The Toys That Bind

All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.

– CS Lewis

I tweeted last night that I threw down four boxes for us to fill with either give-away items or garage-sale paraphernalia and that things were ‘about to get real.’ The effect of such an action was fairly inconsequential since Jen was humming Amos Lee songs and dusting off cake pans we used at our wedding while absolutely ignoring my every word, but hey I threw down those boxes with some passion!

We aren’t what people would call pack-rats, nobody from TLC is banging down our door to tape an episode of “Hoarders”, and even if we were there’s only so much you can fit into 600 square feet (I feel like us saying “our apt. is 600 sq. ft.” is the Geico caveman commercial of this blog, cute the first time it ran, agonizing every time since…I digress…and I’ll try to stop mentioning how big our apt. is). Also, we committed to not buying any new clothes for a year which I think is an easy enough vow to keep for two people who already have more than enough clothing. And I would say we’ve gotten rid of more than we’ve acquired since knotting the knot in early June.

We still struggle though.

“An iPad would be functional, wouldn’t it?”
“I think I want a new bicycle to ride around Dallas in!”
“There’s this great tennis racket I need to get!”
“We need some fun luggage, don’t we? You know, just in case!”
“I’m buying a $6,000 letter press, I don’t care what you say!”

OK, I made the last one up, but I’m sure we’ve had a conversation about the first four. I know we have.

On our Colorado trip I did some pretty intense reading on minimalism. Minimalism includes topics like “how to only own 100 items” and “how to fit your entire life into one backpack”, crazy stuff like that. Anyway, I’ve fallen for it like my wife fell for nunnery (or is it nun-hood?) and I’ve been trying to give away everything we own since we got back to Dallas. Thankfully Jen is rational (relative to me) and we still have items to sit/sleep on and food to eat, but I’m serious, things are getting REAL around here!

I’ll go more in depth on Thursday (we’re about to start long-post Thursdays…just warning the ADHD of you in advance) but for now the war is being waged. What do we really need? How do we control our stuff instead of the other way around? How do we not let the accumulation of household items get to the point that we need to buy more stuff just to store all the stuff we already own?

How can we not live this American dream we keep hearing about?

Answers coming Thursday. Or just more questions. I’m not sure yet.

P.S. – Note to self: stop quoting self in blog posts…

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Pride & Blogging & Humility

Blogging is a funny thing. It seems innocent enough: gather some thoughts, sort them out, post to the web, a few people comment, go to sleep, repeat. I suppose that’s how it should be.

When we started on this journey a mere 74-ish days ago we promised 365 days of writing our thoughts, ideas, hopes, fears, and dreams. So far a lot of that writing has been our fears and thoughts…maybe we’ll get to the ideas and dreams later on? We promised we would faithfully write no matter how many people read or what they said about what we wrote. And it seemed simple enough at the time, I mean, it’s just a silly little blog, who cares?! Surely we won’t get caught up in trivial blogging matters like readership, subscriptions, and pageviews, not us, we’re so wise.

Hah. Then people started reading and we started becoming far more worried about which posts brought the most visitors and where the most pageviews were generated. Honestly, it’s like crack (or what I imagine crack to be like)….watching the pageviews climb (see below), thinking “I am such a good writer, the internets love me! I have Jon Acuff and Carlos Whittaker in my sights, we will soon have the coolest Christian blog in the world!!”

Then I see the other side of that mountain and start thinking “I can’t believe the keys on the keyboard still move when I punch them, I am that atrocious. This blog will never be worthwhile, I’ve seen better writing on AOL instant message chats between middle school girls. Girls who have the same knowledge of apostrophe usage as I have of nuclear fission.”

So needless to say, I need to get my emotions under control. It’s good though, because this blog is teaching me that consistency is key. The mountains and valleys, they will come and they will pass but to remain even-keeled and level-headed, those are lessons that I can use, in real life, in being a husband.

CS Lewis once said: “It is through pride that the devil became the devil, pride leads to every other vice…”

I’d like to see what ‘ol Clive would have done with a blog. Probably never looked at his pageviews…

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