Life in the slow lane has been constantly teaching me to take a good look at my priorities and swim against the current, if you will.
As a Christian, I can say I already live against the status quo. In a world that hits us hard in the face, turning the other cheek can definitely make me seem as a weak, naive person. Far from the truth, but I do seek to live this way, by God’s grace strengthening me.
A more simplistic lifestyle does come with its challenges. To be part of a culture where the pursuit of the American dream is idolized and materialism, the norm, I can’t think of a more brave movement to join than minimalism and slow living.
Here are 10 points where one might struggle (yes, it’s real!); obviously this is a short list and it will vary for an individual or family:
Parting with sentimental items, either inherited, purchased, or gifted from loved ones.
Deciding what kids’ toys stay and which ones go; also how much to keep.
Determining what items serve a purpose and which ones are around “just in case”.
Figuring out where to begin decluttering.
Struggling against conviction to let go of items that have been rarely used and were somewhat costly.
Sitting down, writing priorities and actually sticking to keeping them as such.
Saying no, either to others’ schedules, requests and demands that conflict with priorities.
Making space for more important things, which are not things at all.
Experiencing boredom, solitude, quiet and lack of purpose after decluttering is completed.
Educating oneself regarding priorities, for example, creating a color palette and style for one’s wardrobe, planning meals and workouts, healthy rituals and habits to adopt, etc.
All of the above are legitimate concerns and one might not easily solve any given difficulty that comes with leading a more simple and minimal life. The key word that comes to mind is intentionality.
It is said that if we don’t stand for something, then we’ll fall for anything. Every mountain we are able to climb up will only serve as a reminder of how far we’ve come, so we can go up against yet another one ahead. And if you just started making your way up, your intention must be strong in order to reach the summit.
I don’t want to discourage anyone, but the simple life is anything but easy. So many obstacles will come between you and your intentions that might seem hard to prevail, but only at first. It may seem like it’s a vicious and vain swim against the current, but it won’t last forever.
At one point we experience momentum and our determination to live the life we want to design will pay off.
I pray for wisdom so we can all keep going and achieve our purposes; not forgetting the lessons learned along the way will most definitely make the journey easier and more meaningful.
And it is so worth it!