Basically the goal for the Halperin family is living simply in 2015.
The idea for 2015 came from my recent read of We Have Met the Enemy. To sum up the book, it’s about how we are living in a culture of excess of everything. Excess of spending, eating, sex, technology, drinking, tattooing, sleeping, gambling and so on. Everything that we should be doing in moderation is now offered to us 24 hours a day with literally the push of a button. In the past we, as a society, were able to count to ten between our impulse of desire and actually being able to act on it. Today our self-control isn’t allowed that ten, rather we are offered everything in the blink of an eye from processed fast food to a cashmere sweater to a hooker. We are now a society brimming with excess and suffering because of it.
I began to look around the house and it was true, we were living in excess. Too many toys, too many clothes, a pantry full of food waiting to be used, bookshelves adorned with unread books, closets busting at the seams with old sheets and forgotten outerwear. Kitchen cabinets and drawers fattened with cookware and gadgets that were used once and then forgotten. A dusty crawl space full of decorations, melted candles and misfit stuffed animals.
The Halperins are also guilty of being bit by the ever blood hungry and growing tech bug. Every hour of our days was touched with technology. Televisions, Smartphones, tablets and computers – always connected and never unplugged. These things rapeing us of our time and focus. I’m pretty sure at the end of our lives no one will be saying “Gee, I’m glad I reached the end of my Inbox” or “My greatest accomplishment was that Candy Crush level” or “My Facebook friends are what have mattered most.”
What if we got back to the basics, stripping our house and lives of the excess? Removing the focus on the stuff in our lives and start focusing on one another and the relationships that hold meaning instead. Relationships with our own persons, one another, family members and friends. Expanding our minds and experiences past the little black screen held in the palm of our hand and offered at the drive-thru window.
For the last month I’ve been entering the phrase “2015 the year of Simplicity” throughout daily conversations in our home. My frame of mind a little different this year as I wrapped packages and decorated our home. With Christmas celebrated and the new year on the horizon, the opportunity arose for Erik and I to tackle a plan of simplicity, together, for 2015. We devised an action plan and some goals to go along with the Year of Simplicity. A plan of attack that addressed things not only found in our closets and what we were pulling our wallets out to buy but also what was taking up the minutes of our lives and filling our bellies.
As a symbol of our year of Simplicity is the red candle you see pictured above. This candle was stashed away in our basement forgotten about. Erik bought it on clearance even though we had no use for it. We really can’t keep candles lit with the kids because they are constantly blowing them out, plus I’m reading all these articles about the toxins found in such “smelly” candles. Not to mention we could have put the $1.99 towards something fun with the kids or a date night out. So to kick off the plan of attack on simplicity we lit the candle representing the excess in our lives and how we plan to “burn it away.” It now sits in a box waiting for the holiday season of 2015, that’s when we plan to bring it back out. We’ll light it again to solidify the year and to see if we conquered the simple life.
Today I’ve shared my vision of a simpler life and year. Tomorrow I will share with you the action plan in making that vision a reality!