Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Trimming the Fat

While lying on the back of your boat, in the middle of nowhere, under a canopy of stars, with a cooler of beverages close by and good friends on the next boat over ... you talk about a great many things that you never seem to get around to talking about in the real world.

One evening such as this in a cove filled with frog serenade, warm summer air, and inky black nightfall, some friends and the Hub and I watched for satellites and meteors. And one of us said, “If you had to whittle your life down to only a list of things that were absolutely essential to your happiness, what would that list contain?”

It’s a good question.

There is the “obvious” of course. Things so obvious that many take them for granted. Health. Family & Friends. You know, the typical clichés that are really far from cliché if you pause to think upon your own.

I’ve been thinking that question over once more as of late. I have been standing in the root cellar of my heart recently, looking around and realizing how much old junk is in here. Junk I don’t need, never use, and really don’t see having a use for again. Much of it I don’t even like anymore. Much is either outdated, outgrown, or not in good working order in general. Why is it even still here?

As I grow older, I am becoming simpler. I don’t mean mentally, though some may agree with that as well. ;) What I mean is I am very interested in getting back to basics. Return to an appreciation for what really matters, even to a point where nearly all the other stuff in life becomes subordinate. It may seem hypocritical to those who know me. We’re not millionaires, but we live a comfortable life. We own expensive toys and occasionally indulge in lavish vacations and live on more land than is really necessary. In turn, many would say, why shouldn’t I enjoy these things? I’ve worked hard for them, it’s my right. But I try to be more humble than that. I have been without these things before and very well could be again someday. But I know what’s really vital to my basic well being, and I can pretty much count them on one hand.

What really is important when you cut all the fat away? Not much. But what is, really is.

Take a look.

See what I mean?

15 comments:

Sojourner said...

Oh great! Just go ahead and mess with my life! Again! lol I really enjoy this post because I need the constant reminder of what is important. People ask why I don't get angry often. I tell them, "It's not life or death."

Anyway, thank you for this post. Go ahead; mess with my life some more. I dare ya! :o) God bless you, Clew.

Itchy said...

Thank you, Clew. I need to keep this in mind!

Kristi said...

Dale has come to this realization in the last year or so too and talks frequently about this. Back to the basics. I think it's a thirty-something revelation.

jgf said...

Clew, sometimes I think we may be the same person. Okay, maybe it is that great minds think alike. It is true; the older I get the less junk (or stuff) means to me.

Nunzia said...

ahh i know exactly what you mean. i remember days when i first moved in by myself when id sit on the couch and look at my ornately decorated little apartment and realize how much "stuff" i had that served no purpose. so many times i thought about just giving it all away... we really do need so litte to survive don't we? and we collect so much along the way that seems important at one time but means nothing in the end. It's like they say.. you can't take it with you :)

Rebecca said...

I totally subscribe to that theory. While I do have many a collection of "things", they are things I enjoy - but don't necessarily need. Some people need them to define who they are, because they arent' comfortable in their own skin, so they look to "own" things, material things - to make them feel good about who or where they are in life.

I prefer the simple things...everything else is just a bonus.

BigDadGib said...

Things are not as important as my faith. As I age with grace, that is what I find.

PS, I'm a preachers kid and the only times I ever got into any trouble was with a deacons kid or the choir leader.

lol

Love your blog

Yours in Christ

Kodijack said...

Kristi is right, I have really started to bring things back to a simplistic level. Do I really need that? What do I really believe? Who do I really like to spend time with? What do I really like to do? Its so easy to get tangled up.

Ame said...

I love it - have been in the same place for a long time :) It's such a freeing place to be!

btw - bigdadgib - i'm just a church-kid - and the only times I ever got into troube were with the preacher's kids, the deacon's kids, the youth director's kids, the choir director's kids - and then I married the missionary kid - and we're divorced!!! hahahahaha

naive-no-more said...

I have been standing in the root cellar of my heart recently, looking around and realizing how much old junk is in here.

You are a painter of words.

joy said...

clew,
that's why i try to enjoy the simplicity of what life has to offer: loving famiy, true friends, sunsets, a run by the waterfront, a powerful hymn, or reading the sunday comics with a nice cup of jasmine tea. i am not even close to having all of the material luxuries of life, but what i do have and cherish are things that money cannot buy.

and i've got to agree with nnm, you truly are an artist - a painter of words.

Nelly said...

Your life could be over before you even blink...you have to enjoy the simple things in life, appreciate what you have and live life to the fullest.

Beautiful post Clew!

chesneygirl said...

Thank you for the reminder.

I had some similar thoughts when I was thinking of some ideas for a post that I was tagged to do.

Fantastic post!

speckledpup said...

I've been reading a series of books about this divorced lady who lives alone. She goes into great detail about how spartan she lives....
I just find myself so enamored of that lifestyle.

The important, can't live without things for me are
A really great bed, even if that's my only furniture.
A tv
My pictures.
INDOOR PLUMBING.

Great post though...I realize you're thinking more deeply than I am...but that's the way I usually find myself...a little shallow.
Aw Well....
Happy Thursday.
The Pupster

Mike Duran said...

Stout meditation. This reminded me of Maslow's, Hierarchy of Needs, which, after Physical Needs, puts Pshychological Needs at the pyramid's base. Don't mean to be weird but, floatin' on yer boat there, I drifted off into my own personal Hierarchy of Needs.