Monday, September 04, 2017

Simplicity in Assurance



One of my biggest difficulties and stress-makers in my life is that when I believe something or decide something, I feel like I need to convince everyone of my standing and get them on my side.

Knowing that others oppose me or have formed negative opinions of my beliefs or decisions hurts me very much.

I begin to doubt myself.
Question myself.
And, yes, even wonder if I am loved.

One thing that motherhood has taught me for sure, especially motherhood in this social media age, is that we MUST have ASSURANCE!

I used to waste hours arguing with people online.  Surely, if they would just read my words they would know that I am right and stop name-calling and pointing fingers.
I lost countless nights of sleep.

NO MORE!

Being a grown woman of God, a woman of maturity, a mother of growing minds and bodies, we absolutely must have assurance.

We must put on our big girl britches and own our choices, decisions, and beliefs.

As Christians, we gain wisdom from reading the Word and praying.
Blessed Assurance!

I am now both a homeschooling mother and a public school mother.
I belong the the local homeschooling group, and I will likely join the PTA.
I get a lot of side-eye and opinions from both sides!!

The worst right now is that because I exclusively public schooled last year, some question my ability to homeschool this year.
Thankfully, instead of giving in to their opinions of me and doubting myself and arguing with them to get them to see my side of it, I actually find their opinions useless and bothersome.

So, I take a boundary and, like Taylor Swift, shake it off.

I am a mature, grown woman of God, wife of one man, and mother of 4 beautiful and very different children.

I know my children.  I know myself.  I know that I am the only one who agonizes over each child, for what is best for them as individuals.
I am the one who researches late into the night.
I am the one who holds them and listens to their fears and their joys.
I am the one who felt their bodies and personalities grown within me.
I am the one God has given, through His Holy Spirit, the wisdom and understanding to be their mother.

Do I get it right every time?
no
And I own that, too.

So, mothers, rest assured in your choices for motherhood.
You don't need to waste a single moment on facebook arguing why you are still breastfeeding your 2 year old.
You don't owe anyone outside of the immediate authorities that be why you enrolled a child in public school.
You don't need to explain to anyone ad nauseum why you chose to homeschool again.
It is so much more simple to set a boundary and not try to persuade anyone whose business it isn't.

Because I'm the mother and that is what I decided.
With your head held high.
With true grit.
Assured.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Simplicity in Trying



Trying something new can be anything but simple.
Sometimes it takes everything we've got to try something.
But, there is a way to simplify trying.
Let go of the idea of failure.

I don't know where I picked this up from or how I got this in my head, but since childhood, I felt that if I wasn't good at something, I was a failure and somehow lost value, worthiness, or ability.
Consequently, I only really tried things I knew I where I could succeed.
Maybe it was because I preferred praise much more than the taunts of peers.

Trying something and finding out it isn't for you, it isn't what you thought it would be, it doesn't bring you the joy you hoped, it isn't a good fit for your life right now, or you really just aren't good at it and it is frustrating doesn't mean you failed.

You've actually moved forward!

I wanted to try raising goats.
A friend of mine kindly offered for me to care for two of her champion goats to try it out.  She even had goats lined up for me to purchase when I was ready.
I tried it, and decided it wasn't going to work out.
My health has been troubled.
My kids refused to drink the milk (which was a main reason I wanted them).
Sleeping in on the weekends is very important to me.
I felt like I failed, not only at goating, but I felt like I failed my friend who was so kind.
She reassured me that I didn't.
I felt like a failure before my husband, who wasn't too keen on me getting the goats, but agreed anyway so long as I did the work.
He never said, "I told you so."
I didn't fail.
I just found out it isn't a good fit for me now.

But, I learned new things.
I did the leg work to get the barn delivered.
I built the fencing, the milking station, the dividers.
I taught myself how to milk the goats.

I am better off now having tried than I was if I just didn't bother trying.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Simplicity in Hair



I will be heading to the hair salon, soon.
It is ready for a cut.

