How might your life be better with less? Many times we consider our lives can only be better with more. If we have a bigger house, nicer cars, more stuff, etc, we will be happy. What if the answer isn’t actually about getting more stuff, but about having more LIFE. When we think of our lives, we tend to dream about the days when we will be free from the daily grind, able to live life fully, and do what we really love. What we don’t consider is, if we give up some of the stuff that holds us back from those things, would they be attainable right now?
What if I told you that you could be living a more full life right now? Sure that sounds a bit cliche and like an ad for some vitamin that will give you energy for weeks to come. Honestly though, it can be done. I have been doing some more digging to see what we feel is holding us back from living a life of freedom. So many of us have jobs, volunteer commitments, kids in sports, etc. that keep us from committing to change. We have been ingrained with this idea that if we just have more, we will feel better. Have you ever wanted to buy an item and thought, if I buy that I won’t ever need to buy another… You get the item and then inevitably weeks later you decide you need something else. We are never content. Once we acquire all that we “want” our wants become more. It is a snowball effect.
We will never have enough to end the cycle. We will continue to buy things because we feel the need to keep up with the rest of the world. Can we answer honestly, why? What do we REALLY want? More stuff? More time? The answer was clear to me, when my kids came home again this year and I realized, my priorities were not on my kids, it was on looking good to everyone else. That all changed in a moment when I realized I didn’t want to play this game any longer. I didn’t really care if I had the trendiest clothes, or the biggest house. I realized those things didn’t actually matter to ME. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life comparing myself to everyone else.
So what do you want? What would you do with less? I have been pondering this question for a few weeks now. So as any good writer I started jotting things down as they came to me. I started making a bucket list. Some are big dreams and others are things we can do on a whim. One of the things I yearned for the most though, was being able to stay in the moment. There is this beautiful song by Jeremy Camp called “Keep Me In The Moment.” The lyrics are a prayer, “Oh Lord keep me in the moment, let me live with my eyes wide open, cause I don’t want to miss what you have for me. Oh Lord show me what matters, throw away what I’m chasing after, Cause I don’t want to miss what you have for me, Keep me in the moment, keep me in the moment. keep me in the moment.”
As that song played in my earbuds, I realized that my prayer is to stay living in the moment. I don’t want to be distracted. I want to live life in a way that gives life. So I started looking long and hard at what was keeping me from staying in the moment. What were our distractions. So I composed a list and want to share with you how we started living in the moment.
- TURN OFF THE NOISE I have always loved listening to the radio in the car. I realized though that I wasn’t listening to my kids when I asked them how their day was after school. Instead of tuning into them completely, I was singing the lyrics to what was on the radio. Our world is noisy enough, so take time to be quiet.
- TURN OFF THE TV I know some of you are cringing and maybe even getting ready to close this box! Here’s the thing though, I started turning off the TV and setting actual boundaries and we are enjoying it so much we may just get rid of the TV all together. My kids used to wake up in the morning and head downstairs to watch TV before getting ready for school. Now they are reading more, talking during breakfast, and are finding they don’t feel anxious about rushing to get to school. After school they are playing outside more, reading more, creating more and just overall enjoying their days more. It doesn’t seem like TV is all that bad, but I challenge you to turn it off for some time, and see what you accomplish without it.
- DELETE THE APPS These are the things we mindlessly click for no apparent reason. If you have apps on your phone that you know you can’t seem to stop clicking on, cut the cord and let them go. When your life is over do you think you will be happy with the amount of time you spent clicking? I look around now and see all the people that are missing out on the moments right in front of them. I refuse to keep living my life that way.
- CLEAR YOUR SCHEDULE I know this one is easier said than done. We all have commitments we can’t just let go of. What if we could let go of the things though that aren’t speaking life into us. Maybe you are on the PTA and you hate every second of it, but you made a commitment for the year. I suggest when that year is up, wash your hands of it. Walk away from what you don’t love.
- PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE I know we are all busy and attached, but make time to put your phone away. My husband has a busy job that at times pulls him away from us. We understand that some phone calls can’t wait, but some can. If you are sitting down as a family for dinner, if the call can wait, let it. Find time to enjoy life and not be distracted.
If you know there are things in your life that are keeping you from living it to the fullest, get rid of them. Don’t wait for change to come to you. Be the change you want to see. If you could live life better with less, how would you live? What would you do?