Recently as I waited for my kids to wrap up their selections at our local library I browsed through the area displaying new titles. I saw this book and it caught my eye. There was something about the title “Simple Matters” and the cover that spoke to me, it was peaceful and maybe that’s what drew me in.
The beginning of the holiday season seems like an odd time to read a book on simplifying - I’ve always reserved those titles for January when the house is cleared of all the decorations and busyness. But this book spoke to me on so many levels. It drew me in with it’s promise of rest and simplicity - connecting to the things that really matter.
Don’t get me wrong, I love things. I really do. I love beautiful things, shiny, soft, colorful things. But when my house starts to get full of papers and piles and the things keep getting moved from place to place my brain starts short circuiting. Anyone relate? Last year I did the whole Mari Kondo bit and following through on some of her suggestions freed up my house and helped me think differently in terms of allowing things to go and release what doesn’t make me truly happy. But some of her suggestions I just couldn’t wrap my brain around.
Erin Boyle has a way of inviting you into her world - helping you realize your life is made up of more than things, but if you have to have things, make them nice, make them lovely, incorporate them into your everyday life rather than shoving unloved things into closets. I am embracing this.
I have a very vivid memory of walking through Target around this same time last year, admiring all the lovely holiday decorations but at the same time an odd sensation came over me. Is it possible to have a panic attack over Christmas decor? Maybe. There was this feeling of “I want it ALL” (the glittery candles, the golden reindeer, the furry pillows and throws, the twinkly lights) and at the same time I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, my heart was racing, my chest felt tight. I wanted it but knew my budget that day couldn’t support any of it. I’ve gone back to that memory on several occasions, trying to figure out why it affected me in such a way.
This year I’ve gone to that same section of Target several times already and my experience has been wildly different. I can admire it but I don’t need it, heck I don’t even want it. My head and heart are changing. I can make a beautiful home with what I have. It’s much simpler and forces me to use my creativity which in turn is empowering and deeply satisfying.
I pray that as you prepare for this upcoming season you would focus on the riches of what you already have and that it will fill your soul with a sense of peace.