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Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life - Page 9

post #161 of 199
Yeah, I was trying to figure out where the judgement came from too. I thought this thread was really helpful and supportive!
post #162 of 199
LTB, I'm sorry you feel like you might not fit in here and I hope you'll reconsider. I think simple living is very subjective, just like spirituality is. What might work or be a goal for one person might not for another.

For me this thread is about getting tips and ideas and supporting each other's simple living goals. I also find that I've been inspired by most of the people here.

Amy, we sent out Holiday cards this year, just like every other year. I love sending and receiving holiday cards. I've already had two people thank me for their card. One said it was the first one she's received in a long time and it meant a lot to her. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
post #163 of 199
Amy1st, I wasn't aiming my post at you at all. And the judgmental attitude I recognized wasn't from every poster on the thread. My post wasn't meant to be an attack so I apologize if it came across that way.
post #164 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtsGirl View Post
Amy, we sent out Holiday cards this year, just like every other year. I love sending and receiving holiday cards. I've already had two people thank me for their card. One said it was the first one she's received in a long time and it meant a lot to her. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
We just sent ours out today! I did pare it down a bit. DH picked out the pics to put on the card- one of us, the family w Santa (at our town tree lighting), and one of the girls hugging that I took a few months ago and DH said- thats the Xmas card pic!

LTBears (oh my!) had to say that after of course! But glad you didnt think I was being mean or judgemental. I hope you stick around and see how much of a contributor you are to this!

post #165 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
Amy1st, I wasn't aiming my post at you at all. And the judgmental attitude I recognized wasn't from every poster on the thread. My post wasn't meant to be an attack so I apologize if it came across that way.
I hear ya I didn't think you were attacking and in fact, I do my "simple life" things much like you. I do notice that I now have 20 skirts instead of 50 but, like you, I wear all 20 and don't feel the need to get rid of more... for now.... I did relate to your post and I'm glad you posted it (and your follow up). You were just stating a different way of viewing a more simple/minimalist life.
I take a simple life into every aspect - what does it mean to be simple... sometimes, for me, it may not mean that all my clothes comes from Goodwill but if I DO buy something new, I usually only buy it from White House Black Market (or insert ONE brand) - that to me simplifies what for me is overly complicated... there are just too many brands / styles / combos and THAT makes ME neurotic so I "simplify" that way by "de-complicating" it I don't even look at magazines or whatever, just one store/thing.
Or.... simple for me is even just understanding (and explaining to my 3 yr old) food sources. Not to sound all Omnivore's Dilemna but tying back what we eat to where it came from. If I can't explain it to my daughter (read: Morningstar Chikin Nuggets) then I try to limit it. Easier said than done.
Anyhow, this post is just to say that I understood where you were coming from just adding that simple life stuff can come in a billion different (and in my case ridiculously silly) forms.
Perhaps for me, it is just the start down a journey that WILL lead to extreme minimalism (personally I think I WOULD love this) but it is going to come in its own time and THAT I'm ok with
I think this thread has been pricelessly helpful and supportive, no matter your take on simple/minimalist life
post #166 of 199
We all do it differently. Very few would do what we do. Somehow I've become radical without any intention of doing so. I call it "radical in a moderately conservative kind of way". lol

I am not too interested in the organizing/decluttering aspect of simplicity. That's just because it doesn't come naturally to me. I'm sure I'll get more interested as it gets closer to moving time. Still far enough in the future that I can ignore it

I do believe it can be deeply related to spirituality. In fact, I will be presenting our way simplicity at a church group next month and a retreat at the local monastery next summer. I've got to get started on what aspect I want to focus on. There is so much to cover and so many ways to do it.

LTB, don't get turned off. Steer it in the direction you want it to go.
post #167 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
its knowing you dont have to do anything and everything because someone else feels its the thing to do.
This is such a simple statement, but I find it so difficult to live out. DH and I were talking about this the other night. I told him that we've gotten so caught up in modern culture that sometimes I have to close my eyes and concentrate, and I'm still not sure I have a clear handle on what *I* want to do. I mentioned a couple of events we attended that I didn't really want to go to and didn't enjoy. We went out of a feeling of obligation. DH said that he, too, felt the same. So, we spent money on something we didn't enjoy. We had to convince the kids to be quiet constantly. I eventually went out with DD and had a much better time talking about the holiday decorations in store windows. Plus, DH and I both came home exhausted and (yet again) too tired to do anything meaningful together.

