Thursday, November 28, 2019

We Need Grace


Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash



What is "grace?"

"Grace" has the same root as "gracias."


1.  When we say grace, we are thankful.
We pause, notice, and appreciate.  By focusing on all that is good in our lives, we crowd out more negative thoughts.  So by practicing gratitude, our blessings seem to multiply.


Monday, November 25, 2019

Your Personal Minimalist Holiday


Photo by jeshoots.com on Unsplash



I guarantee that a minimalist mindset will make your holidays more joyful.  And no, I'm not envisioning a Little House on the Prairie Christmas with candy canes and handkerchiefs for gifts.

Simply put, managing your money, time, and energy during the holidays will bring more peace and comfort to your days, now and into the new year.  When you find out what matters most to you, and focus your attention and resources on those things, the return is far greater than what you'll get from trying to buy and do it all.



Friday, November 22, 2019

Ten First Steps


Photo by June Admiraal on Unsplash


There are many ways to start down a minimalist path; it's not a one-size-fits-all blueprint.  See if any of these ideas resonate with you:



Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Minimalist Black Friday


Photo by Xiaolong Wong on Unsplash


HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY!

Yes, it was exactly one year ago today that I published my first post... and today I'll share a revision of that post.



"Are you ready for Black Friday?"

It was just friendly chitchat from a store clerk, but it caught me by surprise.  The aisles were packed with people shopping for Thanksgiving dinner ingredients, just as I was.  But in our consumerist culture, Thanksgiving Day has become Black Friday Eve.  The real event is a long weekend of shopping.



Monday, November 18, 2019

Just Start


Photo by Jurien Huggins on Unsplash


I had another post scheduled for today, but it came to me while I was watching my husband do push-ups at 5:30 this morning that I needed to write again about habits.

Many of us have good habits that were taught to us (nagged into us) when we were small, such as "wash your hands" and "brush your teeth" and "turn off the lights when you leave a room."  (My dad was a stickler for that last one!)



Friday, November 15, 2019

Put Your Blinders On


Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash



You don't need to know exactly where you'll end up in order to begin.

Minimalism is not a one-size-fits-all blueprint.  It does not look the same for everyone, because minimalism is all about discovering the people, activities, and things that have value for you, and minimizing the things that take time, money, and energy away from what you value.

I can't write a prescription or step-by-step road map for your minimalist journey.  I can give you ideas, suggestions, and challenges to help you question, test, and reveal what minimalism looks like for you and your family in your current situation and time of life.  I can try to inspire you on your way.

What I have no intention of doing is laying blame on you.  Clutter and overwhelm may strongly impact your life today, but clutter doesn't need to define or limit you.  It doesn't need to have a say in your life going forward.

You can change that picture.



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.