Searching For Simplicity

by Whitney Hale October 07, 2009

Lately I have been attempting to simplify my life by doing two very easy things: purging unnecessary belongings and finishing what I've started instead of creating new projects.

So I began by cleaning out all of the closets and drawers in our house. I had my 16 year-old sister become my stylist for an evening and she helped me with my goals by saying things like, "Those pants make you have a granny butt" and "Those shoes were in style years ago." Thanks to her and some other choice family members and friends with good taste, a few days later I sold lots of old things in a multi-family garage sale. I have also been attempting to force my books into 2 bookshelves because (deep breath) I sold the third in the garage sale. I've sold the books that I don't need or want anymore on Amazon and to a used bookstore. Purging is my friend, and it has been easy knowing that a simple life will be waiting at the end of a time of purging.

What has NOT been easy is finishing what I've started. I have two windows sitting in my garage that I bought with intentions of making into some form of art. I swore to my husband that I would not leave them sitting in the garage. That was over a year ago. Oops. I also have unfinished craft frames, beautiful wood from houses ruined in the Katrina floodwaters waiting to be made into art, a half-finished painting, frames sitting on floors under blank walls where i think I might want to hang them, and books with bookmarks in the middle pages EVERYWHERE in my house. I also have an unpainted bathroom, an undecorated bonus room, missing hardware on furniture, and an unfinished outdoor furniture set. Obviously, something is wrong with me!

I have a very wise friend here in Memphis who recently told me that she thought I had her problem. I am stuck in two worlds. The world where I want to be artistic and the reality world where I am just not that artistic. The world where I am a planner and list maker and the reality world where I have an impossible time with commitment to an ending. The world where I really want the simple life in which I just need a tad bit of everything and the reality world where I keep buying stuff because I feel like I need more. See, I told you she is wise.

I believe my biggest problem is that I have a difficult time committing. I fear that if I commit to something, I might not like the consequences. What if I don't like the finished painting? What if the upstairs isn't as "Anthropologie" as I had hoped for? What if my pictures look ridiculous where I've hung them?

So this fall, to usher in a new era for someone who LOVES the idea of the simple life, I am going to finish what I've started and pay the consequences. I am going to read all of the books that I own before I purchase any more (or head to the library). I am going to finish my crafty wife projects. And, I am going to hang my pictures!


Whitney Hale
Whitney Hale

Author

Whitney Hale serves as a reader for Ruminate from 2007-20010. She received her BA in English from Liberty University and is currently working for the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She writes in her free time for a few organizations and is a strong believer in the reconciliation of people from all places, races, and backgrounds. She is still madly in love with her high school sweetheart whom she married at the ripe old age of 19 and they have two toddler boys who are 19 months apart.



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