By Timothy J. Belber, JD, Generational Wealth Planning and Design
Erin Doland writes a wonderful blog (and a great book!) about strategies to remove clutter from our lives. While much of the discussion is about physical clutter, the heart of her message is to be happier by reducing the amount of noise and stress we tend to accumulate. As I read the post below it made me think of my own grandmother who lived to be 83. She lived alone in her own home for over 40 years after my grandfather divorced her. She never learned to drive but took me on many adventures via bus, train and, on occasion, taxi. She had epilepsy but always viewed it just something to attend to rather than as a limiter. She limited her 'stuff' to only things she needed to enjoy life. For a young boy staying with her was a wonderful adventure (she let me sleep under her bed with her dogs). She knew what she liked (dogs, oatmeal, bologna and rare steaks) and never felt the need to do anything that didn't bring happiness to her and her family. She was fearless in being herself and was sought after for thoughts and wisdom.
Who can you think of who lived simply and fearlessly?
Don’t Let Fear Clutter Up the Life of Your Dreams
by Erin Doland (www.unclutterer.com)
Yesterday, my grandmother turned 102. The two of us have been close my entire life, and it doesn’t surprise me that she’s still alive. She has always been a rule breaker (she has traveled the globe alone, went straight to business school after graduating high school, and established her career path before she got married at 30, which was rare for a woman in the Depression-era 1930s). She also is extremely witty, a voracious reader, and insists on wearing a strand of pearls and makeup every day. She ran a successful thousand acre family farm for more than 60 years and worked in the Kansas Legislature until they forced her to retire in her late 80s.
Whenever I see my grandmother or think about her, the word fearless pops into my mind. In all my life, I’ve never known her to be afraid of anything. She has strong resolve and even greater determination. I’m partially convinced the reason she is still alive is because she has successfully convinced Death that dying isn’t an option for her.
I’m writing about my grandmother today because I’ve realized that her fearless attitude has greatly improved the quality of her life. She has lived an incredible 102 years because she’s never been afraid to take advantage of each moment. She has also lived a life primarily free of clutter — even now all she has are her eyeglasses, clothes, shoes, some jewelry, a wheelchair, bedding, toiletry items, and hundreds of photographs of friends and family. When she still lived in her farmhouse, she didn’t own much, either. Her happiness hasn’t ever been found in things and it hasn’t been controlled by fear.
Is fear cluttering up your life and keeping you from experiencing the life of your dreams? Is physical cluttering keeping you from focusing on what matters most to you? Take a lesson from my amazing grandmother and get rid of the fear and clutter and commit to pursuing the life of your dreams.