I'm so ready for something different.
post #168 of 199
Originally Posted by me
its knowing you dont have to do anything and everything because someone else feels its the thing to do


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
This is such a simple statement, but I find it so difficult to live out. DH and I were talking about this the other night. I told him that we've gotten so caught up in modern culture that sometimes I have to close my eyes and concentrate, and I'm still not sure I have a clear handle on what *I* want to do. I mentioned a couple of events we attended that I didn't really want to go to and didn't enjoy. We went out of a feeling of obligation. DH said that he, too, felt the same. So, we spent money on something we didn't enjoy. We had to convince the kids to be quiet constantly. I eventually went out with DD and had a much better time talking about the holiday decorations in store windows. Plus, DH and I both came home exhausted and (yet again) too tired to do anything meaningful together.

I'm so ready for something different.
Most of what I stated is so easy to write but it is very difficult to live out or put into your life. For me, its taken a few years to do just that. I am glad you both are on the same page and can sort out what is what you want and what is what others want or obligate you to do. But bring a few paddles to swim upstream while doing this.
post #169 of 199
We've had such a beautiful day today, and it made me think of this thread. We all got up - on our own without alarm clocks - and had a leisurely breakfast. Then DH and I drank coffee and played a board game while the kids played with their horse toys. Eventually they joined us. We played 2 games that everyone could play & enjoy. We had lunch. We talked, listen to DS make up a story. Somewhere along the way, DH and I got 2 loads of laundry done and the dishwasher unloaded. We're all relaxing on our own for 1/2 hour before we go on a short hiking trail. I told DH that this is really what I want from our lives. It's really given me a new desire to move our lives toward this type of environment.
post #170 of 199
This is a great thread! I am very interested in this topic.
post #171 of 199
How was everyone's Holiday? We did pretty great this year, only I somehow ended up with three snuggies, lol. I feel kind of bad for donating gifts I don't like and don't want straight over to goodwill but I don't want them cluttering up my home.

Brandi, we had a similar Sunday. It was great! We did everything at our own pace. We relaxed, ate, did some laundry, DW took the dog for a walk, played games, it was just great.

I've been reading over some of the books that were recommended in this thread and I'm really starting to grasp what simple living means to me. Its not just the clutter in the house but also the clutter in my head. I'm really enjoying them.

I used to hang my laundry out to dry. I did it then because it was more environmentally friendly and it saved on our power bill. But for some reason I stopped and went back to using the dryer. Yesterday was a gorgeous day here and I hung the laundry out again for the first time in a long time. It reminded me of another reason I loved hanging laundry, being outside. I felt really present yesterday and it was a great feeling!

Hope everyone had a great holiday!
post #172 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtsGirl View Post
How was everyone's Holiday? We did pretty great this year, only I somehow ended up with three snuggies, lol. I feel kind of bad for donating gifts I don't like and don't want straight over to goodwill but I don't want them cluttering up my home.
Have you considered donating them to non-profits instead? Since we are currently getting rid of *tons* of stuff, I've been seeking out non-profits. It's a bit more legwork, but it feels much better than dropping things off at Goodwill. My plan of attack has become 1) appropriate non-profit; 2) Freecycle; then 3) Goodwill for big groups of things or items that are really nice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtsGirl View Post
Brandi, we had a similar Sunday. It was great! We did everything at our own pace. We relaxed, ate, did some laundry, DW took the dog for a walk, played games, it was just great.
Awesome, isn't it? I hope we can have many more days like that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtsGirl View Post
I've been reading over some of the books that were recommended in this thread and I'm really starting to grasp what simple living means to me. Its not just the clutter in the house but also the clutter in my head. I'm really enjoying them.
Yes, the clutter "in my head" is much of the problem. Our library doesn't have many of the book slisted in the thread, but I'll be looking for some of them.
post #173 of 199
I thought Goodwill was non-profit, am I wrong?

Also for the books, see if your library has an interlibrary loan program. That's how I got the ones I'm reading now.
post #174 of 199
This is where I was hoping the discussions would turn. I am searching out voluntary simplicity, but still working out what it means to me. While decluttering our home is important to me, I am well aware that I need to declutter my brain too. It seems the discussions about simplicity often get stuck on decluttering our stuff, but there seems to be much more to it than that. I do already have a somwhat decluttered home so I am at a comfortable level to not make it my daily focus.

Burtsgirl - those are the days I LOVE! I thrive on them being mixed in with our regular social acitivities which I also enjoy.

The current book I have been reading on the subject of simplicity are http://www.amazon.com/Simplicity-Par.../dp/0345507975 and http://www.simpleliving.net/main/item.asp?itemid=511. The first book is helping me be a calmer parent who creates rhythm & ritual into our home. The second one has made me think about what simplicity means. This book is a study done on 200 or so participants, many who have simplified there lives/families, but all define it differently.

I thought about that when a pp poster said she didn't necesarily fit in here, but I say you do. We all have valuable thoughts and opinions to share on the subject.

