Last year I attended a wonderful retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I spent four wonderful days in workshops, creating, trying new techniques, making new friends. My husband made the trip with me and spent those days hiking and exploring the great outdoors. We both had a wonderful time. It was my reward to myself for making it through a very stressful season wtih the dog treat business. I even put down a deposit on this year’s retreat. I came home and put the business up for sale, swearing off another season at the farmer’s market as a producer.
Well, the business didn’t sell over the winter and with the money I have invested in the website, barcodes, custom labels, etc., I decided to give the market season another go. I saved the money for this year’s retreat and even mailed the check. But something just isn’t the same. For some reason, I don’t NEED to go this year. Maybe I’m more content with my life. I’m not as involved in the art form as I was last year. That’s to be considered. Could it also be that my new passion for simplifying things and being a better steward of what God has given me, is beginning to affect decisions I make? In other words, do I really want to spend $500 on a trip that will result in me coming home with unfinished projects that will then cause me stress? I spent an extra $150 last year on kits and books that have not seen the light of day since. I know myself well enough to realize that I will do the same this year.
So…I decided not to go. I asked for a refund of my $500 and was very graciously granted one. I feel good about NOT spending 18 hours round trip on the interstate highway dodging 18-wheelers- stress!; I feel good about NOT using our gasoline credit cards to pay for what could then be close to $5 per gallon gas and stressing about it when the bills come in; I feel good about putting that money back into the bank where it will be available, if need be, to help our son who is moving out on his own in a few days. Having a simpler summer sounds good. Why keep pursuing the American “nightmare” of spend, go, buy, pay later – when all it does is create stress?
As a Christian, I believe – and have experienced many, many times, that God will confirm correct decisions. I felt good about my decision but couldn’t really express why. Then this morning, I was reading a little further in David Wann’s Simple Prosperity and there it was. He quotes author Vicki Rabin:
“When you have Enough, you have everything you need. There’s nothing extra to weigh you down, distract or distress you. Enough is a fearless place. A trusting place. An honest self-observant place…to let go of clutter, then is not deprivation; it’s lightening up and opening up space and time…”
I have enough. I have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe; I am married to a good man; I have a job; I have a wonderful son who is becoming an adult and spreading his wings toward independence; I have an amazing network of friends who love me in spite of my quirks and I have a bare spot of earth that will hopefully sprout okra seedlings in a few days. I have enough.
Keep it simple,