I keep it simple, though.
For fall and winter I like layers
By spring and summer the layers have grown out and are ready for easy up-dos.
August has me wearing a bun or a braid every day.
Simple, but done and nice.

Thankfully, a bun suits me.  Always has.

I do dye my hair now.
I keep that simple, too.
No expensive salon jobs.
Just boxes.

I stick to shades within my natural range so my roots aren't horrible.
In fall and winter I like a darker brown.
In spring, I go a little lighter.
By summer, I am a medium or dark strawberry blond.
It gives me variety without the expense, hassle, and upkeep.
Although, I prefer the darker brown.

Sometimes it is fun to experiment and sometimes I get a hold of some neat products for my hair to set and curl it, to try fancy things.
But, when simplicity is needed, which is most of the time, I can just sweep it up into a bun and look just as put together.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Simplicity in Shopping



Coupons, Ads, Apps, Rebates, Gift Cards, Sales
It was practically another job to figure out how to get as many groceries as possible for the lowest price.
It was fun for a while, but then it just became more complicated, stressful, and literally took up hours upon hours to get organized.
I may do it again, because sometimes the bargain hunt is fun.
But, for now I prefer simplicity.

My grandmother never worried about coupons.  Apps weren't even around and even today she doesn't use them.
She has her preferred brands and her weekly list.  She has her favorite stores, and her budget.
Simple.

Now that my children are out of baby and toddler items and we've all settled into what our preferred foods and brands are, shopping is more simple.
Many times I can just run into Aldi and get what I need for the week.
To be honest, I was mostly disappointed when I did all the couponing and bargain match-ups.  Half the time the items were out, or the coupons weren't accepted, or the store had limits.  Many times I just ended up with items I didn't like, need, or use.  I just donated two bottles of shampoo because I got three for the price of one and I tried one bottle and hated it.  I have boxes of crackers I got cheap sitting in my cupboard uneaten because weren't not really a cracker-eating family.  Worst of all, I ended up blowing my budget every week!

I also simply don't have room for stock piles in my house.

So, I stick with what we know and love.
In doing so, little gets wasted, and I have even managed to stay below budget some weeks.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Simplicity of Happiness

Isn't she beautiful?!

Depression.
It seems almost everyone has it or has experienced it.
I acknowledge, hesitantly, that I struggle with it.
So many of us Westerners do.

But, why?

Studies point to so many things, and indeed many are suffering from chemical/hormonal issues, just as I did during my Post Partum Depression.

However, I think now, mine is more situational.

Again:  But, why?

Once again I look to my grandmother.  I won't say she never suffered from depression, but she does radiate and joy and peace in her life.
Because she is content.
She FINDS contentment.

She sees the beautiful day.
Her home is practically wallpapered with photographs of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
(I MUST get professional updated photos of my children, if not for any other reason than to give them to her.)
She smiles at her memories, and cherishes them.
She is happy have visitors and laughs at the antics of my children, while I turn red with embarrassment and try to scold them as nicely as possible in front of her.
She finds joy in her routine.
She finds joy in her Bible.
She finds joy in her prayer life.
She finds joy even in her sorrow for the loss of her beloved husband.
She finds joy in the morning.
She finds joy at night.
She finds joy in others' triumphs and accomplishments rather than envy and feelings of loss.
She finds joy in the good in others.
She finds joy in Christ Jesus.
She finds joy in her living and joy in her death.
"I'm ready to go," she chuckles, but is happy to remain her on earth while she must.  She's ready to go, but in no rush, either.
Because, she has joy.

I have gotten caught up in my own expectations.
I have allowed the over-sharing on social media to rob me of my joy and replace it with envy.
I have compared myself to others and found myself at a deficit.
I have given in to the pressures of the cultures around me, even within the church.

Therein lies the root of my depression.
ME.
The chaos of me.
When happiness is really just so simple.

Why do we Westerners with the ease of first world living at our fingertips scowl and frown when people in the third world countries smile for our cameras, beautiful, toothless, wrinkled, gaunt smiles of their hard lives etched deep into their bodies, yet JOY pours from their countenances.

