When I first sat down to write this little piece, on this last day of April, I was going to start out by saying something along the lines of, “Well, as my Simple Life journey comes to an end…”
April was a month where I began a personal journey; my Simple Life challenge to get rid of stuff that is cluttering up our home and lives. This ended up being such a huge lesson for me. It’s been like throwing the proverbial rock into the water and seeing the ripple effect as it reaches outside of its circle and beyond.
When I started this journey, I thought it was about material junk, but it’s been about so much more than that. In addition to the “stuff,” it’s been about crazy schedules, unexpected forks in the road, stacks of paperwork, unplanned interruptions, scads of emotions…it’s been about life!
I thought, by the end of this month, I’d be reporting that my home is immaculate, that everything unnecessary has been taken away, and that all that is useful has a designated spot. But that is not the case. I thought I’d be able to say that after 30-days of effort, everything is perfectly simple. Nope.
But what I can say is that we have a clearer vision of where we’re headed. While we’ve made gigantic leaps and bounds in getting rid of junk in various areas of our lives, there’s still a lot of work to be done. We will continue to move on, in forward motion, to creating a simpler life…mentally, physically and spiritually.
Without telling our entire story here, I can attest to the fact that we have lived a very busy life for the past thirty years. We’ve worked since we were teenagers, had four sons by the time we were twenty-eight, have served on school and sports boards and committees, and have led church meetings and ministries. So now…our hearts long for a bit of rest.
I know there will always be things to do. Our schedules will always have unexpected interruptions. I know that living life – even a simple one – means being flexible and helping where needed. But I’m definitely going to be slower at jumping…more thoughful before raising my hand to sign up. I’m going to take time to think and pray on things before I take gigantic leaps to fill the holes. I believe my life and my health depends on it.
As we move into May, HB and I have decided that in addition to forward momentum on the home front and the continued effort to get rid of material junk that crowds us out, we’re planning to face our physical and spiritual clutter. Back in September we adopted a new way of eating – or some may see it as “not” eating – when we went wheat and grain free. It was a major change for us, but it reaped very rewarding benefits; like HB’s blood sugar and my high blood pressure levels lowering. So as we continue to move into this brand new month, we’re not only bringing with us everything that we learned over the past month, but including new motivation for simple and healthy living.
On the spiritual side…we both feel as if we’re in a stagnant state of the heart. So we plan to use some down time to reconnect and refresh with God in His proper place…front and center. We need this as a couple and as individuals, as we believe this is the strongest root to living a simple and abundant life.
So, as you can see, this isn’t the end of the challenge, but the beginning of something new and improved. Simple Life just became Healthy Life!
We will keep you posted as we walk forward, maybe even jog, into this new lifestyle.
What I find amazing CindyLu is that one thing leads to another, and old feelings come around again and again. I am not a big shopper for example, but when I want something and purchase it I do notice that I feel a high. And even with all of my minimalizing I still ask myself days later, “Why did I buy that?” Getting rid of stuff was easy for us because we had to make a decision of whether or not we wanted to move it 3000 miles from New Jersey to Oregon. But on an everyday basis we do get attached to our things. It all happens in baby steps including eating habits and getting healthy. I am still working on that and do find myself eating things I know I shouldn’t be eating. When I do I notice it in my blood sugar test the next day, think about, write about it and move on and try not to do it again. A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step and eventually we all get there when we stay on the right path.
Thanks again, Billy. I can see how this will be a journey. I think our goal is to get rid of a lot of the unnecessary junk taking up space. We also enjoy getting “things” here and there, but I definitely want to put more thought into it. During the years of raising our boys, we sometimes barely survived paycheck to paycheck so once we reached a time where we could actually afford things, it was like we were making up for lost time. We’ve made some good dents and I can already see what a freeing feeling it can be. Appreciate the input and encouragement.