Thursday, August 12, 2010

The end of a toy-kitchen era

As we've been muddling through our minimalist journey, there have been a number of surprises.  Things I thought I could never relinquish, like the wooden play-kitchen I loved so much, are starting to seem completely irrelevant.

No, not really irrelevant.  Distracting.  Distracting from this place we're moving towards becoming.  If I could get my mom back for even a moment, it would be to say: "You are remembered.  And your death made life make so much sense. I get it now.  I don't need the toy kitchen."  And neither do my children, apparently, as I was the only one who ever cared about it. ;) Am I the only mother who buys certain toys for myself?

The more I remove the things from our life, the more clarity seems to abound. 

I'm seeing so much goodness and so much "lovely" in my relationships.  Seeing old friends who've grown better with time.  New relationships with late night chatting or talking over sushi.  We've been here 3 years, and there were growing pains as we developed our new circle. I wondered how I'd find a mama-village that had that wondrous vibe of the one in Lake County.  But slowly, it happened.  Like finding Mr. Right, I figured out along the way what I needed, what I brought to friendships and what I needed back, and I like our groove.  I'm loving our village.

I'm finding such a faith in our family.  I'm beginning to really settle into this idea that motherhood might be going well.  Not on a daily basis.  Just ask the landlord who came into our place and found 3 naked, just-bathed children in the middle of the afternoon...AS I was simultaneously burning the plastic sleeve of the soba when I turned on the wrong burner. Oh my.

But in the long-view...which I convince myself (usually daily) is the only view that matters.  Andrew says things like: "When I grow up, I just want to be a Daddy and love people."  How can I get so frustrated sometimes with a tiny little soul who says things like that?

I'm finding faith in how simple my life really can be.  Perhaps not logistically.  If I stop "doing," I might shrivel up and die.  But in how few peripheral comforts we need.  I regularly ask Steve if we can give away everything we own and drive around in an RV.  And Steve always says: "We can give away everything we own.  But no way am I driving the RV."  Sadly, I think he's serious.  But he'll spend 2 months on the road, driving the minivan from hotel to hotel.  So I give the guy mad-amounts of kudos. 

Today, I packed up 3 more boxes to give away. I was surprised that was even still possible.  I found a new home for our armoire, I've got pictures for the wall to give away (anyone, anyone?), and I'm saying good-bye to the toy kitchen that I planned to save for the grandchildren.  I then turned around and bought a freezer on Amazon (free shipping!), because we're about to pick up 100 pounds of beef from Polyface and I was pretty sure there was no place to put it. 

Simplicity is a complex equation, I'm finding.  And in the end, it's really about what *our* life needs, not something that can be prescribed to us.  We'll own a freezer and a chocolate fountain, but the entire family's clothes fit into one dresser. 

We're figuring it out as we go.  But I'm loving the journey.  Testing personal boundaries always seems to bring me to a new layer of self-understanding...which is one of my favorite parts of the journey anyway. :)

For friends who've asked, my two favorite sources for simplicity and minimalism are:

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/.  I love how he actually *has* children, so his living room isn't just a couch and a lamp.

http://www.missminimalist.com/.  Her living room actually is a couch and a lamp, but I love her anyway.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I think this is so cool. I get compliments on my "empty" house because there is space for the kids to run around! I LOVE not having tons of stuff, although I know we certainly have more than we need. But it's not obtrusive.