Well... it's that time of year. They're everywhere. They're on the minds or in the notebooks of every elementary school child in America. You see them in every paper, magazine, and scrolling down the screen in newscasts. Those hokey lists stating "What I'm Thankful For."
So what's one more.
I told myself forever that I wanted a rich, full life. I beleived that I'd be satisfied when I finally had all of the things that I dreamed of as a little girl. A big house with beautiful dishes and fancy furniture. I dreamt that I'd have closets full of dresses with sequins and beads, and a fur coat. But, with time I realized that having those things didn't satisfy me at all. I began moving toward a peaceful, inwardly simple life isn't about depriving and denying myself of the things I want. It's about getting rid of the things that no longer contribute to the fullnes of my life, leaving time and space for those things that will still matter when I'm gone.
I've come to realize that living the "good life" is a matter of making peace with who we are, because until we do...we'll never be content with what we have.
Living a full live doesn't mean having it all, going everywhere, doing everything, being all things to all people. Many of us have begun to realize that too much is ... well, just that...too much. Maybe we've been collecting so many things because we've been living in a past life. Or we've been living in a maybe someday, what if I might life.
Acheiving serenity may ultimately mean doing fewer things and having less stuff, but when the time is right for each of us, the decision to do less and to own less, will come, not from self denial, but from the wisdom that comes by taking time fo figure out what is really important to us, and in letting go of all the rest.
I finally came to the point a few years back when I decided not to buy one more thing unless it was something I absolutely could not live without. There's not too much of that out there.
Now, if I buy something, I'll treat myself to a big bouquet of flowers. I'll spend the afternoon with a friend, see a matinee and buy the biggest bucket of popcorn they sell. I'll buy some little thing to surprise a neighbor. I'll spend my time and money on building memories, not building a higher stack of clutter to set on a shelf, or purchasing something else that I'll have to squeeze into an already overflowing closet.
Since making that decision, I have had fewer things, but more abundance in my life.
I wrote a list of what abundance was to me a few years back. I share it with you now because this really is what I'm thankful for.
Wildflowers in a mason jar
Birds sitting on telephones wires
Licking the beaters
My Mother's hands
Bare feet on a summer day
A cup of tea and a moment of quiet
Hummingbirds fighting over the bird feeder
The sharp smell of fallen pine needles
A tank full of gas and time for a drive
Raspberry starts in spring
Wearing fun hats
Wind chimes in a garden
Warm socks on a cold day
The words, "Mom, I'm home"
Sandpipers chasing waves on a sandy shore
Playing dress up
Jumping in a pile of fall leaves
A cool hand on a hot forehead
Telling stories at dusk
My children's faces by campfire light
Someone to cry with
My husband walking with our children
Having a choice
A ripe nectarine
The funny names of small towns
Sand between my toes
Nuzzling a baby's downy hair
Waking to someone you love beside you
A freshly sharpened pencil
Horses running in a field
Little boys playing in puddles
White English fences
The family dog's welcome
All of these make my LIFE full, not the corners of my family room. I am grateful to have learned what I truly want to leave behind for my children. A legacy of pleasure in the small joys each day brings. Memories of a mother who built sand castles with them, took leisurely water hikes, shared sweet oranges and laughter with them, who loves them, loves their father, and who loves God.
Spring Clean Up in the Garden
9 years ago