I think that the first time I ever considered simplifying was after reading an article about looking around and seeing that what you have is "enough". Many of us have enough stuff. The closets are full, cupboards are bursting and surfaces are cluttered. We are constantly looking for new and better ways to organize and decrease clutter. This article went through how to analyze your home through a different perspective. How many pairs of black pants does one person really need and of the ones that are "needed" how many actually get worn. The one fundamental argument is that we all purchase most items on a whim because we are told to. From the moment we walk into a store everything from the music and lightening to the product placement and ads are aimed at making us buy certain items. This argument stuck with me as I read the article. I kept going over in my head how true it is. I started looking at these tactics and made up my mind not to fall for them anymore. I resolved to buy only what I needed in amounts that I knew I would use. All purchases would be planned ahead of time reducing the spur of the moment splurges. These changes have been happening in our household for awhile now and have become routine. Since starting the most recent changes in our home I began to look and other areas that I could apply these principles to. I have evaluated working outside the home numerous times and I think that I have finally reached a happy medium. I work enough to pay for the extra things that come up such as sports for the kids but I am home enough to really play the role in their lives that I want. I enjoy working and doing a job that at the end of the day makes me feel really good but work is not my life.

Since jumping into a simpler lifestyle head first I have put so much stress on getting things done, done well and on time. If laundry is not folded and away I start to feel myself feeling bad. I have found myself uninspired when cooking dinner because some nights make all our food from scratch seems so impractical when the children reach their "witching hour" and I reach my breaking point. Some days it seems so silly for me to force all of this extra work on not only myself but the entire family when I could just buy bread that is perfect rather than eat our latest experiment or just hang out at night and watch TV rather than plan gardens and learn to crochet. Again tonight I found myself thinking back on the whole idea of having enough. Maybe it doesn't only apply to the amount of items coming in and taking up space in our home. So now I am applying that idea to our new lifestyle. I can only do what I can in one day. I want to spend enough time with my children to really enjoy them and watch them grow. I want to hear about their day and the things that they care about. Sharing time with them learning new experiences that they can look back on with fondness is also really important. I want to work with my husband as a team to make our home our greatest accomplishment.

I also hope to stop being so harsh about the house. We are in a state of transition where we are venturing away from the only lifestyle we have ever known. I have never made bread or laundry soap before. I have never started our entire garden from seeds before either. Sometimes the things that we are doing have a big learning curve and take so much more time than the way we have previously done them. I need to to find the satisfaction in the journey we are taking rather than in a destination that doesn't exist for us yet. The laundry can pile up, the dinners can be a bit boring once in awhile and the blanket that I planned to crochet may just be big enough to cover a doll but we are learning together. We are sharing experiences. Taking time to laugh at our blunders and celebrate the little successes will only make these experiences more enjoyable. Some days we will accomplish great feats (potty training completely?) and others like today I will just have to be satisfied with accomplishing just enough.


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