This year has been a year of transition for me. I went back to work in February, I committed myself to a whole bunch of running awesomeness and finally “came out” as a vegetarian to my mother (last week…still not 100% sure how that’s gone over. It’s a complicated thing). One of the biggest transitions has been the one we’re making as a family to live a simpler life. We’ve really been struggling with living a “less is more” lifestyle over the years and as our kids get older and more in tune with the way the world around them functions, we decided it was important for us to instill the mindset that you don’t need a bunch of stuff to create a feeling of acceptance and happiness. Not only is it not in our budget to be able to afford these things but in teaching our kids about living more simply, we’re also being forced to learn these same lessons in our own lives.
These last few months have been spent purging a lot of unnecessary things, letting go of items of sentiment and the emotional baggage that they bring with them and a lot (and I do mean a lot) of self-evaluation: Why do we have so much stuff, why do we feel we need so much stuff, why does it give us so much anxiety to get rid of some of this stuff. Through it all, we’ve gradually been finding some peace and balance in our house that has been missing for quite a while now. We’re no where near done but we’re approaching a point where the time we’re spending together is quality time. We’re interacting, playing and imagining together. We’re present physically and emotionally and creating lasting memories of these years before they slip away from us.
We still have a long way to go and in my own experience, there is a lot of healing that needs to take place in my heart as I learn that throwing something into a box, whether it be for donation of to hide in storage, doesn’t heal the emotional baggage that item has attached to it. In some ways, I think that I’m in a worse place emotionally right now than I have been in years but I know that it is because I’m healing and in order to heal, the wounds have to be exposed. Through exposure comes pain but that pain is only temporary. In healing properly, the wound won’t open as easily in the future.
I’m still amazed at the amount of weight we give to stuff in our lives and how easy it is, in our society that is so abundant, to hide our scars amidst the stuff in our lives.
My scars are healing and I know that God has put the desire to run in my heart in an especially strong way this year for a reason. In running, I can process emotions. In running, I can process stress. In running, I can process fear. In running, I can cry with reckless abandon.
Simplicity and running are the fuel that feeds my emotional and spiritual being these days. I know I’m on the right path and I know I will come through with the weight of my world planted firmly in a bin marked “Donation”.