If Quarantine has taught me one thing, it is that I didn’t need MORE STUFF. Those first few weeks were somewhat frightening. I don’t think many of us knew what to expect and the media seemed to think we were all going to die. I subjected myself to many thoughts of the future and all the what ifs. What if I died and my kids didn’t have a momma any more. What would my husband do? Who would take care of them all?
I don’t mean to go so deep but the truth is that I think many of us had similar thoughts. Instead of allowing fear to over take me, I chose to turn it off and enjoy every second I had with my family. What I learned was that we had all we needed right here in this place we call Home. We had enough. We even had more than enough!
When my kids were at home and were finished with their school work, they actually played like kids. I don’t mean they played on a phone, a tablet, or even a chromebook. They chose to be creative and make up games. They explored boxes that were empty and created masterpieces from them. I was a proud mom in those moments.
While I watched my kids, (which by the way are 11 and 7 ) playing with BOXES, I realized our stuff had prevented them from being their creative selves. We decided that it was a good time to tackle a few more items from our play room. I could see the excitement in their eyes as they chose to donate item after item. What was left was a clean basement, with a kids kitchen, some Lego, a few super hero’s and dolls, and some Nerf guns. It wasn’t an overwhelming mess that I felt I couldn’t ever seem to make a dent in when cleaning.
I know this decluttering process takes time and it can be overwhelming. I have had many moments when I have felt too overwhelmed to continue. I sometimes look at a drawer or cupboard that I just finished decluttering and feel like it is still full to the brim! I just went through my spice cabinet and I filled a garbage bag yet somehow I still have enough to fill the cabinet! How is that possible?
I have to look at the bag and realize I did make a big change even if in that moment it feels like I didn’t. What I can focus on is that I can now see the spices I use regularly. You know the ones that somehow always get lost but are in every recipe you make!
So what is so great about living simply, and minimizing? I think the greatest gift that this has given me is the gift of time to really enjoy Relationship with others. I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to get together with someone but felt like I didn’t have the time. It has also released me from the constant errand running. If I am honest I chose to go out and shop instead of enjoying a quiet day at home. I wanted to be out and about. I didn’t enjoy staying home. I would fill my days with grocery shopping on Monday, then Tuesday I would remember that I didn’t get Milk, so I would go back out just to get Milk. While I was there though, I would browse the aisles just because. Wednesday I would make an excuse to go to the Mall. I couldn’t just stay home. It was never ending.
I learned while we were all told to stay home for a month while the world shook from the explosion of this pandemic, that I actually enjoyed being home. I love to read and I was able to make time to do that more. I was able to play games with my kids. I was able to teach them life skills like cooking, cleaning, and even saving their money for something they may need in the future. It was life altering. I believe that part of the reason I was never staying home, was because it was too overwhelming to me. I wanted the break from cleaning, or finding places to hide my junk!
Here’s a fun fact about myself not everyone knows. I have Lupus. It’s this super fun autoimmune disease that literally makes me feel like I have the flu most days. I get regular headaches, body aches, fevers, rashes, and days where my body feels so weak I can’t get out of bed. While I felt my worst some days I still pushed myself to the breaking point. Why? Because I am no quitter! No seriously, I felt weak if I stopped and took time to rest. I felt like I wasn’t a good mom, wife, friend, or person. I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to make sure everyone that knew me looked at me as someone that doesn’t complain, that can keep going and not stop even when she feels a little tired. What that did instead, caused me to have days where I felt like a truck had hit me and my body would ache so bad it would make the tears just run. I would feel like I had no control over my body.
I once went to a church event with my mom and sisters and went to the bathroom and fell to the ground, unable to get my legs to walk properly to get me to the auditorium where I knew my family was. I sat in that bathroom and waited for someone to come to my rescue. Thankfully my sister came to find me and helped me get to my feet. If you have ever experienced pain that is overwhelming you may be able to relate with the shaking that occurs. My body will shake to the point that I can’t control it.
Why am I sharing this with you, because I want you to know it is okay to say NO. It is okay to stop doing this. It is okay to take time to rest. I had to experience myself at my worst to realize that I needed less of everything and more of what made me feel good. I needed more time with My God who speaks truth to me and reminds me that he sees me and loves me in every moment. He created me for a purpose and it wasn’t to run myself ragged or to the point of complete exhaustion. I needed more time to just breathe. I couldn’t have that time living the life I led up to this point. I had to make a change.
Whether you have something that is making you stop, or you are just feeling like you need this change for your sanity, do it for you. Do it because it is what YOU want. Be selfish and allow yourself to say No. I promise you this, if you go head first into this, you will not regret putting yourself and your family first.
Stay the course friend!