We are a spoiled people and it is robbing us of our happiness.
Our wealth and expectations of wealth is our poverty.
I, for one, will no longer be that kind of poor.

Linked with:
http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/2017/08/show-and-share-no374.html

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Simplicity in Small Living



Being a woman is difficult, especially in today's world.
I feel it shouldn't be, but the expectations on women today are so very many!
We have choices and voices today, which is good, but we also have so much on our shoulders.

My facebook feed is plastered with other women and their 24-hour lives.
Many of them are happy with it, and I laud them for it.
But, I can't keep up.

I can't do motherhood, homeschooling, career, side hustle, fitness, lessons, vacations, PTO, church ministry, etc etc etc....

As my head spins just writing that list, I look to the side and see my grandmother.
She kept her life simple.
She happily cared for home and family, went to church on Sunday, and didn't bog her days down with activity after activity.

Her home wasn't filled with stuff.
Holidays weren't grand affairs, one right after another.
Once the grandchildren came, she did Christmas Eve and Easter.
Everything else was off her plate.

She gave herself time to rest.
To sit still and enjoy the day.
To look out the window.
Or place a phone call to someone without feeling rushed to get off to do the next thing.
She had time to take long walks to stay healthy.
She had order to her life.
Simple, basic order.
She still does in her golden years.

That is what I am seeking.
And when I establish that simplicity and smallness in my life, I will see how I am doing and whether or not I can add something to it.

I may never do a paint and sip.
But, perhaps I can invite someone over for tea.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Simplicity in Friends


There is something I need to confess where I am prideful and at fault.
I'm a snob.
I don't mean to be.
I don't want to be.
But I certainly can be.

I want to be BFFs with certain crowds.
I want to be part of a clique or a tribe.
You know, have my posse I hang out with and make other lonely women jealous.
Lonely women like me.
The ones who never seem to fit in to the latest groupie, the latest mommy fad, the latest women's ministry hype....

All that has lead me to is lonely.
And missing out on happy times with those who are my friends, who stick by me through thick and thin, who love me for me and all my stupidity and quirks.
But, they aren't the clique.
And I want the clique.
God doesn't want me in the clique.
He wants to set me free.
He wants me to be a friend.

So, I am done with snobbery.
I am done with envy.
I am done with lonely and all those negative feelings that clutter up my mind and heart because I am not friends with certain people I esteem.

I am returning to the simplicity of just being a friend.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Simplicity in Self-Grace


I used to pride myself on how much I could accomplish in one day.
I was going to be the mom who did it all.
And for a little while I was doing pretty well.

Then, I became ill.

One of those strange, undiagnosed illnesses women get and doctors scratch their heads over.
Is she really sick?  Is she just a busy mom?  Is it all in her head?
Likely, it is the result of years of high stress and hormone changes.

Now, where I had days of immense productivity, I have days of inactivity.
My brain and my body just won't cooperate and I need rest.
Peace, quiet.

In those moments, on those days, I need to give myself grace.
I cannot do it all.
Sometimes, I can't handle someone's postings on facebook and I have to block or delete them.
It's ok.
Sometimes, dinner is very simple.
It's still ok.
Many times we eat on paper plates so I have fewer dishes to wash.
I cringe because it is wasteful, but it is ok.
Sometimes, we just have days where it doesn't all work out.  It doesn't all come together.
Sometimes, we have do-over days, and throw-in-the-towel days.
We need time to rest and time to heal.
We need to throw off expectations and impressions and just be real.

For me, that is giving myself the grace to be ok with living small and simple.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Simplicity in Speech


My grandmother never yells.
Oh, there were very rare occasions when she raised her voice or got upset, but I don't recall ever hearing her yell.
She has a quietude about her, yet she speaks clearly and people listen.

I am the queen of the kingdoms of mumbling and yelling.
I will avoid eye-contact and a concise, committed answer.
Or I will bellow my demands like a drill sergeant.

I'll stress out and become moody when I really want to say no, but don't.
My grandmother knows her limits.
She says no.
And if she says yes, she doesn't act put-upon.
She accepts her yes.

