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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hoarding

Recently, I found myself in the home of a hoarder. You've heard of hoarders. It's easy to watch the TV shows or hear of hoarders and think, "how could somebody let their lives go like that?"

I would dare to say that we are all hoarders in one way or another. It's just likely that ours isn't as visible and tangible as these extreme cases you see on TV.

It is so easy for us to allow stuff to overwhelm our lives. It is so easy to let our schedules get so filled with activities, with work, with empty relationships, with recreation, that the truly important things in life have no room in our lives anymore.

The home I was in at the time was so bad, a specialist had to come in to help turn the place from a literal dump back into a suitable living place. It was a dangerous place. The woman who lived there was elderly. It got so bad, she had one of those emergency call buttons on a necklace in case she fell and got trapped. The organizer came in and had to convince the occupant to make some very tough decisions. What I found both amusing and profound was a small plaque the organizer hung on a wall. It wasn't very large, but the message was bigger than life.

"Simplify".

How many of us have filled our lives with so much clutter that we are exhausted? How many of us have jammed so much stuff in there that our relationships suffer? Have we become slaves to the clutter to the point that we aren't satisfied with the quantity we have, but we need more and more?

There comes a time when we all must face some pretty tough decisions. When the important things in life are being neglected, or simply require more of our attention than we have budgeted to give, we have to cut back on other things which distract us from those priorities.

The current economy should be teaching us by now that it's imperative that we learn to cut out the things in life that are not essential. If not cut out completely, at least cut back. We have learned to rely on so many luxuries, that they have become needs. I admit it. I'm very much like that. But when my transmission went out, my budget got turned upside down and inside out. The time has come when some of the things I could afford to spend my time and money on before are now expendable if I'm going to take care of my bigger obligations. (Oh sure, NOW you announce the newest iPhone!)

Take some time and inventory your life. If you find yourself with little to no margin in life, it's time to make some decisions. If you're living on the edge where if something significant and unforeseen happened, you wouldn't be able to take care of it...make some changes.

Simplify.

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