Living in the World You Create

The man who performed the wedding of my brother and sister-in-law last week said something that stuck with me: you create your world, and then you have to live in it.

So . . . I created the world in which the kitchen walls are covered with food splashes, grimy fingerprints, and who knows what else? I created the world in which you get granola crumbs on your feet if you step near the table? I created the world in which you can’t sit on the couch without sitting on a stack of books?

Okay, most of those things I did not cause to happen, but I do, occasionally allow them to exist when it’s my responsibility to . . . not allow them to exist.

And so it was that when I got home from Utah, Micah and I emptied out one of the bookcases we’ve been wanting to get rid of for years, divided books into various donation piles, tied up old magazines to be taken out the curb for recycling and . . . left all those stacks sitting on the floor. And then we remembered why our kitchen walls are rarely clean, why we can’t seem to vacuum up the granola fast enough, why the books overtake the couch day after day.

But at least we are a couple of steps closer to clearing out some clutter and making our world a nicer to place to be.

(I know the statement also applies to the environment of your relationships and such, which is, arguably, more important than the environment of your possessions, but I feel that my relationships are a in a much better state than my apartment and, well, you’ve got start somewhere . . . .)

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  1. I like that. I feel like my relationships are affected by my environment, to a degree. We just moved last week across the country, and having boxes all around me makes me CRAZY! I now have 4 boxes left. We downsized from our 3 bedroom townhome with garage, to a 2 bedroom apartment with a storage closet. We gave a few things away and I’m selling a couple of things on Craigslist so we will fit better in our space. It’s a good exercise to purge 🙂 I’ve noticed that I get happier each day, though, as the clutter and boxes become neat and organized. If my environment is organized then I feel like I can focus better on the little people running around me. I was the same way in college and grad school – I couldn’t sit down to start writing a paper unless everything was clean and organized and I had a candle lit and some soft music going. Ambiance! Or maybe I’m just a showing a bit of my control-freak OCD tendencies?


  2. ps- met a girl named Julie at church who just moved here from Brooklyn and knows you (she has 3 little boys) and she also said your cousin is in our ward? I don’t know her name and haven’t met her yet. We’re in the Hill Country Ward in Austin 🙂 Small world!


  3. It’s always good to get things done, no matter in what shape or size. As for the books, you can earn some extra bucks by taking them either to Strand Books in Union Square or even just sending them in through Cash4Books (there’s an App). Of course, donating them is a nice gestures but, to my own surprise, it’s not as easy as one would think.


  4. I find that sometimes the peace and quiet I get from allowing messes to happen is more valuable than preventing those messes that can be cleaned up later.


    lizzie Reply:

    True, true. It’s always nice to walk in on the boys building a fort with all the amenities, even if it means I can’t sit on the couch for an hour or so.


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