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Archive for September, 2010

Simplicity

I could have thought of a more clever title, but I think that one word really captures the message. After getting married, I tried to get our apartment in order by buying things. Appliances that would make life faster, more convenient, or even more enjoyable- include panini maker here. It’s something that many girls dream about. Conversations with close friends turn into a critique of whether the benefits of Calphalon cookware outweigh their heavy lifting requirement.

Before getting married, my roommate and I had two knives and no curtains. They worked fine, we didn’t starve, and the blinds provided us with enough privacy. So what sparked the change from simple single to materialistically overburdened spouse?

Is it because of the fact that we don’t have this picture perfect image of the way things should be when we’re single? We definitely do have a an idea of how we want our married life to look like, which includes the curtains, bedroom set, and kitchen-aid. I guess there is also no bridal registry when you’re single. None of this really bothered me until I had my lovely little daughter. Swamped with diapers that didn’t fit, hand me down strollers that didn’t work, a revamping was in order. I was slowly suffocating and found myself too preoccupied with the clutter.

Bit by bit my husband and I have been going through each room of our 2 bedroom apartment and decluttering. Why do I physically feel lighter? Recently, I listened to a lecture by Sheikh Abdul Sattar who said that every item comes with its own taqdir. As in, the shoes in my closet come with their own story- who will wear them, how many steps they will take, where they will go, and what will bring about their ultimate demise. Now imagine all the things we privileged Americans own. Do we really want to carry the baggage of every item’s taqdir? I don’t.

My husband and I have an 8×11 inch piece of paper taped on the wall next to our treadmill. On it is a handwritten graph to document our running distance and time. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and stare at that graph knowing that today is a day where I must fill it in. Approaching the end of my run, my motivation is to finish strong so I can write on that piece of paper a respectable number.

It cost about five cents, if that, but is one of the most valuable things we own.

I leave you with this beautiful saying of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that we may all strive towards, “If you renounce the things that people love, people will love you.” Ameen.

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