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Showing posts from 2024

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

Being a Reliable Narrator: Three Pathways to the Road of Honest Minimalism

Have you ever read a book that completely enthralled you? You immediately liked the characters, (even the bad guys) and the storyline hooked you from the start. You felt like you were one with the author, seeing all the told action and even the untold action, as you deftly read between the lines. But once the story is over, you find out that the narrator was lying to you; telling you one thing, while a different thing was the truth.  When this happens, I feel both disappointed and challenged. This type of story - when we think the story's details are one thing but are something else entirely - has an untrustworthy narrator. This narrator is called an unreliable narrator. An unreliable narrator is a deliberately deceptive storyteller who cannot be trusted; someone who says untruthful things with the intent to lie and entrap (in this case, me, the gullible reader.)  I mostly feel bamboozled when I've discovered an author did this.  On the one hand, it makes me rethink the entire

Doing Nothing is Something: The Art of Taking One Day off A Week

Yesterday, I did nothing but go to church, read, watch a little TV, walk with my youngest son, and relax. Yesterday was Sunday, which means it's the one day a week I don't work, think about work (that's a hard one), or stress over work. But, it wasn't always this way for me, which is why I still feel a little restless - and guilty - when Sundays roll around. I work from home. Everything I do is done from my home office. From writing to selling vintage online , my work surrounds me, every day. And while a huge chunk of America works from home these days, the difference is my work is self-created; these businesses are my own. I don't work for someone else. Which means I'm never not thinking about work. It's with me continually, even when I don't want to think about it. For years, I would sort of pretend Sunday was my day off, but then I'd fire up the computer to fill an order or do some writing that I thought couldn't be put off. Those "small

How to Bring Slow Fashion into Your Wardrobe in 10 Easy Ways

Ten years ago, I didn’t know what fast fashion or slow fashion was. Though I’ve been wearing vintage clothing for decades, and selling it for more than thirteen years, I didn’t know slow fashion was a thing. I had no clue there was even a movement behind the idea: I just knew I liked slow fashion - vintage and handmade items - and over the last decade, shifted my entire mindset (and closet) to become a slow fashion lover for good. What is slow fashion? Well, it’s the opposite of fast fashion. The last thirty years have given rise to fast fashion: cheaper materials, faster made, quickly sold, trendy designs – and this cycle repeats itself to infinity. Think Zara, Shein, and Forever 21 with the intent of pieces to be worn a few times, tossed, and the wearer (aka the consumer) buys more. Slow fashion is better materials, slower made, slowly sold, with classic designs. Think vintage made, quality made, or hand made with the intent for clothing pieces to last decades… and the wearer keeps