Yelling, mumbling, and uncommitted answers are stress-inducing, not simple.

There was a time conversation was taught.  Speech was emphasized.  And clarity of thought was treasured.
As the Bible says, Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Other simplicity of speech rules could include:

1. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.
2. Keep your opinions to yourself (you don't need to challenge everyone to see it your way).
3. Choose your words wisely rather than emotionally.
4. LISTEN
5.  Be confident in what you say.
6. Talk to a child face to face.  Get up and approach that child. (I am so bad about yelling across the house).
7.  Learn the art of small talk. (Try Emily Post Etiquette)

We live in a world where people demand to be heard and that their opinions, their cussing, their right or wrongness be heard loudly and frequently.  We have lost the art of conversation.  We have lost the art of public speaking, debate, small talk, and polite society etiquette.  We have lost the art of training up our children in the way that they should go, which includes speaking to them in a way that conveys love and authority, direction and clarity.

While that may sound complicated, it is actually a practice in simplicity.  Clarity is simplicity.  All else is confusion.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Finding My Simplicity

Do you know what I admire about my grandmother?
Her simplicity.

She doesn't hurry.
She isn't harried.
She has her routines, same as always over the decades.
She doesn't chase fads.
She doesn't worry about how she's doing compared to everyone else.
She just lives her life.
Her beautiful, graceful, simple life.

She raised her daughters simply, too.
She didn't helicopter, nor did she ignore.
She enjoyed.
She didn't feel pressured to do it all.
She did what she liked.
She kept house.
She read her Bible.
She watched her favorite TV shows.
She went for walks.
She welcomed grandchildren in for visits.
She went to church.
She went to Cape Cod for vacation nearly every year.

Her movements are thoughtful and graceful.  She is focused on the task at hand.
She is quiet, caring, but not overly worried or bothered.
She stays in bed when she needs to.
She gets up when she feels well enough.
No apologies.
No pretenses.
Just her.
I admire that.
I NEED that in my life right now.
That simplicity.

I come from a long line of beautiful Polish women who lived, and loved their simple lives.
Nothing fancy.
Nothing facebook brag-worthy.
Just clean, basic living.

We live in a world where everyone feels they need to prove they are exceptional.
They fill every moment of every day with to-do lists, work, lessons, tutoring, and any other way to get ahead in life.
And that's ok if that is what they want and enjoy!
I find it absolutely fascinating!
But, after years of trying to prove myself and my worth, I find myself looking back at my grandmother and admiring what she had and what she has in her golden years.

I'm ok with mediocre.
More than ok.  I LIKE it.

I am finding my simplicity.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

No Need for Exercise?!



Probably billions has been spent over the decades by women alone trying to keep their girlish figures.
While I am a bargain hunter, I would probably be embarrassed to know the amount of money I wasted spent on exercise junk.

I'm not against exercise or fitness or even the industry.
But, I keep hearing the voices of those influential women in my life.
"We never worried about exercising or getting in an hour at the gym every other day."
And yet, they stayed trim.

For me, to do a workout routine or video is the utmost in boredom and torture.  I hate most of them.  So, to simplify my life, I once again look to the past for my answer.

Women used to get enough exercise just in their daily lives.

Housework alone burned the bulk of their calories.
They walked more, too.
And went dancing.

Now, those are three things I like doing!
I like doing housework and I am sure I can put more caloric effort into it.
Spring is here and I am walking more.  I walk to pick the kids up at the bus stop down the road now.
And I do like dancing, though I don't get an opportunity to actually go out and dance.  I can put on some swingy music and dance about my kitchen, though.

I am keeping my weights, though.  Weights are important for women and the winters are long here.

I'm never going to have the rock hard abs and concave stomachs so popular now.  But, I can at least keep my vintage figure by living a vintage life

Just don't forget to stretch!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hanging Up the Phone


There are admirable women in my life.  Women who raised families the "old fashioned way" before technology was the rule.  Their homemaker examples and influence fashioned very strongly how I pictured my own homemaking lifestyle.

