I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. It’s too depressing when I look back and see how many I have broken. I’m not the most disciplined person. In fact, it could be argued that I am one of the least disciplined people on the planet. So, resolutions just serve to make me feel like I’ve failed.
But, for about a month now, a single word keeps entering my head: SIMPLIFY. Whenever this happens, I usually find that it means God is trying to get my attention (it takes a while). But, how do I go about trying to simplify? What do I do first and what exactly does it mean? I’m a visual thinker so I tried to come up with a picture of what simplify might look like.
There is a decorating style that’s been popular for the last few years. I don’t know if it has an official name but I call it “Serene and Pale”. Roughly, it means that 80% of the things in your home are painted white. Also, you get rid of almost everything in your home until you’re left with a blank slate. Apparently, these people have “simplified” their lives. When I visit sites displaying pictures of this decorating style, I do feel peaceful and calm and I truly want to go there and sit in those rooms and soak in the serenity.
So, I made plans to emulate the style. I looked at my massive fireplace and imagined it painted white (I still might do that one). I imagined slipcovering all of my mismatched furniture in white twill and replacing all my tables with ones made from whitewashed barn wood. I also considered going through my house room-by-room and drawer-by-drawer and getting rid of 80% of my possessions (which sounds like an awful lot of work and not simple at all).
Would my life then be simple? Is that what God meant for me to do?
But, here’s the problem: I love color! Color feeds me. It makes me feel alive. It energizes me. When I look around at my favorite little spots in my home, it’s the funky, colorful places I love.
I’m also a very random type of person and my home reflects that. I have antiques, weird and colorful items, and rustic pieces that normal people would throw away. Nothing in my home “matches” and everything is rather eclectic. And, somehow that works for me. Sure, I dream of being able to hire a decorator and have her come in and totally redo my house, but I have the feeling that once she was done I wouldn’t be able to help myself and I would add all sorts of non-matching funky things.
And so, my search continues. I must find other ways to simplify, ways that take into consideration who I am and how God created me. Simplifying has turned out to be quite complicated! This is the story of my life and probably why God wanted me to work on simplifying in the first place.
I will keep you posted on my journey. How do you simplify? What does that word mean to you?