January 17th -January 24th
This past week, I have nothing to report. No purchases beyond my living essentials. No ‘wants’ that I had to try and stifle. I didn’t visit any of the big name stores to pick up little $10 extras here and there. I just did my regular grocery shopping and filled up the car with a tank of gas. It was wonderful! However, that was me personally.
When you are married and have a family, things can get a little more spendy if they aren’t totally on the simple bandwagon with you, or maybe they are, but their version of simplicity looks different than yours does. Even though I didn’t personally purchase anything on a whim this week, those I love and live with did.
It can be a difficult thing to stand by and keep your mouth closed while others are bringing what seems to be more clutter and unnecessary items into your home. However, it can also be a good time to learn empathy. I mentioned in a different post that my husband brought home a new bedding set this week, one of those with all the extra little pillows and shams, bed skirt and quilt. I was astonished! First of all, because he’s a guy, and second, because he didn’t even mention to me that he was going to! After the bedding was on the bed, he made the comment, “There, now that looks more inviting.” To him, our other bed of just a plain, light blue, flat blanket and our pillows, was a bit stark and too simple. For me, it had been perfect.
I was telling this to my sister over the phone, and she made the simple, but astounding observation- “Laura, (hubby) works in a hospital. Your version of the bed sounds like a hospital bed. He probably needs to come home to something that looks a bit more comfortable and inviting.” Once she said that, it was like a light bulb of understanding and empathy came on in my mind, and the bedding no longer seemed like clutter, but like a simple comfort my hubby needs after a long day at work.
Along with the bedding set, he also came home with a complete new surround sound system for the TV in our living room. I think he was feeling ‘stuff’ withdrawal since I had basically given away two of our largest pieces of furniture several days before. It could also have been legitimate, as one of our TV speakers is blown, but we’ve lived with it that way for at least a year now, so, I’m not sure why he chose last week as the time to fix it.
I learned a couple of important lessons this week from these purchases-
- Simple living is wonderful, but don’t make those you live with and love uncomfortable by eliminating what is important to them.
- Talk about what is important to them. I thought I did a pretty good job with this before decluttering anything, but it turns out my executive desk and the cabinet that went with it left a gaping hole of space for my husband, one that he had to fill, somehow.
This next week and in the coming weeks, I’ve resolved to be more talkative before removing items from our home, and even if hubby agrees with getting rid of something on the larger side, I am going to let it sit for a while so we all really get used to the idea of it being gone. I am also going to put more emphasis on comfort over simplicity in some areas.