So often we blame our STUFF or our CALENDAR for the stress in our lives. Neither is correct. Each of those are as they are because of choices we have made. Choices to purchase something, to keep something from mom or grandma’s attic, to commit to an event or activity or project. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Ouch. That hurts. However, it is the truth. The longer we live in denial about that fact, the longer we will live in stress, in overwhelmed, in over drive.
It is easy to accumulate. We accumulate things, tasks, events, people, debt, the list goes on. We get caught up in “the world” and the way everyone else lives. We move through life on auto pilot or so busy and distracted we fail to even notice the moment, the people, our choices, our words, our actions.
My desire is not to just be organized. My desire is to live a simpler life. I want to live in each moment. I don’t want the pull of the next task or event to distract me from this moment. I don’t want the mounds of laundry, overflowing kitchen cabinets, or piles of paper to keep my mind abuzz with “you should”, “you ought to”, “you failure”… I want life to be simpler. I want it to be organized. I want it to reflect my style-my heart. That life requires decisions. It requires honesty. It requires knowing where my time will be spent today.
Here are 5 Questions I ask myself:
1. If I bring this task or thing into my home where will it go? For tasks, that means where on my calendar will I put it? For things, that means where in my house will I store it?
2. Why do I want this thing?/Why do I want to do this task? I am a firm believer that things need to have a purpose-even if that is to simply sit and look pretty and bring a smile to my face. I am a firm believer that tasks I do need to fit my Life Statement. Does this task help me reach a goal or meet a need for the people holding highest priority in my life?
3. Can I maintain this task or thing? I have to look ahead at my schedule and my space to determine if next week I can still find time on my calendar or will still have the space for this item.
If I can’t answer these questions, especially number 2, then I give myself 24 hours. If the thing or task fits, I’ll know. If I remain uncertain then I let it go, having faith that in due season if it is a necessary thing or task, the opportunity will re-emerge.
I don’t want to go through life on auto pilot. I don’t want to miss that moment to connect with another. I don’t want to miss the whisper of the Holy Spirit, because I failed to sit and rest. I don’t want a home so filled with things that bring me and my family joy, but are never shared with another. If I don’t, then I have to. I have to quit blaming my stuff, my calendar or others. I have to make a decision.