Life’s obligations and daily tasks can seem out-of-control. We spin around in a whirlwind trying to get everything done, reach goals, and achieve. The older I get, and the more I try to simplify, I wonder who we are trying to impress? Why do we run ourselves to the point of exhaustion chasing materialistic things? How many people are going to see our home decked out in décor that costs us thousands of dollars?
When I really ask myself these critical questions, I truly don’t have a good answer. I am burning myself out trying to accomplish so many things, to do what, post on Facebook?
It’s not adding up nor aligning with my core values of what I value most in life.
I want to share some of the easy things I am changing, or have changed since doing a life overhaul. I want to show how my life is slowing down and becoming easier. The most amazing thing is that nobody misses all the pointless extra things I was doing to impress, such as my wardrobe, fancy house knickknacks, my car, house chores. Everyone that I was trying to impress hasn’t missed a beat. The difference is that I can breathe easier, and calm down.
Here are just a few things that is making a major impact in my life.
- Simplifying my wardrobe. I have two small baskets full of clothing. Laundry is less. I am more creative in putting together outfits. My jewelry is being used as accessories and speaking for my style, instead of the amount of clothes in my closet.
- Using one coffee cup. Ok, this can be for anything that you use too much of. Recently, I was using 1-2 different coffee cups a day. I would misplace one, and instead of look for it, grab another. By the end of the day or week (whenever I had a second to do dishes), I would have a whole load of dishes to clean! Just coffee cups. Now, I am dedicated to only one that I re-use all day long, rinse, and then use again the next day. There are no more coffee cups piled in my car floorboard either!
- Meditation. For a long time, I was bustling around the house doing chores just trying to keep up with my stuff, along with my family’s mess. Now, I take a bath at night for my own sanity. It’s a few moments for me to let my thoughts settle, relax, and enjoy. While relaxing, I spend a few moments meditating on my breath. I breathe deeply and allow my thoughts and feeling to arise, but then acknowledge, and let go. It is a great practice on keeping calm, and not letting crazy thoughts and feeling rule. I basically just “put them to bed.” So, by the time I am actually ready for bed, my mind is still and my body is relaxed.
- Lunch. I am bad about grabbing fast food on my work lunch break. Even though I get things on my diet (low carb), it adds up to about $200 a month. Instead, I snack on peanuts, cheese, and sugar-free snacks when I’m hungry. This is saving me so much money, and I am still satisfied until dinner time.
- Tackling debt. I have debt. And it is getting really old. Right now, I have a plan to pay off all outstanding credit card debt by this summer. I am not purchasing anything unnecessary, following a budget, bringing my lunch, and not buying energy drinks!
- Letting go. One thing that has been bugging is the anger I have held on to by household chores. I am blaming my children and husband for not picking up after themselves and making too many messes. Well, don’t you know that when I simplified my wardrobe, laundry is so tiny? When I re-use my dishes our sink isn’t over flowing. I am not taking responsibility for other people’s mess any more. For so long, I took it upon myself to clean up. No more. I am taking care of my own mess.
- Washing dishes without the dishwasher. I know, I know. I can’t believe I am saying this! It dawned on me that I am working extra by unloading the dishwasher, rinsing dirty dishes, loading the dishwasher, putting away, and repeat. If I just throw a little soap while pre-rinsing anyway, along with a swipe or two of a rag, I have clean dishes the first time! It saves time in the long run, and I always have clean dishes waiting for me. And, I don’t get in a tizzy when I have dishes drying on the countertop. My family usually uses them up a dinnertime anyway.
- Facbook hiatus. I’m off Facebook. I’m writing and creating designs for my Etsy shop instead. I’m doing and creating my passions instead of watching other people’s lies on social media. Nobody misses my absence either, isn’t that a shame? Not really, that just shows that everyone is just bored and wasting time.
This is not all of the benefits minimalism brings, but these are quite a few that I have noticed making a really big impact right now. The main thing is to start. If something needs to be changed or simplified, just change it already! Don’t wait like I have. I waited on others to provide for me or make things better, when it should have been coming from me all along! We are responsible for our lives and what we create. Let’s make sure we create where it truly counts.