My start-up disk is almost full

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Have you ever had this message appear on your computer? Or something similar on your laptop or phone?

I know. Bummer!

My husband always says the answer isn’t complicated: delete stuff or buy more memory.

When spending more isn’t an option or a desire, then deleting is the choice–which is actually a blessing!

I’ve decided living leaner is a good idea. I’m definitely not there (living lean), just hopefully moving in that direction. Wanting to at least!

One of the challenges of our time  is living moderately: to clean out, delete, not accumulate, stay lean. For me, it’s so much easier to consume, create, purchase, make and then simply ignore the rest.

But ignorance isn’t bliss! It’s a headache! There are always consequences for what we do. Opposition in all things. Yin/yang, right?

I often have told my children, “Leave cleanliness in your wake.” (Or, in the opposite way of phrasing it, “Don’t leave a mess behind for someone else to clean up! Do you have a personal servant? If you don’t clean this up, who are you leaving for?)

I would say that my spirit’s “start-up disk” started to feel pretty full and the warning message, in the form of growing stress and anxiety, started sending me the message that I needed to shed some activities and commitments last spring. And so I began trying to let go.

It has been very good. I’m still working in that direction.

If I could have all my children drop some of their commitments, I would–I think–but then that wouldn’t be very nice for them. I have been curious, though: what would happen if just one year we didn’t sign up for anything? No music, no sports, no dance, no musicals–nothing but family, school, and church? Just for one year? 

Sounds pretty great to me!  Maybe we’ll try it next year? (Not sure my children will go for that idea.)

We might actually be able to read together after school and get homework done really well, and just go running together or cook together or have play dates. Or do some really meaningful service that isn’t a scheduled commitment. Or do a cool project together that has an end. We could go to the temple together! We might be able to work on improving our handwriting or multiplication tables or any number of habits that sound great but we never have time for because we had fewer things to focus on. Hmm. I love this thought.

Is that what I want?

On January 1 and 2, Lane gave me the best gift ever. He started cleaning out the office where piles and piles of stuff we didn’t have time to deal with was stored. I had wanted to do it, but I felt like I had done it so many times that I just had no motivation to begin again. He started in the morning and worked all day until night, and then did some again the next morning before he left for work.

He enlisted the children’s help. He through things away and I didn’t even want to see most of it because I wanted it gone. As he worked and made progress, my desire to help grew. When he left, I was ready to go in and do more. The finished product was wonderful! I pulled the paper off the French doors that had been “hiding” our storage room that I was so embarrassed for anyone to see to allow us to see into this room. My children were so excited! Lane and I were so excited! The possibilities of using this room again! Ah, we were breathing deeper just to see it!

President Uchtdorf’s wisdom returns to my mind: slow down.

The analogy of removing excessive commitments from our lives seems to me to be just like cleaning out a room in which the excess has been stored, or perhaps even exercising so that our bodies can shed whatever excess is being stored. It all sounds good. I want more leanness.

So how to do it? I want to bring this up in family council and ask the question: What can we get rid of that will allow us to breathe more deeply and live less frenetically as a family? What are we willing to give up?

I’ll let you know what happens. Till then, anyone want to be the parent assistant for orchestra next year? 🙂 Teach kindergarten music? 🙂 Just let me know…




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