Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let The Dust Settle

There has been a lot of talk in the minimalist world about the fad of simplicity.

(Okay this talk was a little while ago, but after the craziness I had last week I still felt it important to bring it up.  Even if it turns out to be a history lesson.  Important all the same)

The word on the street is everyone is doing it and simplicity has gone mainstream.  Everett Bogue, an early leader in the minimalist movement, went off his rocker, kicked minimalist living to the curb (or at least his blog) and instead created a weird cyborg fantasy world.

Other minimalists responded.  Tammy Strobel discussed if simplifying is mainstream what about societies pull?  The constant consumerism thrown in your face everywhere you turn (i.e. commercials).  Mike Donghia over at The Art of Minimalism responded by discussing how minimalism is a lifestyle, so much more than just a whim of society.

All this talk got me thinking a lot about why I'm choosing the simple lifestyle, and sharing it with everyone else.  Is it just a phase I'm going through?

I don't think so.

I enjoy simplicity.  Sometimes.  I'll have to be honest and tell you I get bored easily, very easily. And I am still learning the process of freeing my time, really freeing it and not trying to fill it with more stuff.

I think my simplifying journey is primarily motivated by fear.  The fear of getting stuck in the complacency of life.  Drowning in the sea of the status quo.  Stressed to the max by age 40.  Waking up one morning wondering where my life went, realizing I've missed out on the precious moments I can never get back.

We only get one round at this thing called life.  I hope to make the most of it.  And my plan is simple.  If I can make my surroundings, my schedule, my environment less complex, maybe I can slow down and experience my life.

But I don't believe you have to be extreme to accomplish this.

I think you can take small steps and experience the joys of simple living without selling everything you own and living out of a backpack.

The idea is simple, it's not easy.

We've all been there.  Looked at the 'celebrities' in our life and wondering how we could ever get to that point.  When I was younger I thought I was going to be the next Sheryl Swoopes.

You see it don't you?

But then I kind of skipped the grueling hours of practice, working out at the gym, and bypassing the butter.

And I got discouraged, easily.  You just want to give up.  Until you realize you can't be someone else.  It's taken me a while but I've realized I don't want to live someone else's life. I want to experience my own joys and my own failures.

To discover my own path.

So that's my roundabout way of getting to the new heading and banner.  The new direction.

Simple Not Crazy.  I have to give my better half the credit for this, since he cleverly thought of it while we were discussing my whole reasoning behind this blog.  I love that word crazy.  I say it all the time.  It can be applied to so many situations.

Her hair is crazy

 I work like crazy

My Mom is a crazy quilting machine

Love like crazy

And it's a perfect description of my goal in life.  To obtain simple living with out being extreme, or crazy.  Something all of us average Joes (JoAnns?) can accomplish.

It's simple things WE can start doing today. And we don't have to move into a little house (150 sq ft), give away all of our money, or quit our day jobs.

It's simple things like:

Taking a lunch break.  Or cutting back our hours spent working.

Investing your time, energy, and gifts in things that matter.  Things that 50 years from now you will be so glad you did.

Escaping financial stress by living on a budget.

Giving away some of your stuff.

Taking time for yourself, so you can take care of the whole you (mentally, physically, emotionally).

Experiencing true beauty and not feel guilty for taking time out for it.

Noticing the small things.

Experiencing love and soaking it in.

Being aware of what makes you want to complicate your life.  Resisting societies pull.


The idea is simple, it's not easy.

So I'm not changing, or starting a revolution.  I just want my readers to know where I'm coming from. They 'Why?' behind this crazy story of mine.

To take a moment and bask in the fact that simplifying is a journey, a learning process.  One we don't necessarily have to be very far along, but a journey none the less.  And sometimes that is my only saving grace.

I leave you with a quote from Kristin van Ogrop, the managing editor of Real Simple magazine:

"Even a millionaire can live a simple life.  Simplicity is a mindset," she says. "It's not so much about what you have and how much you have, but how you think about your life."

On the journey,

Thanks to Amanda for the super cool font.


http://adventurezinchildrearing.blogspot.com said...

blog looks great! hope your crazy life is going well- lol
i use that word a lot too!
workin on simplifing myself- not to be trendy- but because i can't stand clutter and yet somehow have managed to accumulate way too much of it...... spring cleaning is underway!
funny, how happy that makes me!

Simplifying in the South said...

Thanks, I'm really glad you like it. Getting rid of the clutter is a great way toward simplifying! Good luck with the Spring Cleaning!

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