Discoveries during the journey.

Journey Shrine: cardboard, wood, clay, acrylics, paper
Journey Shrine: cardboard, wood, clay, acrylics, paper

As far as living an intentional life goes, I have decided that living intentionally is not simple.  When I started the journey I am now documenting, I had decided that a simple life would be a better life.  Less stuff, fewer commitments, and just generally reducing stress was sure to be the path to happiness.

Well, part of a growth journey must include the ability to look back and realize how little you knew to begin with.

For example, I’m not, nor will I ever be, a minimalist.  I have cleared a lot of clutter out of our home to be sure.  Last week proved that it is becoming more difficult to find things laying around that serve no purpose.  The decluttering job is never done.  Interests change, kids grow, stuff gets lost, replaced and duplicates need to go.  As an artist who works with mixed media there is an inevitable collection of junk (until it’s exactly what you need and then it’s a treasure).  And cleaning out closets, cabinets and drawers doesn’t solve the problem of clutter if you don’t pick up after yourself and work at maintaining the clean.

And living intentionally is definitely not simple if you are doing it because you have to.  It would be much more pleasant to stop spending on unnecessary stuff if it was a choice.  Today is payday and payday is no longer simple at all.  I’m not trying to overshare here, but there just ain’t enough.  I’m a pretty frugal homemaker, but I’m discovering new heights of creativity!

I guess that last statement is at the heart of this post.  I’m discovering new heights of creativity! 

Less stuff is good.  Buying and consuming less is good…for our family, the environment, the world.  Literally, analyzing every penny is, in the long run, good…but neither simple, nor easy.

No new school supplies this year?  How can we make do creatively with what we have already?

Fewer groceries this month?  Let’s get creative with what we’ve got.

Can’t run out and get more art supplies?  Better get more creative!

I believe that I’ve benefitted greatly from this journey that I’m on.  I’ve learned a lot.  The concept of “a simple life” is a vague and undefined idea.  It’s easy to throw out there…”I want to live more simply”.  But now, I don’t even know what the hell I was trying to say.  I wanted life to be simple so I could be happier.

That isn’t going to happen.

Choosing to be happy despite the circumstances is one of the things I’ve learned thus far.

And the journey can be hard – so hard that sometimes you don’t think you can take another step. Choosing to be happy doesn’t mean you won’t have to stop, cry, and rest along the way.

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