Day 5 - Living an Engaged Life
Girl, have you ever done something crazy? There are so many crazy things I've done in my life I couldn't even list them all in one blog post. I'm a 7 on the enneagram (the optimistic enthusiast) and a complete "go getter." In college I took a job on a farm where I traveled around with farm animals in a van, sharing and showing them to schools and retirement centers all over the greater NYC area. Once, I took a cupcake (that I baked and decorated) into New York City for a baking show audition, waited in line for hours, and wound up making it all the way to the final stages out in California. I've made professional styling videos when I didn't even think I was stylish. We went down the adoption road and adopted our precious third baby Clover, and on Saturday I'm going to get certified with SoulBody Barre as someone with no experience whatsoever. I'm a see it and do it type of person. I don't wait for permission from anyone or confirmation that my ideas are crazy or good or stupid. I don't really care deep down. I want to live an engaged life, and I believe that's God's desire for every single women. We are meant for more than playing legos or little people on the floor and being a human taxi. And I know we often feel selfish for saying that, I even feel a little twitch when I write it. But it's not selfish, God puts desires in our heart and we cannot ignore them.
So what does living an engaged life look like in terms of utilizing our spaces? Here's three ways I think this makes a difference.
1. Appreciating what we have.
My son loves to play with matchbox cars, and when a boy loves to play with car what's the easiest gift to get him? That's right, more cars. But, I quickly saw Lincoln didn't need more and more new cars. He still loves his original 5 cars and knows them by color. He plays with them more often when he doesn't have thirty to choose from. When we open drawers, dressers, closets, or the garage; and are overwhelmed with the site of choices and possibilities, we will quickly choose what we know and whats familiar. Everything else will sit, collect dust, and clutter your space.
I will often consult with women about using clothing they already have in their closet. As women, we like to buy and buy and buy and keep and keep and keep. Why do we do this?! We can't see past the price tag. We can't see past the mannequin. We get home, we put our clothing in a drawer or hang it up, and never know how to wear it. Get rid of the clutter and appreciate what you have! Learn how to wear what you already own, and make it boost your confidence instead of anxiety when you open up the doors every day. Really enjoy five throw blankets instead of fifteen. Own twenty pairs of shoes instead of fifty. I'm not saying deprive yourself. By all means please be warm, have plenty of shoes for your feet, and plenty of good books to read. If fact, some of you out there probably need to splurge and buy some useful items instead of just being ok with things that kind of work. So make sure whatever you have, that you enjoy it.
2. Time with Family
Something I hate the most, and this happens over and over again in my house. Is sitting down to a meal at our dining room table and It being covered in the day's projects. Even with everything cleared to the side, I still get frustrated to have it in site. Art projects, work projects, school papers, and mail. The list could go on. Think about a space in your home that should bring you joy and happiness but right now it's cluttered with everything but that. It's funny how we're told having more physical objects will bring us joy yet they always seem to be at the center of anxiety and frustration.
Imagine your grandchildren coming over to visit and they want you to get down on the floor and play with them, but boxes of magazines or misplaced hobbies are overflowing in the space. The child probably doesn't care, the boxes are simply ramps to pretend blast his cars off of, but you care. You are distracted from engaging in the moment because of the clutter you see around you. Now imagine that room were clear, how would that change how you feel about the situation? You can imagine yourself playing, making eye contact instead of making space, and creating memories to cherish.
I've been in the basement playroom trying to be a good mom and play pretend with my kids, but nobody is having any fun because we can't find the floor, pieces are everywhere, and instead of playing I'm cleaning and lecturing them on putting their toys away. I'm searching for that small lego piece someone's crying about not being able to find (though I'm sure I'll find it by stepping on it). All jokes aside, I want to enjoy time with my kids and feel fulfilled in our relationship instead of feeling guilty about the space we're in.
It's about you seeing beyond whats in front of you and seeing what ahead of you.
3. Building a Future
What do you want? What do you really want? You want to save space, have less clutter but have you thought of why? Everyone's answer is different because each of us have different lives. I'd like to have my home organized to the point that if we had to move to another state in 3 weeks, we could pack up our house without it completely overwhelming us.
When I look around and see clutter, laundry thats been sitting for a week, and piles of toys, it distracts me from being creative and who I am. I am not my best self. It doesn't allow my mind to see past it even if I'm able to ignore it. You are meant for great things. Keeping a perfect house? Not going to happen, sorry, and this is not what this challenge or post is even about. It's about you seeing beyond whats in front of you and seeing what ahead of you.
I don't have a problem with organizing, it's maintaining it that I find difficult. I easily blame running a business, having three kids, and just being plain old busy. But, the truth of the matter is I haven't created the habit of making it happen. I'm excellent at habits such as making my bed and going to the gym, BUT I'm really bad at putting away clothing right after I take it off! I know that sounds crazy! It looks like the rapture has occurred in my bedroom multiple times. My entire outfit in a pile like my body was just zapped out of it. I have no excuse, I just have bad habits. But habits can be broken, and if I want a better future I need to be diligent to make and keep good habits.
Right now I'm taking the next 30 days and writing a blog post about decluttering and organizing! How weird is that! I've never blogged before in my life, but here we are. By today, day five, you really start analyzing how and why it got to be this cluttered. Let's not concentrate on perfection as much as creating healthy habits that will help us live an engaged life. You will be happier and be excited to try new things. Who knows, maybe you'll find those work out clothes and start the habit of exercising. Maybe some old craft items you never used will either be donated or will inspire you to complete that art project now that you have the space to do so. No matter what it is, it's you living an engaged life.
Don't become complacent and "just ok" with where you're at. Maybe you need to go on an inner journey to see whats really driving you in this life. Do you do things just for the approval of others? To live up to the expectations of your parents, spouse, or kids? I love when Bob Goff says, "comparison is a punk and it's going to steal your lunch money." Be excited, be a little more spontaneous, and live an exciting engaged life with no regrets.