For me (yes, that is a disclaimer.  I am expressing that this is how I feel for myself.  I make no claims that every woman should be in line with this way of thinking.) that influence is stronger than just charming nostalgia.  For me, it honestly feels like wisdom I could follow to find my own homemaking peace of mind.

So, I am doing a little series on this blog.  I will be looking back at how my mother and grandmother and my neighbor and other such ladies kept their homes and families during the eras when homemaking was honored, cherished, and keeping the house was a serious career and daily routine rather than a hurried after thought.

They seemed more joyful and less stressed.
I feel harried almost all the time.
So, my little experiment is to look into the past aesthetics and practices I so admire and see if there is a key to homemaker peace for me.

Hanging Up the Phone

Growing up, my family had one rotary phone hanging on our kitchen wall.  It was yellow with a stretched out cord so my mother could carry on with her chores while she talked.
She was still tethered and limited, and phone calls could be costly, so often the phone was just "hung up."

Today, we have cell phones practically attached to our bodies.  It has become an absent-minded practice to pick it up for "just a quite check" and find that 15 minutes or more has passed.  I can easily waste HOURS-That's right, HOURS-just scrolling through and refreshing facebook.

I need to Hang Up the Phone!

Hubby purchased a charging station.  It largely goes unused.  It is easier to just plug the cell phone into the nearest outlet wherever I am and continue to use it.
I have decided to dust the old charging station off and use it to do the old fashioned practice of actually hanging up my phone.

I imagine I will get a lot more done and be a lot more efficient and peaceful and focused with my cell phone tucked into its home and away from my easy grasp.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reducing Food Waste



The fridge needed a good cleaning.
Thankfully, I did better at keeping up with it than I had in the past.
But, I still threw out an embarrassing amount of food.

It really got me thinking about my grocery spending and food waste.
I realized that I buy too much food, and too many "foods with broken promises."
These are foods that I buy because I have some fantasy that I am going to make something special, and I never get around to it.
These are foods I impulse buy on clearance because they're cheap and good for me, but they are ultimately extras that I never get around to eating.
These are foods I purchase with high hopes that my kiddos will eat them despite knowing deep down that I will shun the food and it'll go to waste.

So, I started this week's grocery shopping with some new thoughts and considerations.
One simple change (something I used to do in the past but since forgotten about) was purchasing boiler onions.
It started today when onions were on sale at the local store.  Such a good price!  I walked up to the pile and noticed how large they all were.
I dug through the bin looking for the smallest available but even those I knew I'd only use half of at a time.  The other half tends to go to waste.
My children do not like bits of onion in their food.
I tend to season with onion powder.
But sometimes I need a bit of onion.
But almost never do I need an entire large onion, no matter how good a deal a 3 lb bag of them are!

It was then that I remembered what I used to do back in my early days of marriage.
I bought boiler onions.
These little onions are the perfect size for any dish that requires onion and not onion powder.  And if I need more, I just simple chop up another bulb.
No more finding shriveled, blackened onions in the bottom of the onion basket.
No more throwing out half an onion because I couldn't use it right away.
(I tried freezing onions before....another big waste for me.)

It isn't saving money if you are just throwing the deal away.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Repotting Houseplants


The calendar says spring has arrived, but winter holds on tightly here.

My ground is still frozen solid and snow covered.

The wind blows damp and icy.

The air is dry and arctic bitter cold.

Houseplants make it all better, though.

Green thumb therapy happens with the seasonal repotting.

http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Natural or Conventional Healing


It was bound to happen.

With 4 children taking turns catching every bug that swarm around the classrooms, my poor immune system was bound to fall victim, even with diligence.

With so many wonderful academic upsides to the children entering public school this year, this is one of the downfalls.  They have caught germs never caught before.  Strep throat, impetigo...

Strep throat is the one that claimed me.

I suspected as much and started hammering the germ with my natural remedies, as described in this letter to Mrs. Rothwood.
I also researched Dr. Google on strep throat since we've never had it before.  Natural remedy articles are quick to demonize antibiotics and encourage sticking it out to build natural immunity.

