I recently was waiting in the car park of IKEA.
We’ve all done the ikea juggle, we head up there for just a couple of bits and end up not being able to fit everything in the car. Maybe even contemplating leaving a family member behind to fit everything in, yes you would have to make the trip back again to pick them up, but at least it is sorted for the time being!
This is such a problem that IKEA now rents vans by the hour.
Is your life like this? That suddenly you look around and everything is being crammed in? You only intended to do a couple of things, but actually it is all too much? And you are constantly looking at your diary and wondering what you can leave behind, before deciding that you really can’t, so you cram it all in and your husband is left squished against the window like a cartoon?
Simplicity is the power to reclaim our lives, but it sure is difficult. Not only do you have to really think about what is important to you, but also your family too.
What makes a big difference to all of you?
My main focus is my creativity, that takes different forms in different seasons, but is focused at the moment on writing and music. At one point I was also learning to paint and draw, sewing, knitting and trying to make many things. I realised this was silly as I don’t even enjoy the last two. I finished up my husband’s Star Wars, man sized quilt for his Christmas present and that’s it, no more sewing. I have decided that and I have given away the majority of my fabric stash, although I am still trying to figure out what to do with my Nan’s cast iron (that maybe an exaggeration) sewing machine. All my knitting stuff is going to head off to a local knit and natter group.
I quite like knitting, but I realised that I don’t have the precision required for it, and also I was knitting when I sat down to watch TV- it was a way of staying busy. I don’t need to do that. I don’t watch a lot of of TV, so it is nice to focus on in when I do so. And also, I can’t do everything – I have to make a decision and this is where I have decided.
I need to stay fit and healthy, otherwise my illness creeps up on me, so I have focused on walking, tai chi and swimming, mainly as these are low risk of injury, but also because I have a dog, walking allows me to think and be in nature, which always feeds my soul, and I have always been good at swimming and it is nice to do something that makes me feel strong. Tai chi makes me very happy, it’s a moving meditation. None of these have very little in the way of equipment and are easy just to get on and do, it doesn’t need a huge amount of set up.
At all of these stages I have had to decide what I want to focus on, I just can’t cram everything in.
There is a part of me that believes that getting closer to God means stripping back on things, getting to a simpler life. I have started so far away from that it is going to take me quite a while to get there, although I am quite minimalist in terms of physical stuff in the house, clothing etc. But all the things I am interested in? Wow, oh so many. My someday maybe file is huge.
But for now I am focused on writing, photography and music and developing a closer relationship to God.