Discord to Harmony
Since my last post, a sweet friend let me know that she was concerned I was being too hard on myself. I thought in case I was coming across that way, I should clarify.
When I say that this problem is my own fault, that's actually a big relief for me. If I am the cause, I can be the solution. Even if I didn't have a wonderful, supportive husband who never questions my latest strategy and never says a word when it fails, I would still have the ability to make meaningful changes in how our household runs.
That is an exciting revelation!
My desire to have a less cluttered home that is easier to manage has always been fully my own. I have had people say to me, "If your husband wants the house kept better, let him do it himself." But it's me who has always longed for a simpler life. (The fact that I'm also the one who's home most of the time is beside the point, except that it contributes to my annoyance with the clutter since I'm constantly tripping over it!) I don't want to have to maintain hundreds of items we don't need or use or even want.
That's what minimalism is to me. Having what I need (or what significantly improves the quality of my life) and what I REALLY would be heartbroken to let go of, and nothing more. For me, anything more than that just becomes more work than it's worth.
I say "for me," because that may not be true for everyone, and one person's minimalism could look very different from someone else's. The level of stuff that a person is happy with will vary a lot from person to person. If you have many items in your home that you feel you need or really want, and the time it takes to maintain them is truly worth it to you, then that might be your "minimum" amount of stuff. That's my definition of minimalism, although perhaps different from what you will find in the dictionary.
I have come to terms with the fact that I just can't handle a lot of things in my house, and that is okay with me. I'm glad to get rid of things now, and to make a little bit of money selling some of them, instead of holding onto them needlessly for years until no one wants them and my kids have to figure out what to do with all my stuff.
I used to feel cursed by some of my inconvenient personality traits. I'm forgetful, I feel socially awkward, and I can't keep my house clean, among other things. But over the past couple of years, I've come to appreciate my strengths and to think of my weaknesses as unavoidable side effects of those. I easily get side tracked and bored with mundane tasks because I'm creative and I'd rather be doing things that feel more important or only have to be done once and can pretty much be permanently checked off my list. But my creativity is enough of an asset to me that I don't really mind the side effects of it. I just have to come up with ways to get around them or work WITH them, instead of always feeling like I have to try to swim against the current of my natural tendencies.
In my first post I said, "[...]I love people...all of them." Now, let me add: even me. If you struggle with this too, or something else, I hope you aren't too hard on yourself. Find ways to make life work for you, and give yourself grace.
I've got a few ideas already that I've begun to implement, and I'm excited to share those with you in my next post! Stay tuned, and if you'd like to be notified when that post is up, go ahead and enter your email address below to get my newsletter!
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