In 2013, my hubby and I set out to simplify our lives. The main way we decided to do this was to par down the amount of “stuff” we owned. We weren’t out to live in an empty house but we also didn’t want one that was over-flowing with books, toys, movies, furniture and gadgets. We really wanted to focus less on the “stuff” and more on our relationships. It definitely has not been an easy task and there were so many times that letting go of something was very painful but at the same time, realizing that the item didn’t represent the memory also allowed us (me in particular) to let go. There are still some things we’ve held on to because we aren’t ready to give them up but we also knew that this would be a life-long journey.
In many ways, we’ve enjoyed greater freedom in giving up things. Never one to call myself fashionable in any way (nor be called fashionable by others), getting rid of over half of my clothes lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Getting ready in the morning is so much easier. Not because I have nothing, but rather because I don’t have to hem and haw over what plain shirt to wear with which plain pants. I do laundry just as often but am washing/folding less clothes. And having less stuff around the house makes it easier and faster to clean (or it would if I ever actually took the time to clean. But the dust settles more uniformly now).
I have to give extra credit to my hubby for following through on his decision to not buy himself anything new in 2013. He did it and I am in such awe of that. In a society that demands we buy more and more and makes us feel as though we’re somehow inadequate if we don’t, I know that this was not easy for him. I think the best example of this was just recently. Remember when hubby busted his phone? He’s been without one since then. He was able to sign up for a new plan that was not only cheaper but gave him the same phone he had for free plus $150 in gift cards to the grocery store we shop at. Awesome! His first reaction was to sell the Nexus 4 he had and upgrade to the Nexus 5. We were going to switch my plan as well and do the same. Then we talked it over and realized that we didn’t need the upgraded phones when the ones we’ve got are perfectly fine and we’ve had for less than a year. It was not easy but in the end, we decided to keep the 4′s, sell the 3rd one we had (because my phone still worked fine), downgrade our plans to a cheaper monthly bill and leave it at that.
Coming into a New Year, I’ve already shared my Mantra that will be carrying me through my fitness-related stuff. For the rest of me, the focus word I’m carrying with me through the year is simply this: Simplicity. Live simply, love fully, possess minimally. I have no doubt that doing so will allow me more quality time with those I love most, less stress over money and more time to be alone with God, something I am in desperate need of right now. (I’ve signed up to do the Joyce Meyer Promises for your Everyday Life daily devotional. I’ll be posting shots of it on Instagram if you want to follow along).