Conventional articles are quick to scare you with threats of worse diseases possible with untreated strep.

I used to be fully intent on doing every crunchy thing possible when ill.
I still am to some extent.

But, I am no fool.

And I give you permission to not feel pulled either way.  (Not that you need my permission in the least, but sometimes it is nice to join the few in the middle and be assured).

I read the articles and decided to meet natural and conventional in the middle. 

I started with natural.  They weren't working.  After two days, I feel worse.  Then, I read that if left untreated by antibiotics, strep can be contagious for 2-3 weeks AFTER symptoms go away.  This was the clincher.  I have an immuno-compromised husband to consider. (Not an STD, for those wondering, and for trolls looking for fodder).  But, with antibiotics, he will be safe to live with me after a couple of days.  Thankfully, he is currently away on business, and away from my germy self.

The doctor also told me that I could reinfect my children if I do not take the antibiotics.  I agreed with her to take them.

Natural remedies sometimes work and sometimes work very very well.  I fully believe in utilizing them, but we must be wise.  There is a reason conventional medicines have come about.  Sometimes natural remedies aren't enough.

The best we can do is go with our guts and ignore the shouting from either corner.

I look forward to feeling better, soon.

And, yes, I have a really good probiotic.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Goat-Girl!


She was home sick from school that day, but I was able to get her some fresh air as we visited the new baby goat at a neighbor's farm.

So pale, but all smiles!  What a trooper!

Monday, February 13, 2017

It's Not Just Cats....


Who lay on top of one's knitting!

This is Duncan, by the way.  He is a Cairn Terrier mix that we picked up from the shelter last June.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snowed In Schoolhouse


This is our first "over a footer" snowstorm of this winter season.

When I was growing up, these weren't very newsworthy.
2 feet of snow was more typical with blizzards of 3-4 feet in places being big news.

Regardless, having everything covered in a fresh layer of snow is simply beautiful and peaceful.

I love looking out of my living room window at the old one-room schoolhouse across the street.  No matter the season, it is a beautiful site.

In two more months there will be yellow daffodils around the foundation.

Today, it gets a blanket of snow.

This blog post is linked at Coast Charm.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Who Is Mildred Rothwood?


In the absence of a penpal, I have begun a creative writing blog called:

Rothwood Letters

Mrs. Mildred Elizabeth Rothwood is my fictional penpal to whom I write of my daily goings-on and thoughts, as I would a real penpal.

Mrs. Mildred Elizabeth Rothwood is also YOU, my readers.  When you leave a comment, it is as if you are Mildred, herself writing back to me.  (Unless you are a tiresome troll, in which case just don't).

Enjoy!

Monday, January 30, 2017

No SAD!!!



For several years now, every winter I get a bad case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

This winter is different!

Here it is the end of January (and where I live, winter usually starts around Nov. 1st, though we did have October snow this season, too.) and I do NOT have SAD this year!!

What's different about this year?

I attribute it to two things:

1. Less stress (not homeschooling has helped me have the time and peace to heal overall).

2.  Immune Booster supplements!  The kind I have contains not just Vitamin C, but Zinc, and Echinacea.

I also added a women's vitamin supplement to my diet and that seems to be helping my other SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder).

Take care of yourself, ladies.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I don't have to be exceptional

Purchase at Target
(not an affiliate link)

It seems the millennial "everyone is special" has birthed the post-millennial trend of
"you need to be exceptional."

Just a quick browse through social media and people show their best faces, smiles, accomplishments, etc.

As a child I enjoyed watching figure skating on TV.  At the time a perfectly landed triple lutz was a rare thing where everyone oohed and ahhed and the executor of it was lauded as an amazing athlete (usually male).  Imagine my surprise when I found figure skating on TV just a few months ago and the girls were landing quadruple/triple combos!!!!

Just how limitless are we?!

There is a lot of pressure out there to be exceptional.

Do it "like a boss."
Be a "bad@$$."
"No excuses!"
"Own it!"
"Nail it!"