What I am working on is keeping schedules at a comfortable level, scheduling stay home days (hard with kids in school), not buying things (putting them off until next week, maybe another week after that and questioning whether the purchase adds value to my life) and ofcourse decluttering (but trying not to make it the #1 focus). Once I have incorporated the above into my life, I will gradually add more as I further define meaning of simplicity for myself.

So today, I do need to take my ds7 to allergy shots, but then we have no plans. I know what I will be making for dinner, if I am missing anything we need/want we will have time to walk to the store to buy it. In the mean time, if I come across items to declutter, I will set them aside to bring to our local thrift store when the box is full.
post #175 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurtsGirl View Post
I thought Goodwill was non-profit, am I wrong?
Yes, Goodwill is absolutely non-profit. The money they receive goes to helping people with barriers to employment (physical/mental disabilities, non-English-speaking, criminal histories, at-risk youth, etc.). They fund job-training programs and help kids stay in school and get job experience. Things like that.

However, they don't give vouchers for store items like clothing, shoes and housewares to those in need (as far as I know - I'm in the Austin area; other areas may be different). I like to donate to a thrift store that does.
post #176 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Hill View Post
Yes, Goodwill is absolutely non-profit.
Yes. I didn't mean to suggest that Goodwill isn't non-profit. The Goodwill in our area doesn't do as much to fund people as they've done in other places where I live. I was just saying that for me it feels better to donate things to groups that need it for free to give to their clients. When we moved north, my family bought me millions of blankets so I didn't freeze to death. So, we donated a bunch to a transitional home for men because they're always in need of good blankets for the people who live there. It just feels better for me, especially when donating new stuff.
post #177 of 199
This thread has really revived my committment to minimalist living. We are leaving in week for Texas and I have 2 huge empty bins in the extra bedroom. I am going to fill them with things I THINK I can live without and see how I feel when I come back. I just want to have a clean, tidy place to come home to. I will let you know how it goes!!! : )
post #178 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags.bubble View Post
This is where I was hoping the discussions would turn. I am searching out voluntary simplicity, but still working out what it means to me. While decluttering our home is important to me, I am well aware that I need to declutter my brain too. It seems the discussions about simplicity often get stuck on decluttering our stuff, but there seems to be much more to it than that. I do already have a somwhat decluttered home so I am at a comfortable level to not make it my daily focus.

Burtsgirl - those are the days I LOVE! I thrive on them being mixed in with our regular social acitivities which I also enjoy.
I agree that most people deal with outward clutter first. It's the first thing you think about when you think about living simply. It wasn't till I started reading that I really understood that simplicity needs to be outward and inward.

I'm reading the Simple Living Guide, along with some others, and just got through the chapter on living deliberately and in the present. I so hope for that in my life and I'm hoping to work toward that this year.

For the longest time I thought I needed to create the perfect conditions on the outside, ie small, simple house in the country, off the grid, farming, creating, etc before I could start living simply. This book has open my mind to the concept of creating the perfect conditions within and when that happens you're living simply wherever you are.

Don't get me wrong, my future dreams, still include the small family farm in the country, enjoying slow time, and earning a living from doing something we love. But that's way off for us.

I need to find simplicity in the life I currently have. Schedules certainly play a role in that. We both work full time, have hobbies, friends, family, and I'm getting ready to start school at night. It's not going to be easy but being aware and present will help.

I have to watch myself sometimes because I get so excited about something and end up creating more work than is necessary for myself only to crash and burn out. I don't really want that to happen with this.

I love the idea of creating a stay-at-home day, or a day of rest once a week. I'm trying to figure out how to make that possible for us. We do most of our grocery shopping and other running around on the weekend because we just don't have time to do it otherwise. Definitely going to take some thought to work out for us.

I'd love to hear more suggestions/advice/further conversation on living simply within.
post #179 of 199
Subbing.
post #180 of 199
I would love to join you all. I strive for simple living. Anything else just causes too much stress for me & my family. Some of the things we are currently focusing on: We have a very simple, uncluttered home. We limit outside activities to what is doable for us. We spend lots of time together as a family camping. We love to do nature-related outings. We go to the library regularly. I knit for myself & the family. We are considering buying a property w/our ILs, where we would each have our own living quarters, but share a lot of day to day activities.

A couple challenges I face when maintaining our simple living style are:
1. We tend to become socially isolated, as we are not involved in much. Invitations stop coming when you keep refusing.
2. Our children are getting to the age where they want to do more, not less. For example, if they each want to do an after school activity, then we would be out almost every day of the week. We try to take turns w/activities, or have them all involved in the same thing for simplicity (currently 3 of the 4 are playing basketball) and that helps.
3. Other kids, most kids it seems, are involved in soooo much I worry that our own kids will be left behind.
I would love to hear how others manage these areas. (Forgive me if this has already been addressed. I am working my way through the 9 pages, but have not finished yet!)
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