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Maybe you've heard this old parable:

Imagine the most important things in life are five or six smooth stones.  A glass jar represents YOU, the potential impact and value of your life.  Fit the stones into the jar, and pour some gravel into the gaps.  The capacity of the jar is finite, but with the large stones placed first, there's room for many small additional items.

If you reverse the process, and fill the jar with gravel, it's impossible to fit the larger, valuable stones.  You can't force them in, no matter how hard you push.

Many of us are in that situation.  Our lives are full of trivia -- shopping and chores, junk food and junk mail, debt and dissatisfaction.  Or our career stone is so large that nothing else fits except stress and loneliness.

We really do value family, friends, health, spirituality, kindness, and world peace.  But our jars are crammed with junk, and we sacrifice time, talent, and energy to insignificant things.  We keep pushing, but that just causes burnout.

The good news is that we can dump out our jars and get priorities right this time.  We can let minimalism be our guide.

Minimalism helps us choose our essentials and spend our time and energy where it matters.  We add just enough gravel to help support those precious stones, not crowd them out.  We leave a bit of empty space for future ideas and experiences, margin that allows us to flex and improve.

Minimalism frees us to live our best life.

I'm Karen Trefzger, and I started this website to write about the contentment and purpose I've found through minimalism.  I'm a writer, singer, and teacher; a wife, mother, and grandmother.  I love reading, learning, and solving hard crosswords in pen.  My favorite place is Sonoma County, California, with its ocean, redwoods, vineyards, and historic towns.

I also struggle with food addictions and obesity, and my family and I continue to experience the challenges of having a transgender child.  While these issues don't define this blog, they have a huge impact on my life.  Sometimes I'll share thoughts about diet and health, or relationships and faith.

Maximum Gratitude Minimal Stuff means:  Take joy in what's important to you, and realize how blessed you are.  Live with less clutter, busyness, and stress so you have room for all the best things in life.


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