So yes. I'm stressed. Honestly, when am I not? There's always something to do, somewhere to be, things vying for my attention. I really think that this past year I was far too busy for my own good. I was pulled in way too many directions. I've been reading a lot of books about simplifying--Simplicity Parenting...Minimalist Homeschooling...Decluttering Your Home... And basically, OF COURSE, all they say is Do Less, Have Less.
I've been working hard on the 'Have Less'. I've got my kids on-board with the decluttering. We've gotten rid of SO MUCH...but I think we really collected SO MUCH. We came to Sri Lanka pushing the extent of our allotted weight limit. I'd like to have FAR less. When the moving guys came last week to do our packout survey, at first I was concerned! We started in our main rooms, and we still had lots of stuff! We own a few bookshelves, a cedar chest, a large TV and stand, a piano (digital, but still heavy), and my daughter's amazing doll house! However, aside from that, we really don't have much. As we've gone through systematically, room to room, I'm finding that we're really close to having only what we really need. Will I be able to finish paring everything down my Monday? Maybe not. But I will be closer!
Having less brings peace--much more so than having a whole lots of stuff 'just in case'. I've learned that if I hoard everything, I become burdened by those things. There is a physical weight on my shoulders! I've tried to keep all our stuff and our books--just in case we, or someone else, might need it! Well, if I hold on to it, I"m doing two things: First of all, I'm just adding to our weight. Both the weight of our household goods AND the weight that rests on my shoulders. Second of all, I'm not trusting in God to provide for me when I need it. Doesn't He say that I should take no thought for the future but trust in Him? So if I'm hoarding everything I've ever collected for 'just in case', then I'm not allowing Him to provide miracles for me when I need them...and I'm not trusting in Him, I'm trusting in myself and my storage room. Plus, if I'm keeping some of it to help others, too, and yet I'm hiding it in a closet, well, I'm not blessing anyone with it, am I? Instead it just collects dust and I forget it's there, so it does no one any good at all.
So, out it all goes! We've had SO MUCH FUN giving things away, selling things for super cheap! I have LOVED the joy we have seen in people's faces and they've carried away their new treasures! We have blessed their lives through giving, and they have blessed ours by relieving us of our burden. Now THAT relieves stress! The less I have, the less stressed I am AND the easier it is to clean...and to find all the stuff that I actually use! :D
'Have Less' is now well on its way. 'Do Less'...well...that one still needs some work. I've often wondered if it's even possible to do less. I find that when I 'do less', I become quite lazy and do nothing at all. It's all about balance, I suppose. I do know I did too much these past few months. We had AMAZING experiences, but it might have been just a bit too much. If I'm doing too much to have time to record it in my journal, then it's too much. Hopefully I'll have some time in the next few weeks so I can play catch up and post some of our amazing adventures.