December 6th, 2010
I used to be a pack rat. Just ask my mom. Getting me to clean my room was painful because every nook and cranny was stuffed with junk. Really, JUNK. “Clean your room” really meant “fill as many trash bags as possible.”
Now that I’m older, and debatably wiser, I’ve learned from my mom and in light of our move I have been filling trash bag after trash bag.
Like, really..who needs 5 first aid kits?
And you can bet that I’m not asking for anymore blue, long sleeved running shirts for Christmas.
I just love to throw things in the trash or the rescue mission pile and see my mass of non-descript “stuff” dwindling. It’s cleansing not only my closet, but also my spirit. I feel like I can breathe and move.
However, Dave’s a packrat and gets inexplicably nervous when I start “cleaning”. But I’ll save that for another post.
The other day as I was sorting through a closet, I started thinking about living with less. It seems that the older I get, the more I gravitate towards simplicity in life.
I thought of how this attribute I’ve developed plays out in the different areas of my life.
For example, there’s running. There is so much about running that is marketable and that we basically become attached to. In my running bag I have my Garmin, my iPod and armband, my Nathan’s Runner’s Pak, my Camelbak, my Nathan’s Quik Draw, reflectors, runner-specific hats, and of course lots of blue running shirts.
Do I really need those to run? Not at all. In fact I’ve learned that I don’t even need my shoes! It’s so easy to get caught up in times and distance and the latest technology but if you really think about it, the beauty of running is that it is simple. There are no machines, no necessary accessories, no particular stadiums or tracks that you have to visit. You just need the solid earth and your legs to carry you over it. It’s natural and it’s beautiful.
Now think about food. Isn’t there such a simplicity in foods as they grown to be. Fresh fruits, vegetables and all of the spices that carry such flavor and are so enjoyable without anything added. One of my very favorite blogs, The Edible Perspective, proves day in and day out that food doesn’t need anything added except a little creativity. It makes me wonder why I ever craved a Little Debbie in the first place whenever the food available to me is so much better.
And I dug even deeper. Personally and spiritually, how can I live with less? It isn’t pray or spending time reading that Bible that bogs me down. It’s the other little things. TV shows, internet, car rides…those things tend to make life cluttered. I need to clean out the corners of my thoughts and heart and have some clean alone-time.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not supporting any kind of monastic living here. I’m certainly not saying that we should all shun indoor plumbing and take to the woods with a little shovel. I’m just thinking that in today’s world it’s so easy to become dependent on “things”. We want everything to be fast and convenient in order to do that things that we need and want to do. But it seems as though the fast and convenient things end up taking about from what we really want and what we really enjoy…and what we really need.
The more we rely on the “stuff”, the “things”, and the “clutter” of life, the more we miss the beauty of what is. And we miss the chances to breathe and move freely.