Are we minimal enough?

When we left home in September, we had downsized substantially and we left behind everything we thought we could do without.  Gone was all the furniture.  Donated were all the movies and books we no longer needed (or wanted).  We made several trips to Goodwill and, unfortunately, the land fill.  We had a garage sale (with little success) and tried to give away as much as possible.

We are four months in, and we are realizing that we still are carrying too much stuff. We don’t have a home for everything and it gets frustrating being in a small space and having to step over “stuff” that’s laying on the floor. Some of it is easy to part with (extra clothing) some of it not (books) but downsize we must.

We are also constantly reorganizing and trying out different ways to pack things and have made some improvements there as well. But we constantly ask ourselves if we need this widget and are evaluating the usage of space.

The other day we spent some time cleaning and reorganizing our trailer.  We were getting overwhelmed with the clutter that was accumilating and the narrow path we had to get from one end to the other.  We didn’t get rid of much, just made some better use of the space we have.  It is truly amazing how something so small can be so burdensome.

We acquired some “stuff” over Christmas that we still need to integrate into our lives and we are continually evaluating the usefulness of everything we have. Soon there will be a trip to a donation centre and the cycle will begin anew.

The New Year

Currently we are in the Arizonan desert enjoying a second summer. The temperature over Christmas was comparable to our typical July sunny days. I’ve followed the weather to all the places we travelled through and have to say we picked a good year to come here.

The new year has rolled around again. Reflecting on the last year has been humbling. We’ve made some big changes, some good and some great. I don’t want to say we’ve made any bad decisions because we have yet to see the outcomes of all of them.

I don’t make New Years resolutions as I have yet to make one last more than a couple weeks. I do however, feel as though I have changed. I still have my bad temper and still have some pig headed tendencies, but I have learned to be ok with taking some risks and stepping out in faith. I’ve learned that being outside of normal isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact it is a very good thing.

I’ve learned to cherish my time with my family. I realize that they are my biggest treasure and that I have not always treated them as such. These moments and memories we are making will last a lifetime. The time goes by so fast and we feel like we wasted so much of it on idle things.

My attitude still needs adjusting and my kids would tell you I still suck at showing affection, but I feel like I’m making progress. Not everyday living in a tin can with 8 other people can be sunshine and lollipops after all.

Still, this journey we are on I think is the best decision we’ve made. It wasn’t easy to get to this place. We made some mistakes along the way, but we also had family and friends looking out for us. God has been good to us and has met our every need, and then some.

The relationships we have made along the way will last a life time. All the people we have met are so nice and have made a difference in our lives. I can’t express enough the generosity we’ve received from people we barely know. I only hope that we can return the kindness shown to us in some form or another.

So as we begin 2018 my greatest desire is for everyone to see their infinite worth. I think we all have something to offer this world in this time that can bring about positive change, we just need a gentle push. Showing kindness, listening without speaking, being generous…all small things that have a far greater power than we can ever know.

I am striving to be more present in the moment, especially with my wife and children. It is easy to put things off until tomorrow, but we never know if tomorrow will ever come. Life is precious, so are we.