A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Josh and I have decided to de-clutter. We are looking to The Minimalists 21 Day Journey to Minimalism to help us get rid of some stuff. To be honest, Josh doesn’t really need much help. Although he has lots of stuff he could get rid of, he can easily just chuck it into the trash and not miss it. In the past, he has even thrown out his TV because he felt like he was spending too much time watching it! I get pretty sentimental and attached to things, and have a harder time letting go. I think this process is more for me than him, but he is definitely on board.
We are on Day Two of the journey, which involves planning how you hope to achieve you personal “musts”. I wrote about my “must list” here if you want to check it out. Part of the planning process involves answering a series of questions. My answers to these questions are below.
1.What is standing in the way of my musts?
I thought the answer to this would be time, money, energy … you know, resources. In reality, when I took the time to really think about it, I realized that wasn’t the case. I lack motivation, and the desire to actually follow through with what I want in life. I also lack faith that God will come through for me. I don’t always trust that my musts are really best for me.
I also tend to feel guilty about spending time doing what I want to do and taking care of myself. I am so used to taking care of my little family, but I realize that I need to take care of myself too so that I can be a better wife, mother, and friend.
I have a hard time opening up to my husband, which makes it difficult to work on our marriage. I have a hard time building relationships because I fear being rejected, or abandoned by other people. I also fear not having enough time to myself when I share my time with others.
I am afraid to commit to something and give it my all because that means I could fail.
2. When did I start giving so much meaning to possessions?
For as long as I can remember, I have given possessions quite a bit of meaning. When I was really little, I had a special “treasure” box. This box consisted of a torch I received at the Olympics, which I visited as a baby, a box with two little lovebird eggs, a silver bar, an old dress my mom wore as a baby … and some other items. I would take each item out when I was alone, and handle them lovingly, before carefully packing them all away again in their special box. I am pretty sure I still have that box buried in a storage room somewhere.
As I grew older I became pretty independent. I bought most of my own things except for clothes as a young teenager. I didn’t drive, so it was a big ordeal for me to get to the mall to go shopping. I didn’t have a ton of money either, so I kept everything in case I might need it.
As a young adult I moved to a new town, and had even less money, and relied on friends for transportation. I slowly ran out of clothes, and couldn’t really go buy more. I didn’t have a lot of possessions, and held on to everything that I had.
Now, living in a little townhouse with my husband, I think I drive him crazy. I keep so many items “just in case” we might need them, or because they are sentimental to me.
3. What is truly important in life?
My faith is number one in my life. After that comes love and relationships. I value and cherish both my immediate and extended family. I think happiness, joy, and fun are all super important to me. I want to spend my life loving others and receiving love. Ultimately, I want to live my life the way God calls me to, and help my family do the same.
4. Why am I discontented?
Who says I am discontented? Haha, okay maybe I am a bit or I wouldn’t be going through this process. I feel discontented because I am constantly doing little tasks around the house that never seem to get done. Always doing … never finished.
I spend so much time doing things that I don’t want to do. I know this is life, but maybe it doesn’t have to be?
I am also discontented because i feel like Josh and I are at an “in between” phase in life. We are waiting for a big change, but it hasn’t happened yet.
I feel like God has more in life for my little family and I want to find out what it is.
My house is full of things that I don’t love, that I spend my time taking care of.
I want more time to do fun things. I want to spend less time doing wasteful things like reading social media.
I guess I spend too much time on things that aren’t actually that important to me.
5. Who do I want to become?
I want to be a loving, caring, peaceful person. I want to have time for people, and build good relationships. I want to be happy, content, free, and easy-going. I want to spend my life in love with Jesus, and I want to be the best wife and mother that I can be.
6. How will I define my success?
This is a tough one. I will define my success by how I spend my time, and by my personal thoughts and feelings. I will also define my success by my relationship with God, my family, and my friends.
7. How will life improve if I own less stuff?
I hope that I will spend less time taking care of it! I also hope that life will be less stressful, with less clutter. I think that having less stuff will also make my husband much happier. He easily gets overwhelmed when the house feels cluttered. I also want to teach Lochlyn about material possessions, and not to hold on to things that aren’t needed.
I am hoping that once we de-clutter we will be more careful about spending money on things we don’t need, and have more money for trips and other fun experiences.
While answering these questions I realized that this whole 21-Day Journey isn’t necessarily about the things that we have, or our resources, but about ourselves. I have everything that I need to live the life that I want, I just need to change my mindset about it. The things that are truly important to me, are all available and within my grasp, and they aren’t material objects. I need to shift my mindset, and the way that I spend my time, in order to obtain what is actually important to me.
De-cluttering is simply a step in the right direction of living a more purposeful life. It is not the focus, and it is not the solution.
Day 3 in our journey is happening next weekend, which means we will be packing up our entire house! I am feeling both excited and nervous.