We had a wonderful little homeschool class today where 2 college seniors came to explain to us their different study-abroad experiences. One had gone to Uganda and the other to Beijing, China.
The student that went to Uganda helped with a project that makes clay water filters to purify drinking water. He kept mentioning how the people have much less than Americans had but he noticed they just seemed happier. He said it multiple times; you could tell it had stuck with him.
It seemed timely to hear this. Just this morning I got home from working out and cleared out both bookcases. I have quite a lot of books to donate and some very tidy shelves at the moment.
The process didn’t take long, it wasn’t difficult, and now not only do I know exactly what I have, I don’t have shelves cluttered with books I’ll probably never read again. But I didn’t get rid of absolutely everything. Some stuff I keep for sentimental value, although I may not read it again. I suppose someday if we ever move into an itty bitty house I will part with them. In the meantime I’ll try to keep getting ebooks and books from the library to not add to the clutter.
I know none of this is earth shattering information. A strive for simplicity is nothing new. Only people with more than they could ever need get the privelege of talking about reducing the amount of stuff they own. This doesn’t mean I don’t think it isn’t something good to do.
Some people say it’s a good idea for kids to have fewer toys. It doesn’t overwhelm them as much. I think this is pretty decent advice for grown-ups too.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with possessions. I don’t think they make us bad people. I just think sometimes they feel heavy. Shuffling things to and fro and avoiding dusty bookshelves for months because you have more important things to do than worry about them.
I want to spend my time on other things. Put my energies where they should go instead of into more chores. The last thing I need in my life is more stuff to tidy up.
I’ve still got more spaces in this house to lighten, but I’m a lot further along than I was 3 days ago!