A while back I posted about simplifying life. But there was a time (actually there are many times) when I desired more. Let me lay down one of the scenarios for you. It all started with piano lessons for our 6 year old son (who is very adamant that he is NOT taking piano lessons). But we are very adamant that he IS. Because Earl and I are both musicians. And that’s what we do. And because we’re in charge. And because piano is good for you. But mostly because we’re in charge.
Anyway, Earl and I had an argument over our piano. Currently, our piano is in our studio which is separate from the house. It’s really a glorified shed with heat & electricity, where we practice our instruments and teach our lessons. Earl thought it would be a good idea to move the piano into the house. I could see the benefits and I was on board. Except when I did the measurements, it didn’t add up. It wasn’t going to fit. I mean “technically” it would fit, but we would have to give up precious square footage in order to do it. I was in the midst of purging “stuff” from our house and I wasn’t willing to pour more things back into it.
Earl was disappointed. The piano mover was coming the next day and he would have to call and cancel. He was so upset, he wasn’t speaking to me. We very rarely argue. We’re very considerate of each other and we usually share the same thoughts. I remember being equally upset, “We need a bigger house! We should be able to put our piano in our house!” I finally came to my senses. We bought our house with the studio in mind and we really did have enough room for our family. We would just have to walk out to the studio to practice, which is really not all that inconvenient.
As we were hashing this out at the kitchen table, I’ll admit I was a bit wishy-washy (I need a bigger house! No, I have too much!) I guess this was my deluded thinking: if I can’t have what I want, then I want to live with much less. Somewhere in the conversation Earl strongly reminded me that he did not want to live in a plastic bottle house in Africa. Whoa, whoa! Who said I wanted to live in a plastic bottle house in Africa? (okay, I did).
I’m looking for a simpler life. I’m searching for gratitude. Not that I want to park my tent next to the homeless people in Willimantic, or contract Malaria so I can appreciate health care. I’m totally grateful. I know I’m blessed. But I also know that half the world’s people live on $2 per day. $2 per day! And I’m concerned that my piano doesn’t fit in my house? The fact of the matter is, when you surround yourself with people who don’t go without, the only things you can see are the things you don’t have. This was an “aha” moment for me. Africa was my dream, not Earl’s. And I was determined to go. As part of my “quest for less.”
So, my friends. I’m doing it. God willing, I am going to Africa! I will share all of my juicy tid-bits with you next time. I know it sounds crazy and I’ve doubted myself often, but it’s what I need to do. And I’ve decided that my quest for less is so much more exciting than having it all. :)