By: Cassie Van Der Hyde
In the midst of the end of some of the busiest months of the year for my family, I’ve been reading a lot about simplifying life. There is the Marie Kondo Netflix series and book, as well as minimalist blogs to look into for inspiration on paring down possessions and things, but since I keep a lot of things in my home to a minimum, I’m usually more in need of inspiration to DO less. More time for people, less unnecessary obligations. More getting things done that need to get done, less time spent on unimportant things. This looks different for everyone but, for me, it basically all comes down to really spending time together in purposeful chunks of time, without distractions.
Growing up, my parents miraculously managed to raise SIX kids and give them all love and attention by just being together a lot.
It sounds super simple, but we just didn’t do a ton of separate things. Not a thousand different sports or directions. Many family dinners that I’m sure took a lot of intentional work by my parents. Simple times of rest instead of huge vacations in the middle of a busy and not always easy life. It’s really paid off because these days as adults, my siblings and I feel more like best friends than anything, I think. And the extra fun thing for me as the oldest has been watching them get married to spouses who have become equally close friends to me. It feels like a really big blessing to be able to have a bunch of ready-made best friends to bear burdens and joys with as adults. It’s so easy for big families or even small families to move in lots of different directions and have everyone get lost in the shuffle, but I don’t think it HAS to be that way. It’s a busy time, probably busier these days than it ever was when I was a kid, and some of that is by necessity, but some of it is by choice. Choosing simplicity is one of those things that may actually take a bit of sacrifice.
Anyway, this is the simplifying that I’m into these days. As my kids get older I feel that crush of time looming where my oldest is moving into her own independence and I know they’re not mine for forever! I am longing (and planning ahead!) for that future closeness for my kids and my family that I was gifted to me by my parents and their purposeful simplification of life.