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Showing posts from May, 2022

Stop Merely Escaping

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Too many of us trudge through the day.  We get up, go to work, take care of the chores, pay the bills, and go to bed, waking up to do it all over again. We're getting by, going through the motions.  Life works – sort of.  But we're not really happy.  We don't feel any sense of freedom or control, and we're certainly not energized or excited by very much. Sadly, this mechanical existence is so common that we think it's normal.  Maybe other people feel a sense of purpose, but our earlier years of achievement and goal setting seem far behind. If we have any goals left, they involve making more money, buying a new car or a bigger house, taking an Instagram-worthy vacation, or prepping our kids for a top university so they can get a good career, make good money – and end up just like us. This is a hard reality to face, so we don't face it.  Our way of dealing with it is not to deal with it.  How do we make it through another day? We pick up our phones and scroll, cli

And Now for Something Completely Different

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My friend Karen Cadera who works and blogs at teachyourchildpiano.com has created a blog bundle with five authors, including me.  Karen is a musician, teacher, and aspiring minimalist who has been subscribing to Maximum Gratitude Minimal Stuff for quite a while now.  She reached out and asked me to join the blog bundle, and I was pleased to do so.  This bundle includes several resources which are easily worth at least $100, but are available to all of you for FREE . Don't be fooled by the blog titles.  You don't have to be part of a homeschooling family to receive benefits from these posts and resources.  Any parent or grandparent can use ideas for improving family life or enriching their child's learning experiences, and every one of us can use reminders and ideas about living in the moment, practicing good habits, and making intelligent decisions about money and belongings. I hope you enjoy the work of these creative bloggers and download the FREE resources that will b

Accepting Change

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Change is in the air. This week in the Sacramento Valley temperatures are expected to be 90° F. (32° C.) or higher.  If you've been reading this blog for a while, you already know I dread summer heat and dryness.  And here in Northern California it is upon us, although I realize that some of you are barely recovered from winter and still reveling in the fresh beauties of spring. This is only the beginning, and we may still have some time before everything that isn't irrigated turns brown and the sky gets that hot glare (or worse, the brown pall that signals fire).  There may be some time before my enthusiasm and energy levels sink as the thermometer soars. Change.  It's inevitable.  Most of us dislike it, but I've heard more than once that the pain of change doesn't come from the change itself, but from resisting it.  And as far as the impending arrival of summer, that's what I'm doing – I'm resisting. It's silly, I know, because I have no control ov

Five Minute Minimalism

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How many posts have you read here at Maximum Gratitude Minimal Stuff ?  Have you also subscribed to Becoming Minimalist or Be More with Less or another minimalist blog?  Have you read about minimizing, thought about it, dreamed about it, but just haven't gotten started yet? Or maybe you did get a start – last year some time.  You did a first pass through your wardrobe, pared down the kids' toys, got rid of your chipped dishes and glassware, and donated a few dusty knickknacks to the Goodwill.  But then you stalled.  Decluttering can be a huge job, and you just lost steam. You can start again – it only takes five minutes. I know you have five minutes.  Five minutes is a commercial break.  You can scramble eggs or make a cup of tea in five minutes.  Forget scrolling through social media and take five minutes to get back into decluttering. 31 Five Minute Decluttering Tasks 1.  Declutter the contents of your purse. 2.  Clear off your dresser or nightstand. 3.  Declutter your unde

Welcome Little One!

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I'm so happy to introduce my third grandson, Liam!  After a difficult pregnancy, he was safely delivered a few weeks early late last month.  My daughter is well, my son-in-law continues to be a supportive husband and hands-on Dad, and big brothers Elliot and Damien think their baby sibling is "the cutest ever." You may not be a parent or a grandparent, but babies have something to teach us about minimalism.  They are the essence of maximum gratitude and minimal stuff.  They come to us needing only love, warmth, cleanliness, and mama's milk.  Sure, they don't sleep, eat, or poop on any kind of schedule, but we are thrilled to welcome them even so. Modern consumer culture has made babies Big Business, and the number of products sold as "necessities" grows every year.  Yet Liam is satisfied with so little:  his food, a clean diaper, a warm blanket, enfolding arms.  Along with his car seat, crib, a few clothes, and a short list of other essentials , his need