Recently, I sat down and faced my nemesis--the unattended email inbox. There were over 9,000 emails in my inbox that I had neglected over a period of six weeks. It wasn't as though I had not been aware of the accumulation of these emails but rather I didn't want to face them. I knew that approx. 8,917 of those emails were junk; ads, promotions, Black Friday deals, student loan consolidation offers, requests to participate in company surveys, and alerts from various websites that I have subscribed to over the last decade. I honestly just didn't want to take the brain power required to sort the important from the junk. The thought of it literally caused me anxiety. And every "ding" or vibration on my phone indicating more mail instantly created a sense of dread because I knew that at some point I was going to have to face the electronic mountain of mess.
The dreaded day finally came when I knew I couldn't bear one more day of the mounting pressure. After searching Google for a way to "delete all" I discovered a link on how to reduce email by using the "unsubscribe" button. What?!? It's possible to get out of an email relationship with companies that I want to break-up with? It's like dumping your boyfriend via text message. No weird conversations or awkward silences. No persuasive speech to try to get you to stick around. No twelve-step plan for relationship recovery. Just done. What an AMAZING function! (So, I know some of you are rolling your eyes at me for my ignorance, but seriously this info just rocked some reader's world).
This newfound discovery completely changed my attitude regarding the email clean-up project. I hit "delete" and "unsubscribe" like a pro. I even created folders, with titles (I know, impressive right?), and categorized messages to save for a later date. At the end of an almost 4-hour long session, I had successfully eliminated my out of control inbox. Take that gmail!
As I sat on my couch grinning like a cheshire cat at my consolidated inbox I realized that my life is much like my inbox had been. I dread, more often than not, the thought of getting out of bed in the morning to face all of the stuff that consumes and populates my life. There is just TOO. MUCH. JUNK. There are too many pairs of shoes, too many toys, too many random gifts that have never been opened, too many bags and purses, too much food, too many accessories, too many books, too many electronic gadgets, WAY too many cords and chargers, too many random socks with no mate, too many pens with no ink, too many half-filled notebooks, and too much trash. All of this creates too much stress. Here's a genius idea:
junk-junk= less stress
So, The Great Bazzell Clean-Out is underway. I have already bagged up and donated 25-ish trashbags full of clothing, shoes, books, and purses. My soul already feels lighter and my house is cleaner, less cluttered but I know that I am far from done simplifying our lifestyle. I've always been one good at organizing and de-cluttering but I'm not looking for an organized way of life...I'm looking for a simpler, more content, minimalistic way of life. I don't think this comes from simply spring cleaning. It comes from making intentional decisions to get rid of the distractions and focus on what is important...on what brings joy.
Society tells us that we have to do more, be more and own more to be successful in this life. But God tells us that we should live a life full of contentment. Hebrews 12:1 tells us, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
What is weighing you down?
What could you rid yourself of that would create more contentment?
What objects, activities, people are distracting you from living a joyful, purpose-filled life?
This is my notice... I, Melissa Bazzell, officially unsubscribe to the excess way of life. It's been real, but not real fun. Adios and sayonara!