Recently I’ve been writing about shopping. I wrote about holiday gift giving and about how to avoid shopping all together. It’s not that I think shopping is evil. No, not at all. But I realized I was having different urges to fill my life with more stuff, and that’s out of the norm. So, I had to ask myself what was going on underneath the urge to buy Marley wonderful presents, instantly fill our house with new furniture, and give my wardrobe an update.
You know what I found? Nothing ground shaking…just that I’m human. Despite my deep desire to simplify, I can still get pulled into the “get more stuff” mentality. What I found I needed was a reminder of my WHY. Why is our family simplifying? Why are we doing what we are doing?
Here is what my time looked like. I encourage you to try asking yourself these questions if you need a reminder of your why.
1) Ask yourself, “what’s most important to me?”
As you journal about what’s most important to you, you might find the reminder you need. Give yourself a minute to jot down whatever comes to mind. Don’t overthink it. For me, my answer is family, time with Alan and Marley, and investing in the lives of others. It’s about building a life of love. Of fun experiences. Of making a positive impact in my community. It’s about spending time with God and listening to God’s nudges in my life.
2) Ask yourself, “when I’m old and grey, will this matter to me?”
This question is another way to get to the important things in life. Whenever I feel like I need a little help putting things in perspective, I think about when I’m older and more wise, will the things I’m fretting over be of concern. Most of the time, it’s no. Or not to the extent I’ve been allowing myself to fret.
Are you saying you want an example from my life? Well, let me go back to the shopping urge I’ve had recently. Will I care if I lived a life that I always had the latest fashion? Probably not. But, I also know my 85 year old self would also say something like, “Just don’t make it a big deal. If you want the shoes, get the shoes. Then move on and focus on what matters most.”
3) Ask yourself, “is there someone who has been an inspiration for me and the life I want to build?”
I am mentioning this question not to encourage comparisons in life. I believe comparisons happen because of a mindset of deficit. Of lacking. And, thinking that whatever it is we are comparing means there is not enough of it to go around. Don’t approach with that mindset. Rather, approach with the mindset that there is plenty of whatever it is you see in others to go around with even more leftover. There is more than enough.
So in my life, with I think of someone I want to use as inspiration, it’s a wise woman in my life who is filled with faith, simplicity, and really knows who she is. She’s working a career she finds purposeful, finds God in all of life, and doesn’t seem to fret over latest fashion or having her home look like it’s from a Pottery Barn magazine. Her life is not perfect, but it is full. That’s the type of life I want. And there is enough of what I see in her life to go around to all. Enough love, enough purpose, enough “fullness.”
My basic conclusion from my reflection is this:
Make decisions that lead to more love, more joy, and more connection. If I start to make decisions with the way I act or spend money that means I need to work a job in order to support a life of “things,” then that will take me away from what matters most.
We are all human, and we all need to take time to reflect. If we don’t, we can easily get busy and start on a path we don’t want to go down. Our “why’s” are part of our deeper self, which need to be revisited time and time again to live a life that means something to us. Be brave, and go after the life you want! Happy rooting, everyone :)