I am one of those people who embraced minimalism when it became trendy.
One year ago I was busy trying to rid our house of all unnecessary items. From clothes to furniture, if an item could no longer defend its relevance, it was asked to leave. A lot of it I sold online. I weeded out half of the books we owned and sold them on eBay. My system was simple and efficient, if not a bit unorthodox: I decided which books to keep based on the color of their spine. Orange, yellow, or blue? You get to stay. Multi-colored or gray? Unless you're a first edition, I'm sorry, you'll have to go. My husband delicately questioned the system, but in the end when all of our books were neatly rainbow-sorted, I choose to believe he saw the light. What he doesn't need to know is that in the process, I ran to Goodwill and like a hoarder purchased a small basketful of yellows and greens to fill in the gaps.
I was hooked on the feeling of freedom minimalism brought to our house, and before long I ran out of things downstairs to remove. So I moved on to the attic. Over the course of two weeks, I cleared out about two-thirds of what we had accumulated over twenty years. What's amazing is that in one year since, we seem to have refilled it. But that is beside the point. The point is that one day I uncovered an old broken, extremely heavy desk that needed to go. No one was home, so I slid it over to the stairs by myself. I then slid it down the stairs with only my body weight below it to slow it down. I repeated the process on the next flight of stairs, and pushed and slid until it was out of the house and in the back of a truck.
Much of the furniture that we didn't need I donated or sold, but this desk I decided was headed to the dump. So I entered "the dump" into Google Maps, and the desk and I were on our way. Not until the end of the long drive there did it occur to me that I had begun this endeavor with no plan for the ending. Actually getting it out of the car and into the dump by myself would be impossible. I backed the car into place, turned it off, and it started to rain. All I could do was laugh.
In front of the pit where you throw your trash there stands a bar. Not the good kind that serves drinks, but the big metal kind that keeps cars from backing over the edge. Items must be lifted up and over it. There is also a landing below the bar that your trash must clear in order to land in the pit. In other words, the desk had to be launched. I hadn't planned on that.
And so I stood moronically laughing in the rain next to a desk standing on its end, until a group of three kind men with enormous arm muscles appeared and rescued me. They threw it over the bar, and it actually flew for a moment before landing. I went home completely satisfied with the day.
Sometimes we have to push with all our weight to start sliding toward something. Sometimes we have to face the stairs before us with the weight of the world on our backs. Rarely do we get to plan the ending. The divine part is that when an unexpected bar appears and blocks our way, people with the right muscles often show up next to us at just the right time.
We walk by faith and not by sight.
Today we're launching our new shop. We hope it flies. We hope our site is a way that people can send encouragement to each other. Because really, we're all just sliding along, and no one can make it to the end alone.
Happy Launch Day,