The Point of It All

Recently my father became ill and had to spend two weeks in the hospital. New Year's Eve was spent bedside with IV lines and pain meds, watching the ball drop on TV.

During these two weeks, I spent my entire days by his side and I realized something so important.

I realized the point of it all. The point of minimalism, the reason why we spend so much time decluttering and setting our priorities straight.

Every time I asked my father what he wanted me to bring him to keep him occupied during the never-ending days, he gave me a small list. He didn't want the iPad. He didn't want a book to read. He didn't want a deck of cards to pass the time.

What he wanted was his toothbrush and floss, and some diced up watermelon to eat.

That's it. That's all he wanted for two entire weeks. But more than anything, he just wanted to come home.

And it got me thinking about the lesson within it all. When it comes down to it, we need so little. We only need the things that provide comfort - family, home, our most basic hygiene products. These are the things we love and the things that bring us contentment.

Although I didn't necessarily like ringing in the new year in the intensive care unit, it was a special night because it was spent with my family. We didn't have alcohol or fancy food or loud music, and we passed out right after midnight. But what we had was even more special. We had each other and each other's presence.

Now we're gratefully back home and, although my dad's recovery will be a long one, I still haven't lost sight of the beauty in simplicity. The point of it all is to live a mindful life true to yourself.



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