The 21

I have a great life. In many ways I have the kind of life that people envy: A loving husband, a beautiful daughter and one on the way, a steady income, good friends and family. Mostly, I’m pretty happy, but it’s easy to get lost in everything going on around me. Have you ever had that feeling of just going through the motions because that’s all you know, but not really knowing why you’re doing any of it at all?  Life had come so fast and so hard after getting married that over time I began to feel like a kite untethered at the mercy of the wind. The thing about that is that a kite with no anchor will end up flat on the ground, or stuck in a tree and most likely broken.

I had been reading quite a bit about minimalism in recent months, and the simplicity of clearing away the fluff to focus on the important things of life appealed greatly to me. I’ve already adopted a lot of the basic attitudes of a stereotypical minimalist – doing some of the outward things like constantly questioning the necessity of our stuff, but I feel the need to make a greater shift and re-focus on what gives me the most happiness in life.

So I started with a list:

  1. My husband
  2. My children
  3. My Relationship with the Divine
  4. My extend family
  5. Witnessing goodness
  6. Life stories
  7. Friendship
  8. Solitude
  9. Music
  10. Art
  11. My freedom to choose
  12. Laughter
  13. Witnessing excellence (in anything)
  14. Reading
  15. Writing
  16. Thinking
  17. True connection
  18. Nature
  19. Finding a great new restaurant or recipe
  20. Learning
  21. Discovering new places

This list isn’t comprehensive, but these are the things that were in the forefront of my mind when I sat down to write this. This is my center, what brings me the most happiness, and what I should return to when I’m feeling lost.

This blog is about honestly examining my life and using this list to decide what should remain in it. It is also a writing practice. Everything I post here will represent my best writing and photography efforts – the most poignant epiphanies and  powerful images I can produce. I have no idea what this outcome of this will be, but I’m hopeful that constant working toward returning to the things that matter will also yield my greatest joys.

What’s important to you? How do you remind yourself to focus on those things when you begin to lose your way in life?

10 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Aloha! I love your list! It inspired to make a happiness list of my own. Here are mine, not necessarily in order. As you mentioned, these are what are at my forefront. Many things make me happy. I have an affinity to the number 17, so I decided to make a list of 17 things that bring me happiness.
    1) My husband
    2) My extended family
    3) My close friends
    4) My cat
    5) Being in nature
    6) Reading a great book or magazine
    7) Learning
    8) Creating (art, food, etc)
    9) Connecting with God/the spiritual realm
    10) Yoga
    11) Laughter
    12) Sharing and receiving gratitude
    13) Loving touch (hugs, massage, etc.)
    14) Photography
    15) Travel and exploration
    16) Genuine connection
    17) Time for solitude

    1. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I especially like #13. It’s such an important form of communication for me (especially with little kids). I use it all the time without really being aware.

  2. What’s most important to me, my life. I have terminal cancer, and young children. My life is literally what’s most important. My love, my legacy, my love for The Lord, …

  3. Just love it. Thanks for a great blog. I started as a minimalist over 3 years ago. I made a list like that, and described how each thing adds value to my life. I’ve never been better – thank for an inspiring blog! 🙂
    Jess

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