With one month down in 2016, it’s time for me to reflect on where my one word for this year – simplify – has taken me so far…
I know that this word, like the other words I have had, empower, listen, fast, will take me in directions that I am not yet aware of and yet know, from my previous experiences, the inner journey and changes that will come as I follow God as He leads me in this journey.
But for now, I am very much aware that my simplifying is external in three areas.
I recently joined a local book group and had a lot of fiction that I knew I would never read again (some of them were advance reader copies that I cannot re-sale) so instead of letting them collect dust, I took them to our recent dinner and let my fellow readers have them! But I am not done simplifying (or downsizing) my library and that will mean some of my books will end up at a local half-price book store for others to buy and read.
But there is another question that is being asked of me
Do you need to simplify what you read?
Do I read too much? Do I read too broadly?
Then, there are
My coffee mugs
I have collected a fair share of coffee mugs over the years. My oldest is one I bought as I toured the Naval Academy in 1978. My newest one is a gift from my oldest son who recently returned from a 15 day trip to Japan. In between are sports mugs and, as a gift from a friend, mugs from both the Democratic and Republican conventions of 2004 and 2008. One is from a visit to an aircraft carrier (USS George Washington) on Memorial Day 1995 when my then pregnant wife and I visited Norfolk, Virginia.
Some of my mugs are fire survivors from a fire in 1999 that destroyed the church building of the congregation I was serving at the time. Given the chemicals used, I was told not to drink from them.
An one of my mugs was a gift to my late father.
So my mugs are not just beverage holders but many are memory reminders of places, people, and events. However there is a large group of mugs who need to be given a new home (for which my wife will thank me) and so they will be boxed up for the garage sale later this year.
Again the question of “How much is enough?” echoes in my mind.
I have a lot of sweatshirts! Most of them are sports teams and my favorite NASCAR driver. (Who? Dale Jr!) But how many of them are necessary?
I have several of one of the university teams I root for (okay, it’s Notre Dame) and many are very well worn.
Do I need all of them? No!
So, I will separate the ones I want to keep from the ones that I am willing to part with and allow them to either be sold at our spring garage sale or eventually be given to Goodwill and sold there.
And as with my books and my mugs…
How much is enough? How many do I really need to keep?