Perhaps because I was a child in the 80’s … perhaps because we didn’t have much growing up … perhaps because, well, ‘Murica … I grew up thinking that having bigger and more of everything was the surest sign of success. A bigger home, more expensive cars, closets full of clothes, etc. That’s what I wanted, and those were the bench marks I imagined would proved I’d “made it.”
The funny thing is I’ve never really had a great abundance of anything (by our country’s standards), and I’ve nearly always been turned off by displays of excess by friends. Why would I imagine this standard of success if I really didn’t enjoy it, and why-oh-why did it take me nearly 40 years to change my frame of mind?
I’ve long said we moved to Washington because I had a lot of lessons to learn, and this is one rule that’s become “abundantly” clear over the past year.
Excess isn’t abundance.
As I’ve said before, it all started in my closet. After taking the plunge into a capsule wardrobe, I began to see that less really is more for me. With less clothes in my closet, I tend to buy better quality, and I don’t mind donating items and shopping for replacements when something loses its appeal. I don’t stare into my closet and say “I have nothing to wear” (unless it’s laundry day), and I never put something on just to take it back off again because it doesn’t fit, doesn’t look right, doesn’t suit my fancy.
Having less clothes in my closet takes less time and energy out of my morning and allows me to spend that time and energy somewhere worthwhile.
My kitchen, too, is a winner in the “less is more” category. Since the great drawer purge of 2015, I spend less time cleaning my kitchen and more time cooking there. I’ve cooked more dinners, more new recipes, and even baked a little more, and my family is loving it!
Recently I tamed another “abundant” area of my house, my sewing basket. It was piled high with pretty fabrics and projects I’d never finished. I hadn’t sewn a thing in months. Every single time I looked at it, I felt guilty and overwhelmed. One day I’d had enough. I got rid of unfinished projects and tossed all the scraps I thought “I might use one day for something.” I pared the whole things down to fabrics I wanted to use right now and a project or two with a hard deadline. Since then I’ve sewn a pen holder, a shopping bag, and a baby blanket!
I used to think having an abundant life meant having lots of things. I used to want to “have it all.” Nowadays (thank goodness) I realize those things, those wants and desires, were holding me back from true abundance.
A wealth of time and experiences.