I haven’t written much lately, as I have been in a mode of making a SERIOUS attempt to simplify some things in my life. In particular, this involves my surroundings – my home environment has become all-the-more-important to how I function now that I work from home and cannot go out and about as much because of the Fibro-Monster.
What I have found over these past two months is that trying to simplify your surroundings is daunting, to say the least. When your brain is as foggy as mine can be because of the Fibro, anything that feels “cluttery” can make it so much worse. It becomes beyond difficult to focus when things aren’t right in your environment. This has a lot to do with what is happening in the nervous system regarding the senses – vision, sound, even touch become hyper-sensitive and can put you into a full-on fight or flight mode if you aren’t careful.
So simplifying my surroundings has become imperative, but it’s hard – it’s complex – the whole process of letting go. We have emotional attachments to things we have kept over the years, especially those that belonged to loved ones who have gone home to live with Jesus and are not here with us any more.
By the way: I’ve been at this for a couple of years now. My attempts before, however, were feeble. I would stop mid-process and not keep the momentum going. But in the last two months I have been tackling it hard core. From all that I have researched regarding the desire to truly simplify and declutter one’s life, it is clear that keeping the momentum is of the utmost importance.
I’m still not done. But I am getting close.
When we get to where we are nearing our goal – it comes time to edit relentlessly and this is truly the hardest part. Letting go of a lot of this stuff in the first one or two rounds was not very hard. It actually felt quite freeing and I immediately felt lighter – more clarity – a sense of peace. It’s especially great to know that so many of my mother or father’s things will go on now to help someone who has less than we do. I like knowing that someone who needs something for a Christmas gift, or for use around their home can get it for free now.
Another thing that makes the editing process difficult for me personally, is that I am not really a minimalist at heart. I just want to be. I do have to have a home now that feels clutter free, yet comfortable and still cozy. Friends, when you wanna get rid of clutter and have a space with, well – SPACE in it, that is beyond difficult to do if you don’t simply do a complete gut job. I can’t do it that way and maintain the cozy vibe that is so important to me.
That’s what’s making it take so long. So I guess we can say I brought those complications upon myself because I forced the process to be this way instead of just gutting all of it.
I don’t know about you (all ye who have been through this lovely little process as well), but for me, the part that is the most difficult is not the emotional attachment stuff. I know that I know that I KNOW that I will see my loved ones again one day in heaven. So, letting go of stuff that reminds me of them isn’t so hard as I kept back the most important things and have a peace about giving away the rest. They would have liked that too, and that makes my heart happy.
It’s the sensory issues I have with regard to the Fibro and stuff that has made it the hardest for me.
For me, being in the home all the time entails a deep seated need to feel good in this environment. If I move one thing to gain a better sense of clutter free space, it has a rippling effect akin to an earthquake that will rock your world. Just ask my husband: One thing gets rearranged and it causes me to need to change all the paint colors and furniture arrangements in every other room of the house.
That is beyond frustrating. But if you are like me and you start this “process” it is also beyond necessary.
But guess what? It is do-able. And we have done it. We are nearing the finish line and now it’s a matter of living the simplified lifestyle and maintaining that mentality. We are working on other stuff too – not just the clutter in the home. I have been streamlining how I do bills, email, clothing, laundry, cleaning. I have been limiting my social media time and not doing it all over the place, but in specific blocks of time. All of it is helping my crazy little brain. All of it is helping me embrace a simpler lifestyle. But I have a lot of work to do and a whole lotta surrender left to embrace to truly keep my life more simple.
Who knows? Maybe some day I will become a true minimalist, and another seismic sweep of the household will be called for if that happens.
But for now, I feel lighter. For now, I feel a greater sense of clarity through the fog. For now, I feel like there’s more room to focus upon Jesus, my family, and yes – the daily chores, but without the layers upon layers of that which is unnecessary clouding up my vision.
And honestly, that is the most important goal for me out of all of this. I want to help my brain and sensory issues as much as I can so I can focus on Jesus and family and all that is truly important in life.
We won’t be taking anything with us when we leave this world anyway. Jesus and heaven is all we will have then and it will be all that we need. Why not start now?
Yes….for now, he’s given us books and movies, couches and beds, dishes and pretty wall art to gaze upon. But it is my desire that none of that stuff takes the place of my own Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
More than anything else, I wish to gaze upon HIM. And I don’t need a lot of stuff cluttering up my sight line.
But maybe I do need a reminder once in a while – so as I took away so many of the other nick-knacks and wall hangings in our home, I placed these instead in my bedroom.
And these in my office.
It boils down to that one simple fact for me, dear friends – that if I set my eyes upon Jesus, I can’t go wrong. And that if something gets in the way of that, I need to cut it out and discard it.
Wow. I guess it’s not really that complicated at all.
Hebrews 12:2 We must focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith
Anne you always inspire me. Thank you
Awww thank you. So kind of you.
Okay, last one…I don’t want to bombard you with blog comments, but dang, girl, you are just hitting all the things for me.
It’s amazing how peaceful – mentally and physically – a decluttered home is. And I don’t speak from experience in decluttering, It’s only that the last two times we moved, I had a couple of weeks each time where the house only had what was really necessary and all the rest was still packed. So it was sort of a little peek into a decluttered home. I couldn’t believe how peaceful that felt and I’ve longed for it ever since. But what you said about momentum is SO true. I can get an area done, but then that’s it. A few months later, I might tackle something else. But the momentum never, ever, ever continues. So it’s 2 steps forward and 3-4 back most of the time. Talk about exhausting.
Although right now is a perfect time in my life to actually do this and keep at it. My kids are adults. Hubby’s business is closed, so I don’t have anything to do for that (well, mostly…a few things to tidy up with the closing from last year), and my part-time job ends tomorrow. I am restarting my photography business, but other than that, my only real responsibility is household stuff. Even writing this makes me realize that I truly have no excuse not to get on it. Thank you for this encouragement and motivation.
I really am enjoying your blog posts. Thanks so much for all you’ve shared. 🙂
I love hearing comments and thoughts and ideas too!!! I think you can DO this, girl!!! I tackled a room at a time and then had to do a second and third sweep- by the time you hit a room for the third time, some time has passed, and things we may have been on the fence about a mere few eeeks prior, well- they seem a bit easier to let go of- that helped a BUNCH! I will LOVE to hear how your process goes once you get your groove on!💕