everything else is a ‘no’

Nothing seemed simple about last year. Full, but not simple.

With some like-minded community members, I started a Toy Library which you can read about here. Then amid my husband’s law school graduation and Bar preparation, we moved to a new town (where he now works) and awaited the arrival of our sweet second child, now five months old. In the Fall I started the last year of my graduate program in the midst of a 12-week maternity leave from my full-time job.

With the new year comes a renewed commitment to live simply and fully, and thus my mantra has become: “Say yes to what matters most, everything else is a ‘no’.”

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Blogging has become a ‘yes’ again. It was essential as I dipped my toes into the practice of minimalism that I had the support and accountability of a like-minded community. But after awhile I felt I was writing what had already been said (not very minimalist indeed), so I let it go.

A year later, here I am with a bigger family, in a bigger house, in a smaller town (though, ironically, we’re saving more money having moved out of the city). I am recommitting myself to living simply and fully. In truth, nothing narrows one’s focus to that which matters most like the cry of an infant needing to be nursed. It acts as a great check on my regularly hurried state, forcing me to sit down and settle in for a moment, to breathe, relax and enjoy my family.

While I have stuck with my minimalist mindset, some old habits have been slipping back into my routines. It shows in my expanded wardrobe, which I blame on pregnancy and nursing (but still!), and in my spacious new home which we’re trying desperately to not fill with things.

Fortunately, my buying-averse mindset stuck around through my blogging hiatus. Whew, a year of blogging about living simply did a number on my consumption habits and I am thankful for that! I dread bringing anything new into our home, and I still think extensively before buying.

So, here we go again. I am grateful to be back among friends! Looking forward to continuing our journey together!

 

cutting back is adding

Why does someone attempting to live simply need a blog you might ask. I did. Why add to my screen time as I try to cut back on it? Well, as a new mother (of a now five-month-old), I need a place to both keep track of my efforts to make our family’s life simpler and richer and to hold myself accountable to them. To inspire myself and others by showing that cutting back is adding greatly.

I am not a perfectionist in this regard. I am not a minimalist out of some Utopian vision but rather out of necessity. In fact, I probably don’t qualify as a minimalist at all. But I am trying nonetheless to increase my time and happiness by decreasing my possessions. As my husband and I work and continue our educations and raise a small child in a smallish apartment, it is essential that we not accumulate any more than we need- in all respects. Need is relative I am finding, but in our tiny space, it is easy to feel that we have plenty more than enough.

Our lives are chaotic. But they don’t have to be. We just need to re-prioritize.

I found minimalism when I was pregnant and imaging all of the things that come with having a baby. Literally, things. And I read The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year. While not following all the advice, we have done well so far in our little one-bedroom.

So we’re pragmatic. I’m just seeing where this goes. Focusing more time, resources, and effort on health, loved ones, learning and growing and living with joy- simply and fully.