Or maybe the magazines go unread because sometimes they make me feel sort of funny. Like maybe my life doesn't quite measure up because it doesn't look the way the glossy pages say it should.
But then sometimes I read something in a magazine that makes me feel oh so encouraged, and not at all like there's anything 'less than' about my experience. More is one of those magazines for me. If you've never read it, I highly recommend it. It seems to have more substance than fluff.
The latest article that I'm really digging was from the July/August 2014 issue of More, penned by Sandy Hingston. Titled "The joy of wanting less," the article details the author's experience of cleaning out different random spaces in her home on a whim and the feelings that came about.
Basically, she comes to terms with the fact that her current house is where she'll most likely spend the rest of her days and realizes that if this is the case, why not go ahead and make it exactly what she wants it to be.
I've shared my own struggle in this with a good friend. I told her once about wanting to re-paint the walls in my house, but how I was paralyzed to do anything because of the hassle that it would require. My thought was if I was probably moving sometime in the future, did it really matter anyway?
This points to a much bigger issue that I've long struggled with...believing the lie that my life was in some sort of holding pattern and that it hadn't officially begun yet.
Here are some of the other ways this has played out for me:
- Saving a fancy dress for some magical event that never seems to come
- Not wanting to wear good perfume except on really special occasions, as not to waste it
- Waiting for the perfect time to visit a dear friend across the country (for the past 10 years!)
- Not inviting people over to my house because I'm not happy with how it looks (thanks to all those magazines with the picture perfect homes)
- And, so on and so forth
I think a big reason for this is that there are lots of things about my life that don't look the way I thought they would when I reached this point in time. We tell ourselves that life should look a certain way when we are out of college, or perhaps reach a particular age. And when it doesn't, there's this idea that the life we are experiencing isn't real because it doesn't look the way we thought it would.
It's such a trap we fall into. We're missing out on the joy that could come from experiencing every moment because we're waiting for the moment that supposedly hasn't happened yet.
In the More article, the author talks about letting go of the dream of being the next great novelist, or having a house by the beach, etc. And in doing so, she can stop living for the next thing, but really enjoy what's right in front of her.
"When you're not ceaselessly anticipating what comes next, you take better care of what you've got."
I'm happy to say that I've painted my house. And I have gotten new carpet, plus a new rug AND throw pillows! These are small things that bring me such joy because they make my home a more pleasant place.
And maybe I'll live here forever or maybe I'll move in two years. But either way, I'm not waiting for something that may or may not happen.
I love this quote from the article too:
"Being driven all the time to want else, to want more, is exhausting."
I completely agree.
Is there something you can't seem to move forward about? I hope you feel encouraged that when we let go of the "shoulds" it frees us up to enjoy so much more possibility.