Monday, November 11, 2019

Three Sentences


Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash


When I was a young mother, if you had asked what was most dear to me, what were my absolute highest priorities, I wouldn't have hesitated to say my husband and kids.  There would have been no question in my mind that they were the center of my life.

I wouldn't have said my greatest concern was my house or its decor or the list of things I wanted to buy to "improve" it.  I wouldn't have said it was food, or my next diet.  I wouldn't even have said it was singing, or pursuing my next role.  After all, I had chosen to home school my kids, and opera singing was now a hobby.

I wouldn't have said so, but that's where my thoughts, efforts, and money went.


Friday, November 8, 2019

A Recipe for Mindless Living


Photo by John Tuesday on Unsplash



Looking for a foolproof method to wreck your ability to be present for your own life?  Just follow The American Plan, a twelve step program for mindlessness, guaranteed to leave you numb and disengaged:

1.  As soon as you're awake, pick up your phone and flick through social media feeds and email.



Monday, November 4, 2019

When a Loved One Won't Stop Shopping


Photo by Freestocks.org on Unsplash


I used to use gift-giving as an excuse to shop.

I had a little shopping addiction, and craved that rush of pleasure you get when you acquire something new.  But when I didn't really need anything, I had to find a way to manage the guilt of buying for no reason.

So I'd buy a gift.  I could always come up with a gift-giving occasion -- maybe Mother's Day was only a month away, or a colleague had a birthday on the horizon, or I thought I'd save an item for Christmas.  (I had a closet full of potential gifts.)



Friday, November 1, 2019

Live Like Every Day Matters


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash



It's November 1, and you can't go into any store without seeing evidence that as far as marketers are concerned, the Christmas season is here.  There might be a little corner devoted to Thanksgiving, but since that holiday has been celebrated by retailers since Labor Day, it's already getting old, even though, by the calendar, it's still nearly four weeks away.

I don't know about you, but the continued pushing forward of every season (bikinis on sale in January, for example) and every holiday kills the anticipation for me.  Change is a natural part of life, and it's good to plan and prepare for it, but it's also good to pay attention to what's happening right now, and to find ways to savor what today has to offer.



Monday, October 28, 2019

Experiments in Living With Less


Photo by Coen Van Den Broek on Unsplash



Many of us long for a simpler life free from the burden of our stuff, but we don't know how to achieve it.  We are overwhelmed, and we feel trapped in our current way of life.  But deep down, we believe that change could bring a huge payoff:  more time and energy, more money, more freedom, more generosity, less stress, less debt, and less distraction.  But how do we go about making that change?

Why not creatively experiment with a more minimalist approach to life to see whether the benefits are worth the effort?



Friday, October 25, 2019

I'm Dreaming of a Simpler Christmas


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I know it's early, and I dislike rushing Christmas, but... if you want to simplify your holidays this year, now is the time to be thinking and planning for that!  And just in time, I've created a fantastic resource for you.  My newest book, Minimalism for the Holidays is available now on Amazon Kindle (which can be read on any device, even your computer, with their free app) and in a beautiful paperback edition!  Look for the link in the sidebar.

Meanwhile, here's a sneak peak:

*****

I don't want to do it this year.  Just thinking about it is depressing.

I'm talking about the Christmas that starts now, before Halloween.  I'm talking about the canned music, the packed parking lots, the over-heated stores, the ads, and the wish lists.  The jam-packed schedules, plastic reindeer, and way too much food.

Some people thrive on the noise and the hype and the busyness.  I too used to believe I loved all of that.  But when I think about what really makes me happy, it doesn't look anything like the Modern American Christmas.  In fact, almost everything about the MAC makes me think I'm missing something that should be wonderful.

Would you like to join me?



Monday, October 21, 2019

You Can Make A Difference


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


There are billions of people in the world who wish their biggest problems were a cluttered house, an over-busy schedule, picky kids, and that extra 20 pounds.

Billions of people don't worry if they have the latest phone, the trendiest clothes, nail art, or a luxury car.  They worry about food, water, and shelter.  They worry that a mosquito bite will make them sick, or that their child will have to leave school to work in a factory for pennies like they do.

We didn't choose to be born with all the blessings we have.  We didn't steal anything.  But if we keep it all for ourselves, and indulge in cheap products made by the poor and exploited, then we're doing wrong.