Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quest for Simplicity 13 December 2008

What am I doing to simplify my life right now? I have to say there is a lot that I plan to do, but finding time to actually accomplish it...ah, here we are allready in the endless circle--momentum carries us forward, and we keep doing exactly what we have been doing in spite of our best intentions!
Actually, I have been making an effort lately in couple of directions. One, as those who have been reading my blog for awhile may have noticed, is that I am spending less time online, including blogging. There is a delicate balance to be maintained here: on the one hand, the internet is a valuable tool, allowing me easily to connect with others, track my finances, stay on top of what library books I have due; on the other it is an ocean without boundaries that can easily absorb all my time in pursuits that, in the end, add relatively little value to the life of my family. I haven't quite figured out at this point what the optimal balance is, but I strongly suspect that in this area, less is more.
The other effort that I am engaged in is tackling the physical clutter of our lives. We have 5 people in a small home, and corralling and organizing lots of stuff is not something I am good at. Given the choice, I would much rather be playing/teaching/enjoying life with my kids than cleaning the house. I believe the solution here is a two-pronged attack. First is eliminating all unnecessary stuff, second is better organizing what remains For now I am going to focus on the elimination part. This goes very much against my nature; I have always been the kind to collect and keep things just in case I find a way to use them in the future. And if I hold on to something long enough, there is a pretty good chance that at some point that thing will be just what I need! The trouble is, I have to take care of the thing in the meantime, and I have to be able to find it when I need it! I have determined that, at this point in my life, I simply don't have the time and energy to dedicate to taking care of a bunch of things that are not currently blessing my family. They have got to go! I have been through several rounds of major decluttering in the past, most recently in connection with our move this summer (if you are a packrat, moving every few years can be excellent therapy!) I have decided that it is time for another round. I think it might be fun to report on lbs. of stuff given away as a method of record keeping. I plan to keep track for the next month--I will report back on January 13th :-)


Carolyn said...

"It [the internet] is an ocean without boundaries that can easily absorb all my time in pursuits that, in the end, add relatively little value to the life of my family."

What a perfect description of the internet!

I will be thinking for a while about what I can post about; what is my quest for simplicity? But that is only because you have stolen the one that I have been working on lately. I have really been trying to keep the internet from absorbing my life. It is like an ocean and I often get lost at sea. And yet I feel that there are valuable things I can do in the blogging community, if I learn to exercise self control and get off when I've done all that is useful.

Paula said...

Carolyn, if you want to post about the same thing go right ahead! Everyone has a different perspective, and we all enjoy reading about different approaches. I for one would love to here how you approach the challenge of taming the internet.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I really need to reorganize and restructure my time, my home, our belongings, homeschool, etc. I ordered "Managers of Their Homes" by Steve and Teri Maxwell for my Christmas present. So far I've only read the book but it is excellent and just the perspective I need for sheduling my time and my children's time. I plan on sitting diwn and figuring out our schdeules the week after Christmas so we can start with the new year.

I love the concept of your Quest for Simplicity. I really want to participate but will wait until after Christmas as the next two weeks are already full beyond capacity with a wedding, two receptions, and Christmas.

karen said...

Here's another book for you to look at -- I love it -- The New Messies Manual by Sandra Felton. I think you'd probably enjoy it too. It's fun to read and helpful without creating a major guilt complex all at the same time. And she is a pastor's wife so she talks about what God wants for us too, and how that applies to our homes.

Kelley said...

It's true that moving is a great way to clean out every few years. Being in such a small place, I've been trying to de-junk about every 6 months. I can feel another de-junking spree coming on right after Christmas, oddly enough just in time for our next move.

And boy you are right about the Internet. Spot on, actually.