At any age, living light is a nice goal. At mid-life, most of us have experienced significant ups and downs, and acquired some baggage – spiritual, mental, social, emotional, physical, and/or material.
The holiday season offers a great time to consider how heavy we feel, and how we might change this feeling for the better. I’ll share a couple examples from my/our living, that might resonate with you!
Losing both parents before the age of 45 was more stressful than I could’ve imagined. Twenty pounds overweight with gallbladder distress felt like a heart attack… I remember my panicked drive to the nearest hospital in 2015. I hated representing the 5Fs: Fat, Forty, Female, Fertile, and Fair.
At that time, I decided to make a great effort to change my habitual consumption of sugar and carbs. I eliminated most of the excessive consumption of sugar and carbs and increased intake of greens, beans, and bone broth. I lost the 20 lbs. over six months. I still have a ways to go to reach my goal body composition…
The other area I’m working to lighten is material. Beginning with not acquiring much more, we’ve decided as a family to practice living lighter this holiday season… lighter gifts, lighter foods, lighter beverages, etc. Also, we’re finding joy in reducing, recycling, and re-using.
We’re reducing, a little at a time. It’s hard to let go of some family holiday decorations, heavy laden with emotional memories, and I’m one who is mostly stuck. Now is a good time to identify inherited holiday items that might be loved by another individual or family, and packing these now for goodwill, or for a community group to creatively re-use.
We’re recycling. Keeping plastic out of the landfill is on our mind. Plastic bottles of all kinds usually become flower vases or seed starting containers. We aim to recycle plastic packaging. Plastic bags of all kinds are also recycled in our garden/greenhouse area.
We’re re-using. It’s refreshing to go deeper into the spiritual traditions of this transition into wintertime. We’ve taken a holiday decoration inherited from family, a holiday wreath, and made it our own with fragrant fresh greens from the forest outside our door. The old and new together give a sense of grounding and joy.
Influential/Recommended Reading: Richard Rohr, “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.”