A Gradual Shift to Simplicity

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” -Edmund Burke

I was cleaning my windows this weekend, a chore I despise for many reasons: It’s not fun; it’s tiring; I’m really, really bad at it; and it takes way too long.

My husband began the project a few months ago by spraying off the outside of each window. The inside was my job, and oh, how I fought it, putting it off until one day, I decided to wash a pane. What should have been quick and easy took days. A few days later, I washed another pane, and another, until finally, I was done. Those dirty little windows were scrubbed.

I looked through the clean panes, at bees that tried desperately to build a hive next to our home, and birds that flitted over the rooftops. Life was clearer, crisper.

One day, probably not far away, winds will blow and dust will gather, and once again, I will fight, and slowly, I will clean. Because life is like that, it begins, ends, and begins again. But what really matters is that, in the end, I finished, only because I had begun.

The road to simplicity is like that as well. I thought it would be quick and easy, and once I’d accomplished it, I’d never have to do it again.

I remember dumping drawers, cleaning closets, and feeling refreshed with the removal of each bag. But it didn’t end there. I kept finding things to do. It was never-ending.

I guess simplicity is a constant journey, a life-long path of travel.

But the funny thing about life is this, like my windows, it gets muddied up. And then we must clean. Begin, end, begin again.

A constant journey, a continuous motion of change.

My journey to simplicity will never end. I’m on it for good. But I wouldn’t be here if I had never begun.

What can you do to begin your own journey?

Please follow and like us:

An Unintentional Life of Simplicity

It began as a simple act, one thin piece of paper needing to be filed away.

I opened the first of two small security boxes, each containing twelve green folders. As I slid the paper inside its designated file, a broken tab caught my eye. I pulled the folder out, inspecting its contents. The pages were old, torn, yellowed with age. Papers I had long forgotten, most of which I no longer needed.

I made two piles, one for the shredder, the other to be refiled. But I didn’t stop with that one folder. I sorted through each file, amazed at the amount of papers our small family had accrued. Half an hour later, I was done. Each file was cleansed, a large pile of papers ready to be shredded sat by my feet, and my two file boxes had been reduced to one.

I stared at the pile before me, happy, content, and a little confused. I hadn’t planned on this, and yet here I was, another piece of my life simplified, another pile of junk ready to be tossed, another room one step closer to the minimalistic life I desired.

How did this happen? I used to plan my days around simplicity, wondering what I could do to make my life easier, constantly looking for something to throw away. I set goals, made plans, even plotted steps on a calendar. I looked forward to the day I would have a simple, minimal life. And it all seemed so hard.

Was it meant to be this complicated? Probably not, but I think in the process of creating goals, I had forgotten the most important part. I had forgotten to enjoy the journey.

Minimalism isn’t about having less in your life, though that is one goal. Simplicity isn’t about an easy life, though that is definitely an asset. What this is really about is the journey, the changes in ourselves, the new life waiting for us on the other side.

When I decided to enjoy my travels, my life became easier. Just like the files I purged, I am constantly purging my life, and no longer have to think about it.

I am on a journey, and always will be. Life is like that, the old and new intermixed, a constant transformation. But now I enjoy this path, no goals, no long lists, no plotting my travels. I am truly on my way to an unintentional life of simplicity. And I am loving every minute of it.

Enjoy your journey!

Please follow and like us: