After buying a pop-up camper last spring I began to prepare for a summer of camping adventures. This time when preparing for something new, I decided to take a different approach than I had in the past.
Old me would have used this as an excuse to purchase all the things. To shop and spend excessive amounts on things we “needed” for this new hobby with our kids. I would have told myself it was to ensure that we were prepared and able to fully enjoy ourselves. Ready for any mishaps that may arise. Buying all the things we could possibly need upfront to prevent any potential mishaps from occurring and assure that we all had a good time (because buying stuff always fixes everything, right?)
This would have ended with an overstuffed pop-up camper and vehicle, a grumpy irritated husband, and me not being able to find anything because we had all the things.
New me decided on a different approach. I packed the absolute minimum for our first camping trip and planned to take the rest of the summer to figure out what we would need.
It was clearly evident I was staying true to my word when fifteen minutes after arriving at our first campsite of the summer, my husband looked at me and said, “Wow you weren’t kidding about this whole packing the bare minimum thing.”
But it was wonderful. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a bunch of stuff, I didn’t need I felt free. Free to play with my kids in the dirt in the day and sit by the fire at night. I slowly curated a list of things that we learned we actually did need and things that would be nice to have. By the end of the summer, after many more camping trips, we had slowly created a wonderful collection of camping gear that we will use for years to come.
In the past when preparing for things (having a baby is an excellent example of this) I have bought a lot of stuff thinking that will solve any problems we have. What I’ve learned, after a few years of simplifying my life, is that this in fact does the opposite. The stuff often just creates additional problems that have to be dealt with.
By being patient and intentional throughout the summer we slowly bought what our family actually needed. What added value to our lives. The real us, not some imagined future version of us that doesn’t exist. Instead of making purchases we were making memories, the point in all this for us.
About the Author: Nikki Cox is a mommy of two striving to live life with intention and clarity. Find her at Lovelylucidlife.com.