Between sickness (nearly recovered from) and jury duty (completed), I’ve been a bit delayed in my customary reflection on the past year and planning for a new year. Even so, in the past couple of weeks, an odd little theme has appeared in my thinking: “It’s all too much.”
A few years ago, I read a book by organizer Peter Walsh called It’s All Too Much and ever since then, that phrase pops into my head whenever I’m overwhelmed. As you know, that’s just what I’ve been feeling lately. Instead of choosing a word of the year or setting out to remake my life, I’m just…not. At least, not right now. I’m not setting new goals or embarking on bold new adventures. I’m simplifying and downsizing.
I just have too much—books, food, possessions of all kinds, hobbies, interests and the wonderful blessing of friends and family relationships. I really am grateful for all that I have—I’m not complaining! I have, however, allowed my life to get out of hand. I have too much, and I try to do too much. Nearly every day I find myself putting aside activities that would feed my soul or work that really means something because I’m drowning in the sheer mass of life, much of it menial and unimportant.
So 2013 begins with a purge—of the physical (How many empty boxes does one need? Does this old radio even work?) as well as the non-physical. Activities I take for granted will be scrutinized—do they really need doing? By me? At this particular time or to that standard?
I don’t consider having too much a “real” problem. I’m not suffering heartbreak over it. I realize I’m lucky to be in this position when so many people around the world face true need. But getting rid of excess will help me appreciate what remains while cutting down on waste, guilt and chaos. Spending less time and money on what doesn’t matter will free up more for what does. I look forward to seeing what fills my life when the excess is gone.