This time of year, I find myself reflecting on the year that is coming to an end, and anticipating the year that is rapidly approaching. So, I thought it would be fitting to share some of my reflections on this Minimal Challenge.
I’ve had a lot of time for reflecting this week, since my three children have been home sick. Yesterday, we decided to just call it a week and tell our kids that Christmas Break started a week early this year. As I said those words aloud, I realized that the same thing happened last year. The day after their school’s Christmas Pageant, both kids fell ill and we parlayed their sick days into a long vacation. Only this time, as I sat on the couch comforting my feverish babes, I realized a marked difference. Last year, as I did the exact same thing, I remember sitting there with a sleeping child on top of me, looking around the living room at overflowing book shelves and toys covering every surface. Magazines strewn about the coffee table, and bins full of Christmas decorations toppling from every surface. I remember feeling overwhelmed as my house and its belongings slowly consumed me … only to spit me out at the shopping mall days before Christmas to scurry about purchasing stuff in between wiping noses and stuffing stockings.
This year is significantly different. Because we’ve minimized all of the unnecessary junk in our closets, I was able to quickly find the bins I needed, decorate for Christmas, and return the bins. In a single day. The books have been minimized, and the toys have been sorted and downsized. We’ve even eliminated some of the shelves. This year, as I sat on my couch in the living room under the twinkling lights, I could be fully present. I could lie on the couch with my sickly babes and just be in the moment. I kissed them and comforted them, and did not have the restless urge to jump up and organize the shelves. Because everything has a place now.
Technically, it all had a place before. It was just impossible to keep everything in its place because the closet doors wouldn’t shut, and the drawers couldn’t close. But now that we’ve minimized … I spend less time being stressed. Being frazzled. Being frustrated. Being exhausted. Being restless. And I spend a lot more time just … being.