I like the idea of clean, simple, fresh, and uncluttered. Not chaotic and messy…
I follow “The Minimalists” on FB, watch reels about decluttering, and notice the sparse backgrounds in my favorite podcast videos.
A simple life beckons, but (and this is a big BUT) that isn’t how I actually live my life. Let me give you just a few thoughts that come to mind…
I am a Life Coach, writer, and podcaster. I am constantly struggling to create systems to organize my content and my work. This is important so that I don’t miss things like appointments for interviews and deadlines for posts. However, as I sit at my desk, I note that it has inexplicably fallen into disarray. Stuff, unnecessary stuff, I’ve accumulated has grown roots. So instead, I grab my computer and notebook and work on the couch in the living room.
When I was a teenager, I loved going to a friend’s house that had 5 children. I loved going to my boyfriend’s house where the family room was always filled with people watching football on TV. The activity of people was energizing.
My home growing up was calm and quiet. Mom cooking “Hamburger Helper” in the kitchen. In the summer, she planted dozens of annual flowers out in the gardens around the house and tended the landscaping around the yard. Dad relaxing in his tweed Lay-Z-Boy watching “Gunsmoke” or tinkering on some project in his basement workshop. My younger sister at a friend’s house playing Barbies. This was home base…the place that was stable and secure.
I would go to her house most days after school and during the days in the summer. Thinking of the couple hours I spent with her after school, I can smell bean soup simmering on the stove. Michelle and I enjoyed a snack after school before sitting on the floor and leaning against the big, round Naugahyde ottoman to enjoy uninterrupted episodes of Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, Zoom, and Hogan’s Heros. On long, hot, summer days I can still hear the distant drone of a neighbor mowing grass and the whine of cicadas in the mature Norway Maple that shaded the yard.
There was a predictability in Grandma’s routine as she daily filed and and painted her perfect red nails. The hair comb was always in its spot between the two organizers in the drawer to the right of the sink.
As an adult and parent, I’ve tried to create the calm consistency in my own home that I didn’t appreciate from my youth. Our house has space for people to watch TV out of earshot of others. During the school year, there is a predictability of family dinners and bedtime routines. In the summer I enjoy reading out on the screened porch overlooking my gardens and the sound of waves against our shoreline.
But I’m most happy when the silence is interrupted by Kadon and Aubrey rough-housing and laughing upstairs. I love walking in the front door and seeing my son and his wife cooking in the kitchen. It doesn’t get any better than having my grandson, in his “ExerSaucer”, turn and squeal as I walk into the room.
Maybe this life isn’t exactly unrestrained messiness and overwhelming chaos…
…it’s also definitely not the quiet of a lonely, uneventful home.