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Making Time For the Important Things │ Living a Simple Life

 A couple weeks ago, I stood in line outside of a thrift store I frequent waiting for it to open at 9:00. I'm not sure why there are unwritten rules for this thrift store (none of my Goodwills have this issue) but this thrift store -which is one of the many thrift stores I frequent to source for my online vintage shop - has a long line on Tuesdays. They're closed on Sunday and Monday, so I'm sure that's part of it. Tuesday is also their sale day and people like me who resell vintage, as well as others - many retired folks looking for a good deal - stand in line waiting for the doors to open. I feel very much like cattle being prodded into a pen.   I was standing in front of a woman who reminded me of my grandmother. Next to her, was a young man, maybe 25, who was doing his best to ignore both of us. He was there to do what I was doing: sourcing for items to resell. I think I heard him say something about electronics. The woman? She was there because she was on a fixed

Print Books Versus E-Books: Which One is Best?

Old books, new books, big books, small books.  Dr. Suess could have written a story on the diversity of books and their wonderfulness. One of my best friends and I talk about books versus e-books a lot. Which one is best?  She and I are both writers. This means we write as much as we read, and we vacillate between using actual physical books and e-books. But we've come to terms with these multi-faceted feelings; sometimes an e-book feels better, and other times we grow weary of the digital page. Here's what we always end up saying to each other: "There are days when we have to feel a book in our hands." It's also a way of clarifying that we're not cheating on print books when we choose the e-book. I think a small part of us feels guilty for using our e-readers as much as we do. But why? Books, the smell of books, the look of books, the way books feel in the hand... that's all part of the mystery, charm, and charisma of physical books; I love the pages tur

Gratitude Creates Change

How Writing Down One Grateful Thing a Day Changed My Life For all of 2023, I decided to write down one thing that I was grateful for at the end of every day. We've all heard of this helpful hint to improve our lives; to use gratitude to remind ourselves how good we have it; to write down ten things we're grateful for every day, or to write down five things that made the day wonderful; keep a gratitude journal. I understand the concept. And I fully endorse it. But, for reasons I couldn't explain, I never "found the time" (i.e. wasn't willing to put in the time) to write them down.  I am a grateful person. I am beyond thankful every day for the life I get to live, to do what I love, and to have my family with me. Life is good. I mean, really good. But I decided to change the rules up a little. Instead of making things harder on myself, and writing yet another list, I decided to keep things simple. Simple living is my daily intention. For 2023, I wrote down one t

Simple Living Means Less of Everything

Peace can be elusive. When we're stressed, it's the furthest thing from reach.  Naturally, we look for ways to relieve the stress that surrounds our lives - whether that stress is from jobs, family life, relationships, or even our own thoughts.  The car breaks down, the fence blows over in a storm (this just happened to us yesterday ), or an unexpected surgery threatens to sabotage our state of mind. Maybe a lifelong friend no longer wants to talk to you. Life is stressful.  But, when we accept life is stressful, it allows us to let go of wanting control (albeit, even if only a little). We learn to develop a "laissez-faire" attitude, which means letting things take their own course.  It's a hands-off, come-what-may-approach to the things we don't have control over. Things such as other's actions and random events we can't foresee, even "acts of God." But, other than the obvious relinquishing of control, some things cause stress in our lives t

The Power of a Quiet Life

I love Friday nights at home with a movie or a book, and my family alongside me. I also happen to love Friday nights when both my sons and husband are at work and I’m home alone. Whether alone or with people, the constant thing I yearn for is quiet living.  Choosing a quiet life isn’t a popular choice, nor is it spouted as truth even if everyone over the age of 35 feels this way. You couldn’t pay me now to start the evening at 10:00 pm. I’m in my pajamas and socks as soon as dinner is over in my house. There are times when a “wild” night out is necessary, which means we eat dinner at a restaurant at 7:00 pm and my husband and I might be out until the wee hours of 9:00 pm.  I also love being with friends and family, and there are times when I desperately need to be with people. I’m not by any means antisocial. The community and fellowship feed a deep longing that being alone can’t fulfill. I also love musical theater, ball games, and parties. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’m finding most

My Favorite Things: How to Let Go of the Things You Don't Need (but think you do!)

In every minimalist’s life, there is an area where they are vulnerable to denial; an area where minimizing a specific object isn’t just hard, but horrifying. I am a victim of this. Or rather, maybe I am not so much a victim as I am a participant in my justification. Minimalists may be organized, decluttered, and thoroughly downsized, but there’s always one area that is heartbreaking to maintain. For me, it’s shoes. Shoes are my kryptonite. And if I’m being extra transparent, it’s also jackets and belts. But, my biggest love (when it comes to my closet) is shoes. I counted my shoes once (several years ago) and I think it was 65. Which to some, may be a lot. To others, it may be just a drop in the bucket. Regardless, I had all of these amazing shoes; shoes I swore I loved – all of them.  But here’s the kicker about my kicks: I only wore a handful of them, probably a dozen or less,  every year. Out of 60, I wore 12 regularly. (There were a few that I wore once or twice a year and the res

What if All I Want is a Simple Life?

There's a viral minimal lifestyle post I've read a couple of times that I keep seeing reposted among the simple living community and it's called "What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?"   Read it if you have a chance. It is well-written and full of validating words that, for me, explained exactly what I was feeling about my lifestyle. What if I'm not the best of the best? What if I love living my simple life? Am I a bad person for not wanting to look like I'm perfect or the way this “perfection” is portrayed on social media? My biggest hangup in this article though is the word mediocre. According to Dictionary.com, mediocre means "of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate" and the second meaning is "not satisfactory; poor; inferior."  Hold on a second... barely adequate? Poor and inferior? Since when have I ever wanted to write something that was barely adequate? Never. Since when was I interested in l