You can consider this post “Part Two” of my Becoming a Minimalist story.
So, we’ve officially begun the second half of 2017. A lot people made resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I think this is a perfect time to look back on the past six months and evaluate the year. Personally, I’m not good with sticking to resolutions. I tend to start strong, but then my motivation quickly fizzles and in a few weeks, my resolutions are out the window. A few years ago though, God gave me a way to simplify it by having just a single word that guides the year. I’ve made it a habit to listen for the One Word that God is speaking at the beginning of each year.
I’ll give a quick rundown here of the words I’ve heard so far, but I’ll be writing a more comprehensive post about the progression of these words and how they have fit together these past five years. Look out for that towards the end of this year.
My first word was “Joy”. 2012 was surely one of the most joyous years of my life. The next word was “New”. I can say that 2013 was the year that I really started to grow up and become a real adult, which was quite new territory for me. In 2014, God gave me the word “Wait”. I actually wrote a post about it here so you can go ahead and read that for more. As I mentioned in last week’s post, my word for 2015 was “Love”. This was actually the year when I wrote that love poem I shared a few weeks ago.
Then came 2016; I didn’t really listen for a word last year. But, if I could sum up how things went, the word “chaos” comes to mind. Almost everything bad that I feared could happen actually did. I could go into details, but I’m sure there’s already more than enough bad news going around. 2016 wasn’t all bad though; it was the year my brother Muiru got married. If you know Muiru, you will know that he is one of those guys destined to become a husband. So that was a pretty big highlight of the year. It was also the year when I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. I’ll be writing a post about that decision later on in the year.
Anyway, when 2017 finally rolled in, I was ready for it. I had all these ideas of how I would make it better than last year. Unfortunately, throughout the month of January, I found myself bouncing from idea to idea, like a Ping-Pong ball. I would have my mind set on one decision one day, and the next day I would be planning the very opposite. I felt extremely confused.
Through prayer and reflection, and talking with my family, I realized that one big problem I had was that I was consuming way too much information. With Social Media and the Internet influencing me so much, it was difficult to make any solid decisions. I remembered a film that I had watched called, “Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things”, so I decided that I needed to reduce the “noise” in my life. My first step was I deleting all the social media apps from my phone and canceling my Netflix subscription.
That’s when I heard my word for the year: “Simple”. For the past six months, I have been working on simplifying all aspects of my life. I’ve taken steps such as; I buy only the things that I absolutely need, I eat only what I need to eat and I’ve drastically reduced the amount of media I consume. It hasn’t been the easiest thing since I was so used to buying and eating everything I thought I wanted, but I’ve had wonderful results so far. I’ve been able to save more time and money and thus, give more. I no longer struggle to wake up every morning to go to work. For once, I actually don’t hate my job. Simplifying my life has actually made the past 6 months of my life, quite literally, the best yet. Stay tuned; I’ll let you know how the rest of the year pans out.