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Joy doubles when shared

By on August 6, 2010


Frugality often leads to simplicity. For some people it comes naturally, but others struggle with small details, redefining luxuries and shiny-object syndrome. I was in a “make it pretty” industry as a career, so that really stuck with me at home, too. But when it came down to prioritizing, many details were sucking the life right out of me, so I stopped tending to them. However, I care about legacy too much to let them all go. I consider it a selfless act of showing love. But, yes, some details are completely insignificant.

Some days, it’s much easier to just do what needs to be done without attention to details. But is carrying out the bare minimum on a regular basis the way you want to live or be remembered? I don’t. That’s not to say I want to be remembered for the gravy boat matching the plates or the toilet paper hung a certain way. But if, after I’m gone, my family feels a sense of home, warmth and comfort whenever they smell cinnamon because I took the time to add it and it reminds them of me, what’s wrong with that gift? Some details are worth caring about, but if it’s causing you grief or stress, then it’s absolutely senseless.

Simplicity is being able to move through your life in a mindful way. To do so, you need time and space to reflect. If things are distracting you from that, it’s time to prioritize. Frugality and simplicity help you remove a lot of the noise so you can appreciate aspects of your life you tend to overlook.

People everywhere are talking about balance. I chased after it in a way that some people chase happiness. I realized I craved soulfulness. That took accepting my place in the world at any given moment. It has nothing to do with juggling all the busy things, trying to do them all well or having matching appliances or nice decor. It’s accepting that I’m loved, knowing my capacity to love, having faith and remaining hopeful. That’s my sense of balance. If I choose to open my eyes to the abundance I have, my life is soulful. It’s a choice.

I’m changing and have changed. So are others around me. Things I thought I felt one way about years ago simply aren’t the same anymore. They’ve lost their useful purpose. My soulfulness increases through connections with others and letting more into my life. Because I’ve focused so much on saying no and having boundaries, I’ve lost sight of sometimes saying yes. One could argue that’s finding balance. I think it’s more about openness. And so I learned that joy doubles when shared. I pick and choose what really matters. So while cutting ties with toxic people is good, so is recognizing that people are human. They make mistakes, just as I do. It’s identifying your priorities, learning to forgive (yourself and others), choosing how you react to situations and knowing what you want that is tough sometimes. Plenty of people complain about their lives, but if you don’t know what you want, how can you possibly ever get it? Strip away the excess so you can pinpoint what you want. It truly is what you make it.

photo by janelleorsi

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