I have teamed up with a wonderful team of bloggers who participate in “Five Minute Friday.” Here’s the skinny: Every Friday for nearly four years hundreds of people joined a kind of writing flash mob. We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that is posted by the the team starting at 10pm EST on Thursday night and all through Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party). No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Today’s word: Empty.

I am surrounded by stuff. Everywhere I look, there is big and more and lots. It is the American way. It seems to be the mantra of my suburban lifestyle. We want bigger kitchens, larger yards, faster cars, expensive trips. But underneath the excess is empty gratitutde.

We are often consumed by so much yearning for what our neighbor has that we forget how much we own. Why can’t we jet away on a trip that they do? Why can’t we afford a bigger house like they have? Why do we drive such a junker while they have new? Reassure me and tell me I’m not the only one. Please? I don’t like feeling it. And I like to admit it even less. But it is the sad truth that I find myself in. Underneath the jealousy and the greed is empty blessings.

About a year ago, my husband and I opened our thoughts to the idea of minimalism. Although we have a vast distance to go in this area, the cleansing and purging that we have done has opened up our eyes to a new level of happiness. Who knew… If I didn’t have so much stuff to sort, I would have time to play with the kids? If I didn’t have junk everywhere I turned, I could spend less time managing the household and instead make memories with my young children.

In this process, I have learned a great deal. The emptiness that I felt while being surrounded by so much has turned to fullness when I look around at my empty shelves. Isn’t that ironic? (Don’t ya think?)

Today and tomorrow, I will pledge to part with big and more and lots. Instead, I will fill my empty with silence and time and less.