Stripping (not in the dancer way)

Front porch

I am on a mission. It isn't anything covert and worldly like recovering intelligence from a foreign agent. It is a mission to reveal the new me, the now me.

Let me paint a picture of where I've been lately. I'm married with a teenage stepson and a 6 month old baby. My house is in disarray despite my efforts to keep things organized. I had nearly given up reading and writing, two activities I enjoyed immensely pre-baby. Dinners were becoming whatever I could scrounge together and cook one handed with a sleepy-but-avoiding-sleep-baby at 9:00 p.m. after the guys returned from baseball. My dining room is a junkyard of haphazardly strewn items and home decor that we don't need anymore.

I've been making a conscious effort to change all that. Too much time and energy is wasted. Our house is feeling like a house rather than a home.

My husband also feels the stress our home produces. Rather than feeling a sense of relief when he comes home after work, he too feels oppressed by the disorder and is ready to pare down. You see, we are a new us.

The now us is content with less. The now us is focused on a good home life. The now us is not on a corporate ladder. The now us is focused on family, memories, and making this world a little better.

So I am entering a phase of my life I will call stripping (not in the exotic dancer kind of way). For the last few weeks I've been slowly peeling away at everything, just a little bit at a time.

It started with clearing out old clothes. Then I took everything off my kitchen counters and carefully selected what would return. Then I purged and reorganized my cookware cabinets, an act that immediately made me prepare better meals. Then I tackled my desk which I will revisit because it doesn't yet have the harmony I wish for. I dusted off my journal and found a little time each day to read. I joined a simple living group.

Most recently I started looking at the food we are eating. We are lucky to be surrounded by farms. Farms I never visited until now and you know what? The fruits and veggies taste better.

We are slowly stripping away the layers that don't suit the now us.

Let me know paint a picture of where I want to be in the near future. I want our home to be clear, only containing what we use and love. I want everything we have to have a place. Our home should be open for guests and for dreaming. There will be plenty of space for love and imagination to grow. I will cook, actually cook, with fresh ingredients purchased as close to the source as possible or grown in our own backyard. After all, cooking doesn't have to be complex or take a long time. It doesn't even have to involve cooking- the cucumber and tomato salad I made last night, inspired by a new friend, was delicious.

It is time to strip away the gunk. This isn't merely cleaning. This is a lifestyle change that will nurture each of us at the soul level. Only by stripping can we reveal and rebuild the new now us.

P.S. While writing this post, I also changed my blog's tagline from "Soulful living in a world of information overload" to "... a world of everything overload" because that's where we are. Too much stuff, too many choices, all in an effort to have the best of the best at the cheapest price possible. No more. From now on my choices will be more mindful and I will pay a bit more for better tasting tomatoes, dangit!


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