I read an article in Health magazine last week that interviewed the actress, Sophia Bush, and something she said really stayed with me. She said her theme for the year is, “narrow and deep,” AKA– less stuff, more depth, which really resonated with me. It’s the idea of only keeping the things in my life I enjoy and/or use and getting rid of the rest so I create mental, physical, and spiritual space for me to dive deeper into the activities that are most important to me. It would also allow more time and energy for important relationships.
Do you ever feel tired of managing stuff, especially stuff you don’t even use or like? I want to look around my house and see only things I love and use. I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed by managing things that don’t matter to me and only take my focus away from the activities and people that are truly valuable.
When my late husband, Andrew, was sick with cancer, I can remember all of our things were packed away in boxes for about a year or so and we barely noticed. It was actually one of the most focused times in my life because all that mattered was taking care of Andrew’s health and being together as a family. When I had less stuff to manage, I found I was more creative, and that’s when I started writing my blog. I know life can be short and I don’t want to waste a second of my energy on things that don’t really matter to me. I’m not saying I recommend or plan on getting rid of all my stuff or that I think stuff is bad, I’m saying I’m learning the power of less is more and it’s working for me.
All that to say after reading the article in Health magazine and a great book called, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, I was ready to let go of things I was afraid I “might need, but never do.” I finally took all the stuff that didn’t sell from my many garage sales to Goodwill. I went through my hundreds of books and narrowed them down to the ones I haven’t read that I still want to read, and put the rest in boxes in my garage (admittedly, it’s hard for me to get rid of books, so my first step was boxing them up and putting them in my garage). I took some of Ellie’s old toys (while she was gone) and put them in containers in the garage, and so far she hasn’t noticed.
Next up for me is clearing my email inbox (Yikes, it’s bad y’all—years and years of not deleting). A few times a week I’m picking a closet or room to declutter. Little by little I’m seeing and feeling a massive difference in the simplification of my home. My friend, Lindsay, is the best at this. Every six months she and her husband go through their home and get rid of things they don’t use. This way they don’t have a massive pile-up at the end of each year. That’s my goal!
I’m starting to notice how much more clearly I’m thinking. I’m spending more of my time doing creative work like writing and preparing for my speaking engagements, and thus I’m feeling more fulfilled by being able to focus on the things I love and are most valuable to me. I feel like I can breathe again. I learned the biggest obstacle for me was releasing things I was afraid I might one day need. My new philosophy is to let it go and trust when and if I needed it again, then I would be resourceful enough to get the information I needed at that time.
For example, in the past I kept important magazine articles in a notebook, but since I’m learning to enjoy a thing and then let it go, I recycled it. When writing this post, I needed to re-read the article to quote what Sophia Bush said, so what did I do? Called on my greatest resource, Google, and, low and behold, I re-read the article online. If you are connecting with what I’m sharing in this entry, I would love to hear some ideas and thoughts you have regarding going “deep and narrow” this year. What does that sentiment mean to you and how do you want it to play out in your life in the coming months? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Thank you for spending time with me today. It’s always a pleasure. Sending you a hug! Blessings.