Thursday, September 11, 2014

Project 333

Although I tend to jump into new things with both feet, minimalism is something I've been working at slowly. I was initially coming from a place of great excess, spending more than I was earning and using "things" to make me feel better about myself. I didn't see it then, but these days I'm often struck by how far I've come in my approach to consumerism and money. Mind you, I still have a long way to go.  Its not a race, its a process that can take a lifetime and in order to fully learn from the experience, I can't rush through it. So far, the journey has been messy, flawed and full of learning.

One of the areas of minimalism and simplicity that has always been difficult for me is paring down my closet, makeup and accessories. I've always been conflicted about these things; on the one hand, I've loved makeup and fashion since I was a little girl, on the other hand I don't like how important our appearance seems to be, particularly for women. There's two sides of me constantly debating the joys and merits of indulging in this guilty pleasure while recognizing its inherent superficiality. As a result, I've struggled to keep my clothing to a minimum and to truly embrace this aspect of living a simple life.

After grumping around one morning last week, lamenting once again that I had "nothing" to wear, I stumbled on Project 333 again. I've read about this concept before and thought it sounded like a great idea, but I wasn't really interested. Something about it spoke to me this week though, and I decided to give it a shot. Two days ago I picked out 33 items from my closet including clothes and accessories (I didn't include shoes because I love them too much. Baby steps.) I boxed up the rest and vowed to wear only these 33 items (not including outerwear, underwear and gym clothe

s) for the next three months.

Already, I'm amazed at how peaceful I feel looking at my closet, with so much empty space and so few choices. I'm amazed at how many combinations I've already thought of for those few items, and how much easier it is to get dressed in the morning. I'm hoping I'll learn alot over the next few months about what I really like and don't like. I'm hoping I can redefine the word "need" when it comes to clothes, and find a way to embrace both fashion and simplicity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The space between

Lately, I've been craving two concepts: space, and peace. These thoughts have crept into my mind repeatedly over the summer.

I've been feeling a constant drive to clear out my house, declutter my mind, strip down my possessions and silence the noise.  I used to write all the time, when I was younger. These days my tired momma brain feels to weary to chug to life in front of the keyboard or even to bring pen to paper before closing my eyes at night. The words don't come as easily, dulled by chronic sleep deprivation combined with seemingly endless to do lists and worsened by lack of practice.

Time seems short and there's always too much to do.

I've struggled with blogging over the years although I long to maintain a consistent writing practice. Writing is, for me, a spiritual exercise. I've debated giving up on the whole idea many times, but just when I'm about to throw in the towel my energy is renewed and I decide to continue. Perhaps its a sign that I need to write.

Our simplicity journey has been challenged this summer. We've caught ourselves spending too much, wasting time, avoiding the garden that just didn't want to grow this year, exhausted by life and raising kids and forgetting our goal of being more self-sufficient. I've felt overwhelmed so many times with the seemingly monumental task of just keeping everyone fed and the house in relative order.

I'm hoping that the change of seasons will help us remember our goals and gently nudge ourselves back onto our path. I'm hoping this will bring the space, the peace I so desperately want. I've bought myself a journal so that I can steal a few moments each day to write and reflect and hopefully share some of those thoughts on this blog. I'm reminding myself is the journey, not the destination.