When Did I Become So Boring?

When Did I Become So Boring?

Tonight, I looked in the mirror of my soul and saw someone I didn’t expect. Boring Mom. Boring Wife. Boring Friend. Where did this mundane person come from? I used to be fun. I used to laugh more. There used to be an adventurous spirit somewhere in this cautious, fearful body and I’ve done some pretty courageous things. I’ve travelled to strange places. I’ve fired guns, rock-climbed and preached to prisoners. Fixing cars with my bare hands, racing friends on the highway and driving down deserted country back roads in the middle of the night were all common activities. Now, I make sure I’m in bed by 10, my seatbelt is always fastened, and I stick close to the speed limit. I always wash my hands before eating and I always follow the rules. I know – it’s the safe thing to do. I’ve matured. I’m a mother. Call it being responsible. But it’s boring. What happened to me? I confess to being a minimalist – to live with less and live the abundant life. But am I? Is this abundance? Is waking-up-and-realizing-it’s-Saturday-so-I-have-to-clean-the-toilets, living life? Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE being a wife and a homeschooling mom. I do find significant fulfillment in both these roles. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knitting, following rules or having safety awareness. The problem is I’ve stopped living. I’ve given in to the fear. Little by little, the fears and anxieties I’ve faced over the years have crept in. Instead of facing them and ‘doing it anyways’, I’ve let them win, one-by-one. And now I’m boring as I sit in...
Why You Have So Much Stuff (And What To Do About It)

Why You Have So Much Stuff (And What To Do About It)

Okay, I admit it. Most of my blog posts are essentially ‘fluff’. I can write and write about minimalism and how to cut back on your things, but the truth is, unless we get to the heart of the matter, not much will change. Why do we have so much stuff? I’ve thought of a few, real, soul-searching reasons: We’re Covering Pain – Feeling depressed? Go out and buy something. Worrying too much? Watch TV to forget about reality. Like overeating, shopping can cause a momentary high that we use as a way to cope with life. It’s a temporary means of escape. But like a drug, it’s addictive. It only lasts a moment and we’ll always have to go back for more. Finding Willpower is Too Hard – It’s no secret that our society teaches self-indulgence. We know we are bombarded with thousands of images a day taunting us to buy things. We know companies spend millions on finding ways to make their product appeal to us and convince us to buy. And with so much else going on in our lives, it’s easier to just give in and accumulate stuff than it is to work at building the willpower not to. No One Taught Us Differently – In the 1930s, people stretched every item and every dollar. There was no waste and people survived with very little just to make it through the Depression. Many generations have passed since then. Having parents who taught us how to be frugal and wise with our money is a thing of the past. Add in ease of access to credit...
8 Ways Decluttering Reduces Stress

8 Ways Decluttering Reduces Stress

Does the thought of decluttering cause you stress? What if you knew the result would do just the opposite? Here are eight stress-reducing results of decluttering: 1. You’ll Spend Less Time Cleaning – Owning less stuff means you have less stuff to clean up, dust around, put away and organize. This means it will take you less time to clean your home and you’ll have less stress about finding time to get it done. 2. It’s Freeing  – Decluttering your stuff also declutters your mind at the same time. Decluttering causes you to think about what is really important and let go of the unnecessary. This thought pattern can’t help but flow over from being about your stuff, to being about your life and your thoughts. 3. You’ll Have Fewer Choices to Make – Owning less will make it easier to find something to wear, something to read, or something to watch. Even though these are fairly simple decisions, it’s amazing how they can add to daily stress. 4. You’ll Get More Time – Owning less means having less to maintain. Less cleaning (#1), less maintaining, less shopping and less working to pay for it all. This all gives you more time to spend with family, with God, exercising, being outside and enjoying life. 5. You’ll Save Money – The more you have the more you need, and likewise, the less you have the less you need. Three cars means three cars to keep maintained and repaired. Four bedrooms instead of two means extra square footage to clean, fill with furniture, and pay a mortgage (or rent) on. Plus,...
What’s At The Heart of Minimalism?

What’s At The Heart of Minimalism?

In a follow-up to yesterday’s post ‘4 Common Myths of Minimalism‘, we’re exploring the true nature of minimalism. We talked about the amount of stuff you can own, the colour of minimalism and what you can buy. But these are really just the surface features of minimalism. So what is truly at the heart of living simply? It’s About Value – Minimalism is more than just decluttering and owning less. It’s about assessing your life. What do you value most? Why? What’s truly in your heart? It’s About More Time – Clearing out the clutter in your home is one thing – clearing out the clutter in your life is another. What’s more important? Bringing work home or playing with your children? Missing the gym one morning or connecting with an old friend? Slowing down helps you takes stock of what’s really important and adjust your schedule accordingly. Then when you do schedule something, you value its importance and live more fully in the moment. It’s About More God – Less distractions and more time allow you to focus more on God. The rushing through five dutiful minutes of reading the Bible and prayer in the morning changes into more heartfelt, dedicated God-time that continues throughout the day. Removing the clutter from your heart gives Him more space to move in your life. And most of all, minimalism can help you give up your own control and let God lead instead. Then you also have the time and ability to follow His direction – wherever that may lead. It’s About Being Unselfish – Living with less helps you see...
4 Common Myths of Minimalism

4 Common Myths of Minimalism

Since embracing minimalism, I’ve encountered more than one person who believes minimalism is something it’s not.  Today, we’re going to dispel four of those myths. I can’t own anything – Minimalism isn’t about giving away everything and living with one bowl and one outfit (although there are people that do that). It’s more of an individual decision. It’s living with what you need and keeping what you love. It’s breaking a habit of self-entitlement and excessive spending. It’s placing thoughtful value on certain things in your life and removing the excess. Only you can decide how much that entails. Everything will be white – Although I do find that when you search pictures of minimalist décor, you find a surplus of bare white rooms with a few pieces of white furniture, that’s not really what minimalism is. If you like white rooms with white furniture, then yes – that’s what it is for you. But if you like colour and you love your display of antiques, then that’s okay too. It’s personal preference. I can’t buy things – While living simply is bound to curb your spending, it doesn’t mean you can never buy things again. It does, however, cause you to make more thoughtful purchases. There’s enlightenment through deciding what is most important. What do you really need? What do you really like? There’s no big shopping sprees on your credit card where you buy everything because it’s on sale. There are planned purchases that you save for and end up loving because of the consideration behind it. I have found this makes shopping more enjoyable. Minimalism is...