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Monday, January 17, 2011

Useful, Beautiful or Joyful?


My mom recently sent me one of those forwarded lists via email. You know, the lists about what’s really important in life, yadda, yadda, yadda. So I was cruising through the list of 45 items that are supposed to have the keys to happiness for my life when I got to #17:

Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

Okay, I get it. Throw away the junk in your life…both literally and figuratively.

Downsize.

Trim.
Reduce.
Minimize.
Simplify.

It sounds lovely.

Let’s start with my fridge. My brother-in-law would tell you I’ve been simplifying my fridge for years. He delights in teasing me about the lack of content inside that major household appliance taking up space in my kitchen.

But I’m talking about the outside of the fridge.

Some days I can barely see the fridge hiding behind the colored pictures, artwork, flyers from school, calendars, newspaper clippings, notes from dance class, party invitations and so on.

How does this chaotic display on the fridge stack up against #17:

Useful…yes.

Beautiful…I love my daughters’ artwork because it shows their creativity and development. So to me, it is beautiful. The rest of it…blah!

Joyful…looking at it all those papers on the fridge does cause tears to well-up in my eyes, but I wouldn’t necessarily refer to those tears as “joyful”.

I guess the operative word in #17 is “or”. It doesn’t have to meet all three criteria…just a minimum of one.

So for now all of the stuff clinging for dear life to the fridge is safe as long as it remains somewhat useful or even beautiful to a five year-old. Of course, that’s just until I get another list of 45 things that tell me a clutter-free fridge is the key to a happy life.

2 comments:

Alice Wills Gold said...

I think if there are any moms out there that don't have a fridge like that, they should step forward because we need to school them in surrounding themselves with things that are not only useful but beautiful. We also need to put out a church wide announcement...no more RS handouts, they are crowding out our children's artwork.

Christine said...

My mom found a great solution for everything except the pictures and artwork (like the calendars, schedules, etc)- she taped them to the INSIDE of a kitchen cupboard. That way she knew where they were and they didn't clutter things up. Sometimes, with six kids, the papers were stacked so you could only see an inch on the bottom of each, but they were all there and never got lost. Just an idea... (I do it with some things, but my fridge does look a lot like yours!)

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