I was walking through Target and saw this water bottle that says, "like a boss."
It actually gave me a little anxiety to see it.
I thought of all the ways I felt like I wasn't measuring up in an instant.
Ridiculous, I know!

So, I reminded myself that I don't need to be exceptional.  There is nothing wrong with ordinary.  There is nothing wrong with simple.  There is nothing wrong with not being a "bad@$$" at something with a Katy Perry Roar attitude.

There is nothing wrong with being a strong personality with drive and noticeable ambition, either.

All I am saying is that I am giving myself permission to not have to over-achieve anything, or prove anything to anybody.

I have the freedom to just live, breathe, love, and do.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Choosing

I joke that I am always wobbling between wanting suburban materialism and rural simplicity.  

Over Christmas, I was at Target for the umpteenth time.  I finished my shopping and returned to my rusty mini van trying to shake off the lingering feelings of guilt I always get when I spend money beyond the normal budgeted weekly allowances.  I had to wait for a woman to back out and drive away before I could move.  She looked so posh in her newish black car, her professionally dyed hair up in messy bun encircled with a cute headband/earwarmer, and she drove one-handed as she sipped her Starbucks beverage.  As Target bags filled the back of her car, she didn't look one bit guilty for her purchases as she sped away.

I wanted to be her.

I wanted to shop at Target with abandon and not feel guilty for buying new towels, or grabbing that cute book for my kids, or snagging those clearance cute boots.

On the drive home I thought about how I could live that life.  I decided it was possible.  I would just need to keep my kids in public school and get a job.  Even just a part time job would give me the extra money to splurge.  I could really make our little home nice and not so patch-worky.  I could order Starbucks every time I walked in.  Maybe I could even drive a nicer looking vehicle.

I contemplated it pretty seriously for a while, but I couldn't shake off how it would complicate things.

Did I really need to leave my home and work a job just to binge-shop at Target?  Would it be worth it?

The freedom I have, that my family has with me being at home is worth the lack of funds.  Sure, income can be a sort of freedom, too.  It's nice to be able to just go out to eat rather than having to rush home and make something from scratch before tummies rumble on an outing.

But, my kiddos are still small.  I'm still dealing with health issues and anxiety issues.  And I don't need more THINGS in life just because one woman looked glamorous and guilt-free in the Target parking lot.

Too complicated.

Some day I may truly need to get a job.

Just not today.

I choose simplicity.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

T'is a Gift To Be Simple



#Simplicity

So very much has changed since I last blogged.

I tried starting other blogs under other titles, but then I fizzle out and always end up coming back to my first love, this blog right here.

I even thought of starting a blog called "T'is a Gift to be Simple," but that is just my theme for this year.  Perhaps next year, too.  Perhaps a forever lifestyle change, but how can I know that?

What I do know is that I have a heart for this little Taigh Beag, this little Cottage of the Hill and all the changes that have occurred under it's little (and now, thanks to hubby and my brother-in-law, new) roof.

We have changed churches.
We enrolled out school-aged children into public school.  (And they LOVE IT!)
We have a dog!!  (I'll introduce him in another post)
We are officially out of the baby/toddler stage and hauled the last toddler bed out of the house two weeks ago.

So, that is how 2016 ended for my big family in our little house.

2017 has begun with Simplicity.

I am inspired by so many advocates of simplicity:

The Tiny House Movement
Minimalism
Vintage and Historical Domestic Accounts
Zero-Waste Home

It isn't just simplicity in the home, though.

I left a church/denomination where I felt Christianity was complicated.  I wanted to shut up all the voices, the opinions, the pat answers, the Christian "speak" and just hear God.  I felt like Christianity is supposed to be much more simple and straight-forward.

My body has revolted on me.  Despite over a decade of eating healthfully and exercising, it wasn't enough.  I need to simplify not only my diet, but my stress levels and activity levels.  I am becoming much more realistic about my expectations of myself and life in general.

I am also accepting that I am a simple person and I am content with a small life.
I don't need to prove anything or accomplish a great deal.
It truly is a gift to be simple.

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