I applied for a job I wanted and heard last night I was not the right fit. I was very disappointed and have been feeling flat all day.
So while in an inward-looking state I watched some of the Sea Change challenge videos. I also texted a friend whose parents have moved from a house to an apartment today, downsizing and clearing and starting afresh.
And from both those influences I was struck by a thought: looking back – what was my life about?
Looking back for ethical decision making
I find looking back from my 80 or 90 year old self a handy tactic when faced with an ethical decision. Looking back at my choices; how did they form me, am I proud, can I be at peace with who I chose to be and how I chose to live?
But in this case I did the exercise in looking back for a picture of my life in general.
Looking back for a summary of my life
Because I write about Minimalism, I rarely write with fondness about material things. I usually lend more weight to the esoteric things: kindness, love, a legacy for my girls, a solid marriage, and my career.
But what about the material things with which I chose to surround myself. And what about how we chose to spend our time creating memories?
These are the material things I want
(with a Y for Yes I already have this):
- a wooden, comfortable bed
- soft, natural linen Y
- a good quality laptop Y
- a good quality phone – for the camera for pics of my family Y
- good enough quality music system Y
- 2 beautiful, comfortable grown up sofas
- A beautiful lamp or two Y
- some art I love Y
And actually I think that’s it. My friends gave me a beautiful old Yellowwood dining table for my 40th birthday. It is full of “houding” as we say in SA, which means it’s got character, from lots of use. It’s damaged and marked and I love it.
We have a home that is not too small and not too big with a view of the ocean on one side and the mountain on the other.
And what memories did we make?
- We went travelling
- We lived overseas
- We came home to South Africa
- We bought a house
- We owned some dogs
- We had friends
- We saw our family as much as possible
- We read books
- We saw amazing art
- We saw sunrises & sunsets
- We swam in the ocean, regularly
- We climbed mountains
- We hugged and kissed a lot
We worked on improving things and ourselves. We worked hard and exercised and rested and meditated.
It was a life well-lived. It was a consciously created simple, beautiful life.