Isaiah 41:10 – ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Gratitude Day 819
Here’s the truth about when working on a Simple Is Better life. There will come a day, possibly it has already happened, when you just do not have the energy to work towards a simpler life.
It happens. To all of us. I know because it has happened to me.
Some days, I can make good progress. Or a little progress.
Other days? I have no capacity to do so.
There can be a variety of reasons.
- The day is full. Or the week. Maybe even the month or a season.
- Your energy just feels drained.
- Your concentration is off. It feels impossible to make a decision.
- You just want to do something else.
- You just can’t.
And when this happens, take a break. Let it be. Do something fun or enjoyable for a day or two or a week or two. When you are ready, then you can retackle Simple Is Better.
There have been periods when I have been able to work for 20-30 minutes a day for several days a week. I feel like I am making progress and letting things go. But then, it all comes to a halt. I got busy with other things. I lost interest. I did all the “easy” stuff and I’m not mentally ready to tackle the “big” or “difficult” stuff.
Unless you are under a deadline, give yourself some grace. It can wait.
I do know from experience that some days, my mental capacity or energy to declutter and reduce was much sharper than other days. I could whip right through some things. Other days, I couldn’t make a decision to save my soul.
Why does this happen?
Sometimes, I think there is a collective energy that builds as you reduce. Early on, there is great energy to let things go and you have great energy to do so. But as you get closer to the sentimental things or items that require bigger decisions, it just is more difficult.
Or maybe there are other things going on in your life at the moment that are distracting you. Suddenly, getting rid of stuff does not feel so important. Again, give yourself some grace.
When this happens, sometimes it is helpful to chat with a trusted person who maybe is decluttering themselves. Share how you are feeling and are a bit stuck. Sometimes, just naming it or admitting it can help us release the angst and allow ourselves to return to decluttering.
Or maybe see if a friend could stop by and help you for 30 minutes. Set a low threshold for how long you will do it. Just to help you get started once again. Or have a supportive person to help you make some bigger decisions. I suggest that this person be someone who will not necessarily share their opinion but be moral support for you. At times, I have simply shared how I was feeling with Hubby Rick. I asked him to just listen. When I was ready to resume, I could make decisions again.
Another trick that I used is if I was having a difficult time going through a box of things, I challenged myself to make a quick pass through the box and only deal with the obvious things. Throw out the things that were quick garbage. Pull out the things that I knew for sure I did not want to keep. Then, I gave myself permission to put the other things I wasn’t sure about yet back in the box. I agreed with myself that I would go through them another day when my mental energy was higher. On a day when I could make good decisions. And I did.
Here’s another benefit of getting rid of stuff that I have discovered: too often, I have let my happiness be determined by something physical when I know there are other things that are more important to me than anything physical. As I have let things go, I remember the joy of finding gratitude in the simple, everyday life things rather than having something that is so valuable to me that I cannot enjoy it for fear of it getting broken or damaged.
I have very few things that are worth much of anything. Most of my belongings have more value to me for other reasons than monetarily. Because of this, I feel that I keep a better perspective on their value. If I loan something out and it gets broken, it’s OK. If the kids play with something in our house and something gets damaged, the world will not end.
Does this mean I don’t value or respect what I have? NO. It’s more about keeping perspective of what is truly valuable to me.
We can get anxious about a lot of things in life. Some things warrant more anxiety than other things. I get discouraged with myself when I let something that really is a first-world problem take up a lot of my mental energy. Then, I do not have the attention and energy for those things that really are far more important.
Why do I share this? Breaks are OK. Sometimes necessary. If you need to take a few days off from decluttering or sorting, do so.
Yet, also keep your worry about anxiety about your possessions in check. In all the stuff that I let go of before we moved, there is only one thing that I wished I would have moved to our current house. ONE THING. It was an old frame that was my Mother-in-Law’s. I moved one and let one go. I kind of wished I had the second one. But it is really not a big deal that I left it behind. There are other far more important things to me than a picture frame.
When your mental energy feels a bit tapped, give yourself a break. You aren’t letting anyone down. You aren’t letting yourself down. You certainly are not letting God down. There will be a time when you feel ready to get at it again. Maybe write a date on your calendar and agree with yourself that you’d just done one small thing that day.
I honestly believe that most of life, we do not make big decisions on most days. No, we make a bunch of small decisions every day. As we group or pile those little decisions together, suddenly, we realize that all those little decisions grouped together have become a much bigger and important choice. This choice only happened because of all those small little decisions we make every day.
Today, may we keep making those small decisions that eventually become grouped together into a big choice. One that says, Simple Is Better.
For the space to let my mental energy regroup and get refueled, I am grateful.
O Dear God – Thank you for being patient with me when my mental energy is running low. Encourage me to be as grace-filled with myself as You are with me. May I see how a series of little decisions really leads to the realization that all of those little decisions grouped together are now one big choice. Amen.
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