Over the years, my husband and I have slowly been moving toward a simpler, calmer, slower, less cluttered life. In the past few months these goals have begun to truly take hold.
As someone who had always had a junk pile in a corner or closet and thrown in tubs and boxes still packed from previous moves, sorting had always been an emotional challenge for me. Each item brings up all of its unfinished business, unmet expectations, and guilt. When my husband deployed the year before last, I found myself overwhelmed in all areas of my life. There's nothing like having a loved one in theater to shine light on what is truly important. I found, after his return, I didn't want to give up that simpler, smaller, slower, more centered life. Even now I find myself digging in my heels when too much tries to make its way back in.
It has been almost two years since we bought our house. We brought with us all the items from our shared life together in apartments and from our separate lives before. Somehow, this two year mark seems to be a statute of limitations. If we have not used an item since we moved here, it's time to let it go. No shoulds, no buts. Its time in our life is through and it is time for it to go.
Yesterday we drove a load to the dump, and an even bigger load to Sally's. Our little house feels bigger and more sacred with each item we move toward its next life.
Another criteria to help us decide whether or not an item has a place in our life is Do we love it? This one, for me, eases the challenge of dealing with the negativity associated with the unfinished business of things. If it brings up more negative emotion than positive, it has no place here. There is little more satisfying than living on purpose, in line with our principles and with integrity.
While we still have a way to go, we both have space to breathe, to relax, and to connect. It is such a pleasure to know that we are making room in our life for wonderful things to come by purging and simplifying.