Beautiful or useful….

……or loved.
I am trying to deal with a character flaw. Trying and failing. Apparently, one of the things that is preventing me surging forward into being a mighty woman of God is my inability to streamline my life. Specifically, my struggle with clutter. I have had a book on this from the library. There are a lot of these books about. These books promise me that they will show me the great secret to sorting my life out. Having read a good few of these books, my first reaction is to wonder which chumps give these people publishing deals. In every single one of them we discover that the great secret to de cluttering my life is to – wait for it – throw things out! Insight bordering on the supernatural there I think you’ll find.
I have to make clear here that I am not one of those people you see on the telly who live in six feet of filth and have to have counselling before throwing out a newspaper with a headline showing the Hindenburg on fire. These are people who are not well. I am not mentally ill – or certainly not in a way that manifests itself this way. Whether it is balanced behaviour to get up early on Saturday morning to watch four back to back episodes of The Mentalist you will need to judge for yourselves. (By the way – box set – great birthday present family of mine)
So, we know it isn’t as bad as it could be but could it be better? Could I sail through life unencumbered by stuff. I do admire those who seek to live life more simply. Thinkers and peaceable people who have managed to pare back their lives. I am not one of these people. It’s just that so much of my life is tied up in things. Witness the shelf in our bedroom. (s’cuse dust) It’s full not just of things but memories.
Candlesticks – bought on a lovely, in and out of shops, kind of day in Modbury when we had just moved South West.
The Angel Statue – given to me by the cast of a play I directed in my old church. Pleasant surprise – thought they hated me.
Jo Malone Candle – Christmas Present from Mum and Brother. Would never spend that sort of dosh on a candle for me. Gets lit on high days and holidays only.
Family Photos – No explanation necessary
Kissing Pigs – Bought on first ever trip to York as married couple. Not high art I know. Ask me if I care.
Perfume Bottle – Gift from HOH. None of your business.
Red Candle Sticks – Usually brought down for Christmas Table.
Teddy Bear – Pinched from present bundle we made up for friends’ baby. Look, we bought the baby clothes from GAP – it’s enough for anyone.
Teddy Bear is wearing necklace Fruit of Womb 1 brought back from school trip to Germany. Can’t say I actually wore it but the thought and everything.

In terms of money, there’s nothing too valuable there. The memories are the greatest value possible. Call me a sentimental old bessie but I would rather deal with a bit of a dust trap that makes me happy than a streamlined empty space that leaves me more time to take over the world or whatever it is I am supposed to be doing. You are not supposed to have anything in your house that isn’t beautiful or useful. What about stuff you love? I’m building relationship, family, friendship here. I realised long ago that I wasn’t able to build an efficient palace that would get me into Minimalist Weekly. Fortunately, that never did float my boat.

Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.
1 Peter 2



  1. June 11, 2012 / 1:52 pm

    Minimilism is for people without an imagination or a heart. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

  2. June 13, 2012 / 12:29 pm

    Well said Martin. I with you on that one. I can't bring myself to throw away things that mean something to me either, even if I'm the only one that likes them.

    X x

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