Does it bring joy? Getting to a purposeful and mindful life….
As an adult, I sometimes take informal learning for granted. There are times when I learn without even realizing I am learning. Can anyone relate? As I am reflecting on my summer as a stay at home mom with my two very active and curious children – my daughter, who is three (turning thirteen) and my son who is twenty months – I am amazed at how much I learned about them as individuals and us as a family. For example, I learned that my daughter has an amazing capacity for empathy and even though my son isn’t speaking intelligible words yet he can communicate. I feel incredibly blessed that I could spend this time with them and get to know them better. Here’s the but… the rub… the 21st century/1st world problem….
I didn’t spend as much time with them as I could have. Why? Because I was consumed by organizing a lifetime worth of stuff! My house is full of STUFF. Please do not get me wrong, we are not certifiable hoarders. Although on busy days, or during our current home office renovation, you would think we might be. I believe we are an average North American family who have unwittingly, and at times knowingly, subscribed to the materialistic culture we live in. Bothered by the impact it has had on my life, I turned to Google and started my journey of learning about this culture and how it impacts families. I was not surprised to find a University of California study documenting how American middle-class abundance has lead to a cluttered life. This study confirmed my belief that clutter leads to higher stress levels in women.
Furthermore, Regina Leeds claims that parents who exhibit disorganization in their homes can lead to disorganized children. It can also lead to indecisiveness for those who live in this environment. This makes sense, if my daughter has 13 pairs of jeans it may be hard for her to decide which pair to wear! How does this affect her decision making abilities in other areas of her life? Thankfully, “the essential organizational skills, to eliminate, categorize, and organize, are learned and can be applied to all areas of life.”
This brings me to my major learning project proposal. I want to start living a more purposeful and mindful life while minimizing the impact of a materialistic culture. More importantly, I want to learn how I could negotiate a life within this culture that doesn’t rob me of my time with my children, my husband and even with myself. I believe the start of this journey is to get my house in order! I am purposing the following learning outcomes:
- Identify and implement sustainable organizational systems and processes with the view to create an efficient and healthy household.
- Explore methods of engaging my young people in the process of becoming organized and mindful in a materialistic world.
- Identify methods of disposing of material goods with the least environmental impact.
Proposed learning resources
- Do it on a Dime
- Marie Kondo – KonMari Method
- Organization and Decluttering books such as Real Life Organizing, Organized Enough, The Life Changing Magic of Cleaning Up
- Communities members
- Family members
- City of Regina Waste Wizard
As this is a journey of self-discovery and a new way of being, it just might get a little bit messy (literally and figuratively). I do have a concern of finding the right balance of sharing visual evidence of my learning without infringing on my family’s privacy. Also, wondering about an appropriate hashtag. Something light and fun, perhaps.
Feedback on my proposal is appreciated!