Monday, January 02, 2012

With or without.

It is the start of yet another year. How 365 days seem to speed up and turn into a new year faster than the year before is the biggest surprise to me right now. I wonder if that keeps happening year after year, or if at some point it goes back to feeling a little slower-paced. Time will tell, I suppose.
So here we are- in 2012 and all it's freshness and possibility. Yes, I am in a new place back in my "home" state and feeling as though there are almost too many things starting over for me and my family all at once. From new schools, to trying to learn our way around a new grocery store, to setting up rooms and looking forward to meeting and making new friends. It's so much at once. If you know me in person you know I don't like change all that much. Sure, I love when Starbuck's offers a few new flavors on their latte menu. I like it when I get new shoes and they fit just right. I like watching my kids learn new things and try new foods. But beyond some of those things, I like things predictable and comfortable. Tried and true. I like knowing what to expect and when to expect it. I'm not nearly as adventurous as I look. =)
Right now, when I open the door to our garage, all I see is boxes and stuff stacked on top of more stuff. So much stuff that I feel practically overwhelmed with the task of finding things I still need and would like to use {or wear} right now. It's not for lack of space that our stuff is still piled high at this point. But more because, well one reason is that 6 out of 8 of us ended up with the flu bug the past few days. That did little to help the cause of getting us more settled in this place. It did give our washer and dryer a major workout. But I could have done without that right now. =)
It's more about me realizing in a big, big way that, while I knew we had too much "stuff", it was easy to just live without that knowledge and just let the closets get more and more filled at our last place. {Which, we are hoping will land some buyers as soon as possible. If you know anyone who wants a great family home near Muskegon, MI, send them this link. I'll send you some cupcakes as a return favor!}
So, as I was typing, in our last home I knew we had more than we needed. I had wanted to clean and have garage sales and donate nice things and give stuff away more times than I did. I knew the closets and shelves were filling up with all sorts of things. What I didn't realize is how much effort it takes to go through all of that stuff and sort it to try to decide what we need, what we want, what will be worth holding onto, and what we should simply let go of and be better off in so doing.
It's a big job to have a garage filled to the brim and have to determine what stays and what goes. Losing Teagan has made me hold onto things I might otherwise never have wanted to keep. Haveing kids from 16 months to almost 13 years old also makes for having a lot of stuff. There are games and toys and bikes and beds spanning all those years. That's a lot of gear to have to store and yet we use most of it too.
So as this year kicks off I am finding that I need to keep it as simple as I can. I am working on sorting through boxes of stuff and asking simply of each thing, "Can we do without this? Or do we need this?" I hope that I can actually make a dent in at least one small corner by the end of this week. Big jobs need to be scaled down, so I am hoping to not lose heart and just take it one box at a time.
I hope that come next year I will have learned that a life lived simply and with a whole lot less stuff can be just as satisfying and even more rewarding and fulfilling as the life where I filled up all the spaces I could. Wish me luck and I am crossing my fingers that we can stay healthy for awhile too. The flu bug is one thing I have determined I could definitely live without!
Happy New Year to everyone of you who reads and prays and laughs at us and with us each step of the way that I share here with you. I hope you have a year of learning, growing, whittling down and living more intentionally. May each of us become better in at least one small way!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post!! I can somewhat relate to your delimma of "stuff" and moving! Though I'm sorta at the other end from you. Kids are grown, married and yes..out of the house. We accumulated WAYYYY too much "stuff" though, throughout the years and I was raised with the mentality of emotionally clinging to all of it. Soo when the hub retired and we were moving to our dream place (Florida) we knew we were needing to down-size as we also were moving from the midwest. I used the "want/need" idea. Don't know if this will work for you as, as you said you have all those kids and the age/spectrum with them. I so much enjoy reading your blog! I pray the flu has left your house! Blessings!!

Wendy said...

I don't think I could have explained the way I feel about change any better. May this new season of your life be filled with so many blessings and great changes!

Karey said...

I too have held on to more than I need. When we moved here 8 yrs ago I had downsized lots. Didn't think I'd start up again, but alas I have. Started decluttering in Nov. (Found a consignment store for decor.) Went through all the boxes in the attic. Half of it didn't know I had cause the hubbs never brought it down once it went up. Living in a very small house that was the only place for holiday decor. So that is my goal also-to live more simply.

Debbie said...

Good luck to you in your new home!

Lee said...

Even though you were literally talking about boxes when you wrote, "just take it one box at a time," I couldn't help thinking what good advice that is for any challenge we're facing.

Sending you prayers, hugs and cheers of encouragement as you settle into your new home and wade through the boxes - literally and metaphorically. =)

Adrienne said...

Jody,
I can so relate to your post and tell you, I am nearing the end of my household purge and it feels great! I moved into this house with a 3 month old baby and never conquered all those extra boxes. Almost 7 years later, my basement flooded and I feel it was a blessing. I was forced to conquer all the clutter and feel such a relief in taking back my home!

Good luck, Jody! If I lived closer, I'd be happy to come help.