Tag Archives: minimalism

right on schedule.

TEN!

You know how when you talk a big game about doing something, you get called to the mat pretty quickly to do it? Yeah, that happened.

I was all set to talk about our minimalist schedule and how we say no to everything and never leave our house and live so calm and peacefully. And then there was this week.

My newborn baby boy turned ten without my permission. Despite my best efforts at cancelling October to avoid this impending fact, he went ahead and crossed over into double digits. Naughty boy. He played his first lacrosse game on his birthday. We went to Moe’s for dinner.

This was after spending Monday making an Athena costume. And then going to the Young Life banquet Tuesday night. And now it’s Halloween with all its festivities.

Life happens. We all have obligations, needs, errands, meetings, demands we make and that are made on us. Some things we just can’t escape.

But we do have a choice about how to live. We can say no. We can create more margin. We can take a step of faith to avoid the Crazy Busy life that has become the norm for the world. To step back and look deeply at the things that matter and make choices that fall in line with our hopes and dreams for our life.

I skipped days 29 and 30 of 31 Days and I’m letting that go. Who says I’m behind?

More than anything this month, I wanted us to look at our lives and just think about how we live: are we passive participants in what life brings us, or mindful activists who live with thought and intention? It applies to all areas of our life: Food, Input, Stuff, and Schedule. We have a choice about how to live.

Sage Grayson commented earlier this week about how the word simple often gets lumped with shallow. She wondered, is there a way to live simply and deep? I think so.

I truly believe that if we live mindfully and strive to eliminate all the excess that crowds our life, we can enjoy the things that matter most to us. Our hearts and minds aren’t in competition with the constant input and obligations that so many accept as normal in life. We don’t have to lay down and believe that we have to eat garbage because we are tired and don’t feel like nourishing ourselves well. We don’t have to feel obligated to use facebook or instagram to be connected to people. We don’t have to fill our homes and closets with more more more to feel satisfied. And we don’t have to rush from one thing to another simply to keep our kids happy and our schedules full.

We have a choice about how to live. I want to choose to live mindfully, and minimally. To live my life to the fullest and enjoy the pleasant places God has given to me.

What about you?

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This is day 31 of my series, 31 Days of Mindful Minimalism. Thanks for joining me on the journey!

 

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yes and no.

best day ever

Oftentimes the simple act of saying ‘no’ means you are saying ‘yes’ to something else. I shared yesterday about how we said no to children’s extracurricular activities, which said yes to a whole lot more peace and sanity up in here. The minimalist schedule means a lot of nos and yeses.

I’ve spent the better part of today working with my mom on a goddess costume, for my middle girlie to be Athena at her homeschool co-op this week. because of that, I’m saying ‘no’ tonight to a long blog post, and ‘yes’ to chilling on the couch with my man watching baseball.

When has ‘no’ meant ‘yes’ for you?

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We’re in the homestretch of my series31 Days of Mindful Minimalism. This is day 28.

the minimalist schedule.

simple chickpeas

In thinking about mindful minimalism, I guess what I’m really going for is simplicity. But that word bugs me, I think because it is so overdone now. Everything is simple: My magazine is Real Simple. My trashcan is Simple Human. My chickpeas are Simple Truth.

sim – ple [sim-puhl]   adjective, sim·pler, sim·plest,

1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools.
2. not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style.
3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown.
4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.
5. not complicated: a simple design.

As much as the word gets overused, I can’t deny that these definitions describe perfectly the way I want to live my life: Not artificial. Unadorned. Not complicated. 

After examining my habits and relationship with food, input and stuff, I want to spend this last week of 31 Days looking at time and how I spend it. To see if there are ways I can work toward more mindful use of it. To consider how I can eliminate waste of it.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I’d wanted to spend a day or two answering questions and sharing thoughts about what we’ve talked about this month… I’d still love that- let me know in the comments about anything you’re thinking through that we can address at the end of the week. Who knows, maybe like Suz you’ll get your own guest post!

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31 Days of Mindful Minimalism: Day 25

 

minimalism v. sentimentality

sitting room

As I write this post, I’m sitting at Nannie and Dida’s (my paternal grandparents) dining room table, sitting in one of their dining room chairs. From where I sit, I can see a beautiful round dining table-turned-coffee-table in my sitting room, given to me by Scott’s mom. Flanking the love seat there is a table with a beautiful white marble lamp and a drop leaf side table, both from my maternal grandparents. On the table rests a silver footed candy dish. Above the couch is a gorgeous oil painting of a woman we call “Aunt Jenny”- which used to hang in the dining room at Nannie and Dida’s.

You can see the pattern here. My home is filled with pieces that come from our family, each with a little story of their own. That drop leaf table has had the finish stripped because my Mimi always had to have a glass of ice water near by, and she ruined all her tables with water rings. “Aunt Jenny” was resting herself behind a dresser at my parents house, and I invited her to live with us. The marble lamp traveled from Mimi and Papa’s house in Rome, Georgia, to Papa’s retirement home, and then to my house. Every morning when I turn that lamp on to read my bible and drink my coffee, I think of them.

I love the clean lines of a minimalist home. My friend Shawna calls it  “buttoned up” style. There is something so soothing about a house that is completely uncluttered, almost stark. But I could never live that way. I want to be surrounded by stories and things that carry a story of the people I love.

That’s where minimalism loses in my life. Sentimentality wins. I would rather air on the side of too much stuff than get rid of something that tells a story. It might not be very valuable in the world’s eyes, but it’s priceless to me.

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31 Days of Mindful Minimalism: Day 23

closet clean out.

allie mac top

 

Me and my girlies ready for a night out. I’m wearing my Lawson Top handmade just for me by Allie Mac Designs. I always feel like a million bucks when I wear this shirt.

I spent time this weekend doing every mom’s favorite job: the seasonal clothing change-out. Now it’s time to work on my closet. I don’t have too much seasonal change out because many of my things go year round, but I know I have too many clothes.

Probably 30% of what’s in there I don’t wear or wear very rarely, but I’m having a hard time parting with it. I can’t figure out why. Sentimental attachment? Holding out for a few pounds lost? It was such a good deal? It’s a nice brand?

Clothing is the most challenging part of minimalism for me. (Well that and my slight obsession with dishware.) I think there may be some fear involved: what if I get rid of that black dress (that I have worn once in the last eight years) and then I don’t have it if I need it (which I likely never will)? Facing reality about these (very minor in the grand scheme) things really shouldn’t be taking up so much thought. When in doubt, toss it out, right?

One thing I am trying to change is my mindset about what I buy. The things in my closet that I love the most and enjoy wearing aren’t the things that I got on a great sale. They aren’t the Target t-shirts and flats. They aren’t from the Loft clearance rack . They are the more unique pieces that may have cost a little more, but are worth every penny. I’m trying to move away from compromising quality or buying things because they’re cheap- and moving towards more thoughtful and meaningful purchases.  (starting with eliminating mom jeans from my wardrobe. this is a must read.)

If you want to make a meaningful purchase, check out my awesome friend Allie Mac. She puts heart and soul into every stitch and every. single. time. I wear something she’s made for me, I get stopped and complimented and asked about what I’m wearing. I’ve started carrying her business cards to hand out! Here’s her site.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to get ruthless on my closet.

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Day 21 of 31 Days of Mindful Minimalism. Start here to read from the beginning.