I wrote recently to a friend and included this phrase: “Simplicity is the cry of my heart.”
It’s true, but goodness knows you wouldn’t always know it. And I realized around here, I haven’t even really talked much about it except maybe a little in my post about being intentional this year. (Speaking of which – how is your year going, if you chose a word?)
The truth is, it’s something we talk about and work towards a lot around our house. I love spoiling my kids with things they love as much as the next person – but we only buy toys we know will get a lot of play, and just the right amount of clothes for the year… as evidenced by the number of days we’ve had to do laundry in the wee hours of the morning because we ran out, and mommy dropped the ball. Physical decluttering is sort of my love language 🙂 and I even used to have a relatively large blog on this tension we live in that is far from minimalism – though I can’t take in enough about minimalism as a movement – but is based on the same freeing principles. I used to write about actually shaping up houses and routines as well as the reasons behind doing so… but then life got in the way. A touch of irony, I know.
I also love simplicity in design. In decor. In fashion. But when I wrote the sentence above, it was about more than that.
I struggle – and I’m guessing some of you do as well – with living a simple life when it comes to activity. We very much prioritize family time around here. We try to limit our children’s extra-curricular activities at any given time – but it’s hard, isn’t it? When your princess wants to be a ballerina, a gymnast and a soccer star? When your little man wants to be a football player, an artist and an action hero? How do we balance their dreams with reality?
And what of our schedules? I have spent years studying photography. I have music goals and writing goals. I have invitations to multiple committees at the girls’ school for which I need to respond but keep putting off. Because as a wise young Mr. Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”
Perhaps that’s why stories like Bob Goff’s resonate so well with some people – because he epitomizes this balance of whimsy and purpose in his life in a way many of us have yet to figure out. Why we need books like Jeff Goins’ The In-between to encourage us to slow down and savor life as much as we need Jon Acuff’s Start to help us begin new, exciting journeys – and to help us through the editing process when our plates get too full.
I find myself in this place where my heart longs to empty out our house and start over. Perhaps even to move somewhere and start with a clean slate. To truly have only what we need, and one another. And then I find joy in having 20 people over to our house to celebrate community, a task which requires a little more than an empty house. Maybe not much more, but a little more 🙂
So then, is it enough for the idea of simplicity to run through us like a current – always there, moving us in a definite direction without changing us overnight?
It’ll have to be, for now.
What are your thoughts on living simply? Do you have to get rid of everything to claim a minimalist lifestyle? Do you love to collect or love to purge the stuff in your house? Were you the mom who carried everything you’d possibly need in a giant diaper bag or just a diaper in your purse? 🙂