(This post is part of the 31 Day Writing Challenge. For previous posts click HERE)
I know I'm guilty of it. I'm guilty of saying "Things are crazy these days. There's too much".
There's just too much of what?
Frankly there's just too much everything.
Too much food.
Too much work.
Too much activities for kids.
Too much money going out.
Too much selfishness.
While all of these are true, they don't have to be.
We seem to live in a society that reveres excess and shuns minimalism.
I like to watch House Hunters on HGTV and my favorite shows are the ones where people are looking at older houses. I especially love the century homes, the historic row houses in Massachusetts, or even the post war bungalows of suburbia. Unless the house has been extensively renovated, the potential buyers always say the same things "Oh the closets are so small" (I'll save my rant on granite counter tops for another post). People used to only have clothes that they needed. People didn't have more outfits than can be worn in a month. A man maybe had two suits (and most middle class men only had 1 suit). Families had 1 TV (if they were lucky), 1 car (if they were lucky), took one vacation a year (if they were lucky).
(picture found at Beautiful Abodes)
Everything today is inflated and I'm not just talking about prices. Now you have to have a TV in every room. Every family member of driving age has to have a car (this can be for practical reasons. Where we live, NOTHING is in walking distance). Kids have to have Jordan's in every style and color (we fight this at our house). Kids have a long weekend due to a day off from school? You must go on a trip somewhere. You can't just have a closet, your closet needs to be Real Housewives worthy.
We want more than we need and we think we need more than is necessary to live.
Lately I've been making a conscious effort to buy less. And if I do bring a new item of clothing into the house, one has to go out of the house. We are cramming our lives with stuff. But for what purpose? Is the stuff making us happier? Is the stuff making us better people?
The internet makes it easy for me to get stuff. If there's something I think I need, I can Google it, find the best price, order it and have it shipped directly to my house. It's easy peasy. But it's not the best practice. At least not for things that I don't need.
Less stuff means, less money going out. It means less clutter. It means less stress.
I love the blog Becoming Minimalist. Whenever he posts something I want to shout "YES". You can find a list of his most popular posts here. The one that I'm taking to heart right now is The 10 Most Important Things To Simplify In Your Life. And it starts with simplifying "stuff". I've got my de-cluttering on. I need to stop bringing the stuff into my life in the first place. Less stuff=less stress=more peace.
At mass on Sunday, the priest said in his homily that we all have a God shaped hole in us. And instead of filling that hole with more God, we are filling it with more stuff. We are trying to fill it with more clothing, more money, more food, more drink, more anything instead of filling it with what we really need... more God.
I'm going to stop filling mine with stuff. Starting now.
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls. Mother Teresa