My recent absence from this blog is an indicator that I , myself , am much like you. I share my journey to simplicity through writing, but I claim no expertise. I struggle. My house is still as messy and cluttered as yours (maybe worse, even), my schedule has a tendency to get out of control, and the chaos can easily become overwhelming. It’s a challenge to write on a subject when you’re knee deep in it crashing down around you.
Our daughter recently returned home from a mission trip to New York State with our church youth group. I had missed her, and her dad had to go into work, so I agreed to take her and a friend to see a movie that evening. We saw The Incredibles 2, a fun film! During it I heard my daughter lean over and say to her friend, about Elastigirl, “She looks like my mom!” Mind you, this comment didn’t come as this flexible super-mom reached beyond-human lengths (literally!) to perform an amazing feat or super heroine rescue. No. She was standing at the bathroom vanity while brushing her teeth and speaking to her husband with a mouthful of toothpaste! Nonetheless, we do share a physical resemblance and my ego was just a tad inflated, briefly, to have heard my 14 year old daughter compare me to a super hero.
Undoubtedly , I fall short – so short – of claiming such a grandiose title. I struggle, REALLY struggle, under the daily weight of responsibility and obligations. I think, if only I had enough time, or energy, to get this or that done. If only I could snap my fingers and my house, yard, gardens and shed would be decluttered, clean, and in perfect order. If only I had the super-power and strength, the amazing flexibility of Elastigirl…
How can I get there? You have followed me as I’ve taken time off work to make serious strides in our basement. You’ve been with me while I took a leap of faith into a smaller, more manageable closet of clothes, pondered ways to reduce my carbon footprint, and even as I attempted different methods of gardening to produce more food with less effort and limited space for my family… These are all things I do not regret and I have definitely learned from and strive to continue.
However, life marches on and keeps throwing new curves. Yep. We’ve had lots of green beans this year! Some tomatoes are starting to ripen, I’m assuming all is well under keeps with the potatoes, the loofah are growing on vines with vibrant yellow flowers, and pears are hanging low on the trees waiting to be harvested. But… I have had another year of battling the critters. It is so disheartening to lose ALL of our zucchini, spaghetti squash, pumpkins, acorn squash, and kale. No blueberries, peaches, or apples. Not a single bite has been left unconsumed by the groundhog, bunnies, deer… Yes. It is very frustrating.
Has my wardrobe grown? Sure – I’ve added a few pieces here and there. But the seasons have changed here, and I am still pretty committed to letting go of what isn’t working, I haven’t used, or have upgraded.
Not sure where my environmental footprint stands these days (feeling like Bigfoot here), but I can say that with recent news stories I am convicted more than ever that we need to stop using all of this “throw-away” plastic and packaging. I am wishing there were more places that would commit somehow to selling items with less packaging. It actually sickens me to realize how much we alone toss, as one small family, and even the amount of our weekly recyclables. It’s staggering.
And the basement? Oh. The basement. It continues in its apparent quest to mock me and remain the family dumping ground and go-to spot for quick stash and dash operations! I am taking another week in September and will be tackling some of these long-neglected on-going projects once again.
So, now that I’ve “come clean” – yeah, that’s right, corny pun fully intended. It is time for me to put on my big girl panties (or Elastigirl cat suit!) and stop wallowing in my emotionally-stagnating LACK of self-proclaimed simplicity. It’s time to take responsibility for my part in this ongoing declutter of so many areas of my life, stop being overwhelmed by it, and do what I can to continue moving toward the beautiful, uncluttered life of my dreams. It’s that simple.