There has been a lot of sadness around here lately, but even sadness comes with a measure of joy. And these two have been my joy:
Meet Albus (above) and Minerva, (also known as Minnie.) If you are a reader of a certain series of children’s books involving a boy wizard you will probably recognize the names! (Yes, I am totally THAT kind of person. My last guinea pig was named Merlin and my grey lop-eared rabbit was Gandolph the Grey. I seem to have a thing for literary wizards.) :)
I find it impossible not to smile when looking into the face of a guinea pig. And although the woman I bought them from was surprised when I didn’t come to pick them up with children in tow (“Are they for you?”) they have brought a lot of laughter into this house in the last few weeks.
And Albus right now is totally flaked out in the corner of the home I built for them, sleeping with his eyes closed. (A real sign of trust and relaxation in a guinea pig.) And that makes me happy.
Do you have animals in your life that bring you joy?
We live in a society that constantly tells us that we need MORE. We need more stuff. We need a better house. We need a new car. We need to upgrade our computer. We need the newest hand-held tech thingy that everybody else has, and we need to get it BEFORE everybody else does. We need to “treat ourselves” to vacations and spas and new clothing. Because “we deserve it!”
But do we?
Do we deserve mounting debts (because so many of us can’t afford to own all the stuff we are told we MUST have)?
Do we deserve the stress of credit card bills or looking for new jobs or overtime hours to pay for them?
Do we deserve the endless task of cleaning and repairing and maintaining that big house we thought we “needed?”
Do we deserve the stress of being weighed down by all the stuff, things, do-dads, “I’ll save it for someday” things that clutter our living spaces?
Why is it that HAVING MORE, often gives us LESS? Less quality of life. Less time. Less money. Just less.
We are bombarded with images of “the good life” and have forgotten that “the good life” was dreamed up by teams of advertisers with one goal in mind – to sell us more stuff. No matter what the personal cost.
And as the world around us gets continually caught up in more, more, more, it is getting harder to say NO! And “NO” sometimes means that people look at you funny, and think that you are crazy, or backward, or just plain weird.
But saying “no” can also bring peace, freedom, contentment. Not a bad trade-off.
I am just as pulled into “the good life” ideal as anyone else. I want my homestead on acres of land (and yes, waterfront, please!). I want freedom to travel, and a DSLR camera, and a Macbook Pro. Sometimes it is an act of will to remind myself that contentment will not come from owning MORE. That my new-to-me, 7-year-old laptop is all that I need. That all the strange looks I receive when I tell people I DO NOT own a cell phone is a small price to pay for not having that bill to pay each month. That many of my “needs” are actually “wants.” And not having everything we “want” makes it extra special when something new comes our way, don’t you think?
But sometimes it feels lonely seeking “less” when everyone else is out there seeking “more.” And then yesterday a friend I hadn’t talked to in a while commented on the blog and mentioned her new website. In Goodbye, Mrs. Jones she shares her journey of leaving behind her big, gorgeous house in the suburbs, in favour of a simpler lifestyle, fewer bills, and a small house. She was “living the dream” and found that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Her dream has changed.
And so, as I seek change, concentrate on what is important, and try to become more of who I really am, I am going to embrace LESS in the hopes of finding MORE. Maybe if we team together we can find success in saying “no” to what we are told we need, and instead find contentment with what we already have.
Today, I choose to find joy in less. How about you?
“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Socrates
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Proverbs 23: 4 – 5
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6: 19 – 20Read More