I remember seeing a poster once, a 1950’s-replica photo with the mom in an apron, heels, and a huge grin serving a meal to her husband and “Dick and Jane”-ish children seated at the dining table. The caption read, “It’s okay—I didn’t want a real life anyway!”
I tend to have a sense of humor about things like that, but for some reason, this one rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it was because I had chosen to stay home with my children, and I did try to get meals on the table with some regularity (don’t ask, however, about the quality of said meals). Mostly, though, I was completely baffled by the idea that this wasn’t a “real” life.
That’s the point I want to focus on for a moment. This life, right here, right now, is your real life. Whatever you are choosing to do, however you are spending your time, the things you are choosing to surround yourself with and fill your heart with, THIS is IT. There are no do-overs. Don’t misunderstand me….there is definitely eternity, which we as believers can anticipate with hopeful hearts, and when you get right down to it that THAT is truly “real life.” But for our time on earth, this short breath we have here, this is it. This is your one life, no matter if you’re wasting it or using it wisely; doing something you love or faking it through something you actually hate. This is it. So ask yourself: how much time do I want to spend on “things?” Cleaning, clearing, piling, pulling, stacking, sorting, moving, and managing things? Is that what you want to get the best of your days, the bulk of your time? How are you going to use this “real life?” Choose wisely.
By uncluttering, you simplify by default: less to dust, clean, move, and care for; which frees up time to spend doing what is important to you. Let’s start there: what is most important to you?
What do you love spending time doing? Who do you love spending time with? List four or five items for each question, and post it where you can see it regularly. This is why you want to simplify: to free up time to spend with these people, doing these things. Keep that first and foremost in your mind, and the actual physical process of uncluttering becomes easier.