How could I simplify to gain?

I challenged myself this week to write down exactly it is I want. Yes, I want simpler, but does that mean I stay where I am and get rid of things. Does that mean moving to a farm and less city life. Does simple mean move to the beach in a small condo. These are hard decisions that keep me up at night. But for sure, to do any of those things, the amount of stuff I have needs to decrease. I‘ve realized I want more. Not physical things but more experiences, more stories, to make more of a difference. I don’t need to have everything figured out to start in the right direction. So, what I want exactly is still up in the air but I did figure out what I don’t want. 

I don’t want to spend hours cleaning my house every week. So, I worked on decluttering the upper cabinets in my kitchen. Who knew I was so attached to a piece of serveware. It was ridiculous how getting rid of a certain coffee cup or plate affected me. But then I thought again about the end goal. If I had less dishes and cups I would have less to clean up- less time cleaning. If you are like me, you have more than one cabinet full of cups. Drinking glasses, short glasses, beer glasses, margarita glasses, protein shakers, plastic cups, metal cups, wine glasses and don’t get me started on coffee cups. Just take a second and visualize those cabinets. Do you really need all of those glasses? How many minutes a day do you waste going around the house picking up glasses. How many minutes do you waste rinsing, loading in dishwasher, and putting away. Ok, that maybe takes 5 -10 minutes a day. That’s 5 minutes a day x 365 days = 1825 minutes a year. Divide that by 60 mins and that equals around 30 hours a year. If someone tells me I have 5 years left, do I want to spend 6 days of that 5 years washing cups?! Absolutly not. I would like to spend those 6 days at the beach with my family. Really think about it. By simplifying that cabinet down to a few essentials, how much happier would I be? How much time would I be able to put towards something else I love. Applying that thinking to other areas of my life, how could I simplify to gain? I get it. I like stuff. I like pretty things and gifts. But having lots of things is not on my list of goals. 

Last weekend we decided to go to the beach last minute. We were overwhelmed with life in Madison and wanted the slow pace of Gulf Shores. We spent all day Saturday on the beach. Sunday morning we got up and went again. The joy and peace the beach brings my family is overwhelming. I also ran on the beach again. No headphones. No fuss. Just me and the waves. It was my first 5k on the beach and it was fantastic. 

Today I won’t let the future bring me stress. I will let the present create joy. Today I will be patient and trust the process.  

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