Thankful, Grateful, Blessed by Nothing
Elaine St. James wrote a whole series of books on simplifying life – getting to a state of inner simplicity by reducing outer complexities that overwhelm us.
Albert Einstein said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach simply says, “simplify, simplify simplify.”
Patrick McDonnell’s The Goft of Nothing may be in the top 10 best children’s books of all time – and holds valuable wisdom.
Henrietta Ripperger says, “If a home doesn’t make sense, nothing does.”
Before I moved from South Carolina to Georgia many years ago, I had a dear friend named Jeanne who inspired me to adopt her four word mantra: get rid of it!
Every time I went to her house, I found space to savor moments – the coffee was more aromatic, the conversation was more stimulating, the laughter was more intense, the time spent was far more enjoyable.
Jeanne’s home wasn’t just organized. It was something better. It was sparsely furnished and uncluttered. Her closets held shockingly few clothes, but her wardrobe coordinated endlessly. Her kitchen held few dishes and utensils, but they all served a frequent purpose. With fewer things and less ownership, she was freer than most to sit back and enjoy life while her friends and neighbors washed boats and cars and cleaned large homes and were managed by the anchors of demand they’d accumulated.
I’m thankful today for the many things I don’t own – things that don’t tie me down and interfere with living life. I am thankful for a friend who inspired me to see an empty space as room to breathe and not as a place to fill.
I’m grateful that I adopted an intentionality of “thing” management twenty years ago – it was an investment that has paid off in even bigger ways over time. My children will thank me later.
I’m blessed by the nothingness I enjoy: the beauty of wood floors that can be seen without rugs and wall-to-wall furniture, walls free of everything but a coat of paint, kitchen counters that shine in the absence of small appliances, and a refrigerator unbound by magnetized souvenirs from every place I’ve ever visited, like some visual scrapbook that displays a play-by-play museum of my life’s memories.
Today, I am blessed by the everything in nothing.