I’m not really a religious person. But whether you are religious or not, you probably know that we approaching Lent.
And while you may know that Lent begins tomorrow, you may not know exactly what Lent is all about.
Simply, Lent is a 40 day period leading up to Easter which symbolizes the 40 days Jesus spent fasting, enduring, and resisting the temptations of Satan, and preparing to begin his ministry. It’s a time for Christians to focus on their relationship with God, and many will give something up or volunteer and give to others during this period.
But you don’t have to be religious to participate in this observance.
I haven’t ever given anything up for Lent.
But I’m going to try something this year.
Something I saw floating around Facebook recently.
Because Lent is also described as a time of self-examination and reflection.
And I’m all about that.
After doing some serious self-examining and reflecting, I have realized something.
Actually, I didn’t have to do that much examining or reflecting.
It’s totally obvious.
We still have way too much shit in this house.
While not as bad as it was a year ago, we still have too much stuff!
The other morning Number 5 was telling me she had no pants to wear.
I went to her room and pulled out four different pairs of pants, and for each pair, she said, “I don’t like those” or “Those don’t feel good” or “The knees in those look funny.” (What the f*ck to that last one, by the way).
Well then why the hell do we have all those cluttering up her damn dresser drawers?
I have too many papers, still.
The bottom of my hutch in the dining room is full of dishes I seriously haven’t touched since we moved to our house almost eight years ago.
We have toys the kids haven’t played with in forever.
I have kitchen gadgets that have never been used.
The list goes on and on.
What I am (re)realizing is that we still have lots of room for improvement in the simplifying department.
I am tired of shuffling crap around in my house.
So I’m ready for round two.
Aside from just being tired of having too much stuff everywhere, I know that clutter affects the kids’ lives.
I think it affects their moods and their behavior, because while they don’t realize it, clutter creates stress.
If their rooms get really messy to the point of overwhelm and I help them clean them, they thank me profusely.
They can physically feel a difference.
If you have kids who have trouble staying focused or keeping things organized, clutter makes it even harder for them to function.
Then when they don’t stay focused and you are trying to help them with their homework or they are losing stuff and asking you to help them find thing multiple times a day, you lose your shit.
And now you are not the mom you want to be.
I 100% believe that clutter makes parenting way harder than it already is.
Stuff does not make your job as a mother any easier. It makes it much harder.
Back to Lent…
I saw this on Facebook, and it starts tomorrow, and I’m doing it.
And if any of you want to do it with me, that would be awesome.
It’s called 40 Bags in 40 Days.
I really, REALLY want to do this for me, but I also want to do if for my kids.
I want to help teach them that stuff doesn’t make you happier. That too much stuff makes the quality of your life worse, not better!
I want to teach my children that less really is more.
Because I know that the less stuff I have, the less stuff I have to keep track of, organize, and clean.
And the less stuff I have to overwhelm me!
The less overwhelmed I am, the less of a bitch I am, and the more able I am to be the mom I really wanna be.
Who wants to join me in this?
There’s a whole closed Facebook group for this challenge — I joined it today!– (find out about that here), but I’ll also be posting about it on my Facebook page to keep myself on track and also to help motivate any of you that are interested.
If the thought of 40 bags in 40 days overwhelms you, it doesn’t even have to be big bags of stuff. It doesn’t even have to be bags at all! It could be 40 things in 40 days. And the things don’t even have to be things!
It could be cable (I know, not cable. You definitely can’t live without cable).
I used to think that, too, but I was totally wrong. And my life is better now without it. Honestly! I used to be addicted to all the Real Housewives shows. For real.
Then I tried to watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills the other day and the only thing I though was How the fuck did I ever watch this? What a fucking waste of time!
It could be deleting emails.(I have about 25,000 in my inbox. No joke.)
But I’m starting with bags o’crap cause there’s too much damn stuff in my house.
Oh yeah. One more thing.
In the true spirit of Jesus and Lent, I suppose I should be just donating or giving stuff away.
I’m not doing that.
I mean, I will sometimes. Maybe a lot of the time.
But if I come across things I no longer need that I think are worth selling, I’m going to try doing that. If they don’t sell quickly, then I’ll donate them.
All I know is that I may have a big expense coming up in the beginning of April, and I’m going to see if I can cover some (or all) of it by selling things that I no longer need and are just causing me stress by keeping them in my life.
Maybe that’s not what Lent is all about, but I think Jesus would be okay with it.
That’s what I’m doing starting tomorrow, and I’d love for you to join me.
It’s like a weight loss challenge for my house, and I can’t wait.
A less cluttered and more simplified and manageable life is only 40 days away!