I want to write a book. Phew! I said it. Out loud (kind of). I've wanted to write a book since I was in high school. My one problem: I have no idea what to write about. Yes, that's a bit of a hurdle. I admit.
I've recently begun reading about minimalism and the process of decluttering your life. I started with my "stuff." It seemed like the most obvious choice. I've accumulated a ridiculous amount of possessions in my nearly 36 years of life. Adding two children to the mix certainly didn't make things less messy. When we moved back from Arkansas last summer we had some of our stuff in a storage building. 98% of that stuff never even made it back inside the house. I purged and sorted and threw away. I organized closets and threw more stuff away. I convinced my children to sell their toys with the promise that they would receive the money from their sacrifices. Nearly every day there is at least one thing that I toss or set aside for donation. Every week or so, I organize something else...and get rid of more stuff. It's an ongoing process, this eliminating of mess to make room for the things that are important.
Of course, as I emptied my house I began to see how cluttered my mind has become. So many thoughts, plans, dreams, worries, lists, recipes... I saw that I have been sacrificing the great for the mediocre. Trying to do EVERYTHING is not only impossible, it is detrimental.
Let's face it, I am never going to be that mom who plans amazing birthday parties with intricate games and TV worthy cakes. Cake wreck worthy cakes is more like it! Nor will I be the mom (wife) that fixes elaborate dinners day after day. My kids are lucky if I remember that it's lunch time! Seriously. And as an aside...I didn't breastfeed either. My kids survived.
My house will probably never grace the pages of a decorating magazine. My homeschool process won't win any awards for amazing creativity and I will NEVER, EVER win a prize for being the most patient mom. Those things are nice, but they aren't me. And not being those things doesn't make me a failure. Not being those things doesn't make you a failure either.
Trying to push myself into that mold will only make me cranky and make the others around me quite miserable. Just because I CAN do something, doesn't mean I should.
I changed a lot in 2013. In many ways, I don't even feel like the same person. As this new year has begun, I have found myself embracing minimalism in new areas. So I can eliminate the things in my life that just aren't important. Less really is more.
I am narrowing my focus from everything that I am able to do, to doing what is in my heart to do. What is important? Loving my kids. Loving my husband. Stop doing stuff for Jesus, and just being with Jesus. Listening is such a lost art, you know. Sometimes it's enough to start there. Seek first the kingdom, and all these things will be added...
So what does that have to do with writing a book, you ask? Well, I really believe that as I clear my mind from all the fluff and unnecessary things, that my dreams will once again surface - creativity will return. And I can dust those dreams off, shine them up, and really begin to DO the truly important stuff.
What are your buried dreams?