Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

4 Things to Think About as You Edit in the New Year

For much of the western world, today marks the return to the “real world.” It’s the Monday after the week or two surrounding Christmas and New Years. Many of us are returning to work, some recharged and ready to take on the new year, others experiencing considerably less enthusiasm.

This year, my holiday was colored less by standard fare like time off and trips to places warm and more by a singular event: the birth of my second child, a boy.

Children are questionably “edited” (“aren’t there enough people?” one might ask), yet few things have the capacity to burn away existential dross like the charge of taking care of another human being. And while I came out of this period without resolutions (I was just trying to sleep at 12am, Jan 1), I did realize a thing or two that could help the childed and childless alike as they endeavor into 2015.

  • Health is supreme. Giving birth is a serious act–one that in days of yore claimed many lives. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine and favorable biological circumstances, both my son and wife came out of the situation alive and well. But before that outcome was known, nothing loomed nearly as important: not money, acclaim or tricked out tiny houses. With health, everything can be worked out. Without it, we’re screwed.
  • Family and friends are a close second. In certain ways, couples can bootstrap a single child–taking on the myriad duties of raising a child alone. Not so with a second child. They obliterate the pretense of–and desire for–self-sufficiency. You realize how much you need and want other people in your life. Every minute a grandma holds and calms the baby, every meal a friend brings over, every act of kindness big and small makes life both more manageable and richer.
  • Too much stuff makes lives crazy. Yes, babies bring with them stuff, but our first child taught us that the amount of stuff is not a given. Helped greatly by a not-so-large home, my wife and I have managed to keep a modicum of order in our house by forgoing many “necessities” like wipe warmers. We figure that children–particularly small ones–bring with them a certain amount of chaos. Why add to it with a bunch of stuff we don’t need?
  • Technology is overrated. I have no beef with tech. It’s an indispensable part of my vocation. I frequently retreat into it in my infrequent moments of respite. But if there’s a choice of spending time with my children or checking out what’s “happening” on my Facebook newsfeed, there is no competition. Virtual reality doesn’t hold a candle to real reality.

With these thoughts, on behalf of LifeEdited, we wish you a happy new year, one in which the way you live your life and the things that matter to you are one and the same. One free of the unnecessary and unimportant and filled with love and meaning.