There is just so much stuff in my life. My life is full to the brim with stuff. But is it stuff that makes me happy? No, it is not. On a list of things that make me happy, stuff actually ranks pretty low. There are particular things I like having, which make my life easier, or which are necessary in my life, but above and beyond that, stuff will never really make me happy.
While this may sound like common sense to some, consider the environment we live in, the amount of excess even in these times of economic downturn. People think that things will make them happy. Having just passed the season of giving, we all know how much (or little) we gave and received and it seems that many base their happiness on receipt of those coveted items which were on wish lists for so long. Whether or not we got that perfect gift for the holidays, we have all received a new year – a place to start fresh, to make good decisions, to make this year the year we take charge and make the most of our lives.
For me, this involves a paring down of the things I own to make room for the things I can create. Instead of clothing that no longer fits or is outdated, my closet will only be filled with pieces that fit well and are built to last. Instead of books I likely will never read, I will make space on the shelf for those treasured scrapbooks of vacations and journeys and family holidays I’ve been meaning to finish for years. Instead of knick knacks, of which I already have few, I will make room for just a few sacred and inspiring items that will guide me in my creative process. I vow to get rid of boxes of shoes that I hardly ever wear and old gift items I’ve received that I have no use for to make room for my new sewing machine, watercolor paints, and colored pens. I will clean off the desk, which has too often become a dumping ground for keys, hats, gloves, and receipts, and I will set up my computer there again to make a workspace. I will own my possessions and will not let my possessions own me.
Because none of these things makes me happy, but the potential for creation does.
As Sabrina Fairchild once said in one of my favorite movies,
“More isn’t always better, sometimes more is just more.”
For more inspiration on cleaning up and cleaning out, check out these great blog entries: 10 Unexpected Costs of Owning Things and Desperate Housewife (about cleaning up and cleaning out your closet and your life). Good stuff!