Over the course of the last year, I’ve slowly gone through a major shift in my philosophy about life. I’ve begun to see the great value of minimalism, and as a result I’ve begun to strive for elegant simplicity.
For a long time now, I would get interested in something and I would pursue it 110% - spending hours perfecting guitar solos, writing fiction, completing video games, working on computer projects - only to be snagged by another interest which would then immediately receive all of my attention.
I realized that my life lacked focus. It had grown so complex, cluttered by so many interests and activities, that I could never truly complete anything. I realized that I could be a lot happier and get a lot more done if I would just de-clutter my life and focus on something from beginning to end before moving on to a new project. Because of this, I’ve begun a major push to declutter my life. I’ve talked with Barbara about it extensively, and she’s fully on board, so we’ve embarked on a quest to lighten up our lives and live more simply.
The Weight of Stuff
I’m realizing that the more stuff we accumulate, the more I feel weighed down by that stuff. It clutters up our shelves, our closets, and by the time we moved into a smaller apartment this July it nearly took over an entire room. With our little Elliot David on the way, we knew we needed to reorganize. The more we thought about it, though, the more we realized that reorganization just wasn’t enough. We were suffocating under the weight of things that we don’t need.
We decided that we needed to get serious, and simplify our lives by getting rid of anything that we don’t use on a regular basis. Several months later, after many cleaning days and lots of trips to the dumpster, we’ve made some major progress! Our baby room is almost completely clear, and we’ve thrown awway massive amounts of stuff that were just taking up space and weren’t adding any real value to our lives. We both feel as if a burden has been lifted from us, and we feel more free now that we aren’t tied down by so many possessions!
The Clutter of Hobbies
Another way in which I’m trying to simplify life is by reducing the number of hobbies that I have. Like I mentioned above, I often bounced back and forth between many different hobbies, never settling on anything for very long. I’ve made a major effort to cut that off and make sure I focus on one hobby at a time give each hobby a much larger chunk of time before rushing into another one.
Each hobby that I had required a significant time committment in order to be truly rewarding, and I was never giving any single hobby enough time to reap those rewards. This also contributed greatly to the accumulation of stuff as I acquired more and more things related to my many hobbies. I still switch between hobbies now, but it’s at a much slower and more careful pace now. I’ve found that this also gives me more freedom, as I don’t feel weighed down by the need to pour a whole lot of effort into a hobby in a short amount of time. It also gives me more time to relax and spend time with Barbara, and soon Elliot as well.
Freedom Through Limitation
At first, I thought limiting my hobbies and reducing the amount of stuff we had would stifle creativity and make life less exciting. I’ve found that just the opposite has happened. As I’ve lightened my life and limited my endeavors, I’ve discovered that I feel much less constrained and more free to take my time and do things right. As I see more things being completed and more projects being finished instead of abandoned halfway, I feel a great deal more excitement and true satisfaction with life.
I know that it was God that led us to this new way of looking at life, and I want to praise Him for the changes we’ve been able to make lately. We’re eagerly looking forward to the new family member He’s blessed us with, and we’re excited about what He has in store for us next!