I’ve started a new business. With the economy like it is, I’m always looking for ways to diversify, and an opportunity has presented itself. I’ve opened a storage unit. Rick and I know a couple of people who did this, and it seems like easy money for them. All you have to do is own some land, build a facility, find customers, and charge people to store their stuff.
I own land.
I’ve built a facility. (When I say “I,” I mean Rick.)
I have customers—all young adults with jobs.
Now if I could just figure out how to get my kids to pay me for keeping their
crap valuable items, I’d be in business. I don’t even know what’s in those boxes. My guess is old term papers, yellowing prom dresses, and summer camp souvenirs from around 2012.
We even added onto the house, increasing our space. Rick expanded his shop and built a barn. All this has proven my interpretation of Einstein’s theory of space-time relativity, which states that when space opens up, it will be crammed with other people’s junk in no time.
(To be fair, a lot of it is my own junk. It’s just more fun to blame my kids.)
Last spring, we got rid of a bunch of it. We delivered things to their owners’ doorsteps and unloaded it into their garages. We cleaned out, cleared out, and donated. We enjoyed the freedom of empty closets and negative space for less than a week when Rick’s parents’ house burned down. Now, Rick is rebuilding it, and guess where all the building supplies are stored?
We are so, so grateful to help Rick’s parents this way. But are you seeing a pattern?
The same is true for my calendar. It fills up with I-don’t-know-what. I stay busy all. The. Time. From the moment I wake up until my head hits the pillow, I’m doing stuff. But at the end of the day, I don’t really know what filled those minutes. It never fails, though—the moment I clear my closet or my calendar, it will fill right back up. And that kind of crowdedness feels like noise—loud, clanging gongs that won’t let me relax.
I guess the important thing isn’t how much stuff I store… it’s how precious that stuff is. It’s not about how busy I am… it’s how valuable my activities are. Some of it is worth keeping. But a lot of it could be eliminated, and I’d never miss it.
Take my daily time usage, for example. A close inspection of my phone shows I spend more than two hours a day scrolling through silly social media posts. I’ve learned so much about how to chunky-braid my hair and put on false eyelashes… each of which have zero value for my current lifestyle.
My point is, I’m keeping stuff I don’t need, and then I complain that my life feels crowded. I need to let go. Be a minimalist. Say no. Guard my space. Because really, it’s in the empty space where I can rest. I can move. I can dance.
I have a few more weeks before school starts again, and I’ll be swept up in class schedules and office hours and busy-ness. Until then, I think I’ll take some time to clear out. I’ll bless others with my boxes and release the space in my brain. As much as possible, I’ll leave some empty room just to exist in God’s presence… room to love Him more, love others more, and enjoy the quiet of empty space.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” Matthew 6:19-20.