“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.” -John Ruskin
There are people, we all know them and we call them “they’ and it is they who say that less is more. I think they know what’s going on, really going on. They seem to know quite a lot, they do.
I had been noticing, and pondering, this new sort of reality I have found myself in, when Lori from DonnaandDiablo shared this quote awhile back. It caught my attention and I loved how it resonated with thoughts that have been bumping around in my mind, and my notebook, and my conversations, over this last year or so.
Those little moments where little light-bulbs pop to life and I hear my mind say, ‘hmmmm…’
Change, with it’s multifaceted ways and ever-reaching tentacles of both joy and grief, peace and anxiety, comes with much turbulence.
Thankfully, change can also bring clarity and focus.
This change in my life included an actual move to a new location and initially in any move, the primary focus is simple: find the underwear and the toothbrush, and everything else follows in time. I’ve learned, after many moves, that knowing for certain where those two items are located in the piles, can make the rest of the chaos a little more bearable. So, in this settling in period, as one might call it, this period of transition, some things have become more clear to me once I found my spiritual underwear, so to speak.
Or at least slightly more in focus. As I have found my way in this new space I now call home, I realize that without even realizing it, less truly is more. Or is it that there is more to be said about having less? Possessions, that is. Because I truly think that I have more now than before. [I am thinking that Dr. Suess would probably like this post, and that just makes me, well, happy].
I have noticed that…
…where, in my previous location, it seemed I never had enough kitchen cabinet storage, and I had overflowed to a re-purposed cabinet in the garage, I now have honest-to-goodness extra space. Like, empty cupboards in the kitchen. Seriously!
…where I used to be constantly running out of space on my DVR, ever agonizing which un-watched recording could get deleted without ever being viewed, my new DVR has exactly seven programs waiting for me. And of those seven, two I am saving for the kiddo.
…that I often was consumed by the next purchase, desperate in my attempt to acquire, to fill so as to avoid the void; and that now I shop with intention for what is truly needed and appreciated. Time spent in good company far outweighs things, ten to one. So does saving for a rainy day. Or a sunny trip.
…where before I went after the fancy kitchen remodel, I find more peace in a nearly one hundred year old house that leans a little but has more good juju than a box of juju beans.
And, I have noticed that while once full of secrets I was too fearful of sharing, I now understand how the truth really can be freeing.
I will be honest, and say that sometimes I look around and see all the people with all the stuff. And I wonder, am I missing something? Am I fooling myself? Will I change my mind at some point (other than the fleeting moments when I walk through the Nordstrom shoe department of course) ? We are programmed to want more, bigger, better; it feels foreign to go against this grain.
I had a conversation the other day – one of those proverbial conversation that goes like this: ‘what would you grab if your house caught on fire and you only had a few minutes’ ?
For my companion, there was much angst and indecision. I could hear him taking inventory in his mind and feeling the pressure of the imagined decision. For me, I realized that my answer was so much easier than his. My list was short and clear. Things are just that, things. When we lean into change, we have to make choices. When we lean into change, we invite clarity into our lives.
It occurred to me in the days since that conversation, that the possessions, all the stuff, can take up so much precious space; and that isn’t it possible that the more space I make for me, the less I need to fill up that space?
What about you?