This weekend I volunteered at a retreat center that for two years I spent most of my summer (college and post college). It was out of the blue a one-time friend, contacted me, inviting me to come back. God must’ve been listening to my thoughts, as I had been thinking about the organization for a few weeks prior and my desire to return (it’s been 4 years). It was an organization I love deeply, but after a nasty break-up with a friend (who is deeply involved), I felt that I was not allowed back, even though it had no relation.
Thankfully, that was not the case and I made a joyous return there. My stay was amazing and I sincerely can’t wait to go back. The staff has mostly changed, but everything there felt right and I found peace in my time there. I served as a host and assisted a group of bishops (from around the U.S. and abroad).
I stayed at the retreat in a simple room that, being a minimalist, suited me perfectly. A bed, good desk, couch and bathroom in a not too big, not too small place was perfect. Being cut off from technology also aided in my peace and renewal. As much as I can rely on technology, I’m the sort who has a love-hate relationship with it. I really wish I could’ve been part of my parents generation before this technology stuff became all consuming in our society!
As I sat eating breakfast with a table of bishops this morning, the discussion of minimalism came up. One brought up that she once had a large house, but sold it in favor of a 1 bedroom apartment with adequate space for one. Another chimed in to say it was hardest to part with her books. So the conversation went, which made me reflect on my own thoughts of minimalism.
Recently I sat down and began mapping out, on paper, my plans in the coming months and through 2017 to reach my undetermined minimalism goal. Starting large won’t work, so I’m in the process of setting a few objectives towards minimalism as a whole. I’ve been working towards this over the last 2 years, but now I’m ready to buckle down more. This year has been another stride towards that through;
- Buying high quality items (particularly clothing and accessories)
- Continuing to go through things every few months
- Being more considerate of what I buy and use
Next year I hope to (this is my ‘so far’ list)
- Buy less things than I get rid of
- Invest in only high quality items that I need
- Replace furniture I don’t want/need with things that will last for a long time
- Move into a smaller apartment (with hardwood floors)
Off-shooting from minimalism, volunteering this weekend reminded me of my true self and calling. I love helping others and being in a place where I help and travel renewed me. On a spiritual level, I felt more connected to God (nature has always done that for me, along with minimalism, volunteering and aiding others). This weekend was meant to be, so to speak and I look forward to the lessons, growth and change I will accomplish in the coming months and through next year when it continues to happen.