I had a breakdown of sorts last week. I went upstairs to face my sons' bedroom and the "playroom" and it was not pretty. I mean NOT PRETTY. I spent 3 1/2 hours cleaning and organizing those two spaces. It was awful. I was mad and fuming and upset about it all. The conclusion I came to? We have TOO MUCH STUFF!!
As I cleaned I couldn't help but picture the millions of families around the world who have next to nothing. Simple dwellings with few things. Not much stuff. In the earlier years of my life I looked down on those cultures with a sense of pity...oh, I wish those poor people had more! I felt like we as Americans had the good life and the good stuff and aren't I so glad that I don't live there?!
Now I have come to see how truly rich those people are. Rich in simplicity, priorities, relationships. As I cleaned those rooms, I envied those cultures. I felt a sense of pity for me. How distracted I am by stuff! How much energy is drained on organizing my stuff! How much time is spent trying to get a good deal, perusing catalogs, rummaging through thrift stores for more stuff?!
On Friday I grieved and told my husband that I don't want to look back on my life when I am 80 and realize that most of my time on earth was spent organizing and rearranging and fiddling with stuff. My kids don't get my best hours...my stuff does. My kids tend to get my leftovers after all the stuff has been dealt with. It's a sobering realization.
I don't have any clear answers right now as to where I will go from here. But clearly there needs to be a serious shift in priorities. Paring down and simplifying even more.