters; and eliminate what doesn’t.
It All Goes Back in the Box: John Ortberg
(The Meaning of Life Explained with the Game Monopoly)