Hello, my name is Leah, and I’m a clutter-a-holic.
I’m not sure that’s an actual word, but I do believe it’s an actual condition which could be applied to those who are surrounded by clutter. Just look at the TV shows that try to tackle this malady: Hoarders, Clean Sweep, Extreme Clutter, to name a few.
The University of California even produced a series about how our modern culture looks at and uses space, and they documented an epidemic of clutter. They determined that contemporary U.S. households have more possessions per household than any society in history. It’s a product of a culture of hyper-consumerism. American households have something like 3 percent of the world’s children yet have 40 percent of the world’s toys.
Here’s a clip from the first episode:
Their conclusions don’t surprise me. Look at the stuff on just half of my desk. And I don’t consider myself a “hyper” consumer.
So today’s message from “Simple Abundance” — get rid of your clutter for a simpler, happier life — is probably more relevant today than when the book was written in 1995. Breathnach advocates “a return to homegrown rituals” when faced with moments of unbalance or upset.
She references a Shakers ritual of praying each day for the grace to express the love of Godthrough the completion of simple tasks, like making the bed. More than that, Breathnach theorizes that physical clutter is stressful for many women. Maybe because we’re thought to be constantly multi-tasking, even mentally, and all the clutter presents us with too many directions to address at once.
I think it’s true. Say I decide to clean my desk. I start thinking where everything should go. Then I start thinking about organizing those spots. Then I start wondering if I’ll even remember where I put it all. Then I decide to have a cup of tea because my brain is starting to hurt.
From the book: “If you feel constantly adrift but don’t know why, be willing to explore the role that order — or lack of it — plays in your life. … Begin to think of order not as a straitjacket of “shoulds” … but as a shape — the foundation — for the beautiful new life you are creating.”
I’m going to have to give this one a try.
In closing, here’s my “gratitude journal” from yesterday. I was grateful for:
- Dinner out with a friend from work who also writes; it fed my soul as well as my tummy
- BOGO coupons and restaurant gift cards
- Amazon Prime video for reruns of the series Rome
I just love James Purefoy, and he’s perfect in the role of Marc Antony
- Rain to feed our reservoirs
- Peace in my neighborhood
In late 2015 I started reading “Simple Abundance” a daily devotional by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It’s more than a devotional; it’s a guide to recognizing, and seeking, the joy in each moment. I haven’t quite reached that state, but I’m hopeful. I’ve decided to share my daily thoughts (and “gratitudes”) on this blog. I’d love to hear yours as well.