15 January 2013

Simplicity

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Continue your reading read on at the bottom of this post by clicking the links to the other participants' posts.

***

I endeavour to live my life, with my husband and children, as simply as possible.

What this means to me is talking and communicating with others in a manner that is respectful and how I would wish to be spoken to myself.  We always talk things through, especially when they are important to any one of us, and give each other space to reflect on our discussions before making a decision if one is required.  I try to ensure that I talk to my children about what we are doing on a given day at a time that is appropriate for them, in the case of my eldest this is the night before, and my youngest at the moment, in the morning.

It also means taking life slowly not doing too much in one day.  If we are going out then one errand/visit/plan in a day is enough at the moment.  It is important to me to allow enough time not to be rushing and stressing about being late or getting everything done.  If I need to do extra tasks such as making gifts then I think and plan ahead and to ensure that there is time to get them done on top of our usual day to day, again without stress and rushing.  I don't get to the end of each day and think, I wish I could have done such and such today, if it really needs to be done I will do it, if not I will fit it in when I can.

It is about our possessions, our stuff, being just the right amount.  There is a word for this in Swedish, Lagom, but sadly not in English.  I came across this expression on this lovely blog.  I am still working on finding our lagom, of finding our right amount this is very much work in progress.  I have reduced the amount of items in our house quite considerably in the last year but I feel that we could reduce even more.  Each birthday and Christmas increases our possessions and means that we have to find homes for our new things so sometimes it feels like two step forwards and one step back, particularly as we have had three birthdays and Christmas in the last three months!  All our stuff has a home a place where it can be put away, for the children's things it is important that they are accessible to them, so they are all on low shelves.  If they are stored in a cupboard then the cupboard must also be organised and accessible.  For me, it is also about shopping with purpose, with a list if necessary and not coming home with several items that we bought because they were a bargain and were not really want we need, let alone want.

The most important part of living simply for me is to have a rhythm to our life.  We have a weekly rhythm with days at home, days with friends and a day to do our weekly food shop.  If it is Monday then we are shopping, if it is Thursday we are meeting friends, if it is Saturday it is a home day.  Our days at home do not have rhythm we do not paint on one day or do crafting on a particular day, I never feel that these days disappear into doing nothing, they are always full.  Our 'home' days are also about doing things as a family so we might go for a walk or visit a Museum, go canoeing or swimming.  We have a rhythm with our food too.  I plan a menu each week based on the contents of our weekly veg box, we shop for the food we need to cook that menu.  We eat seasonally, and therefore as locally as possible, so we feel the rhythm of the seasons through our food.

A life lived simply is about being mindful in your decision making and communication, it is rewarding, fulfilling and enjoyable.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated - Confucius

***
Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Continue your reading by clicking the links of this month's posts on what simple living means to our participants. We hope you will join us next month, as we discuss new beginnings!
  • The Moments In Between - Amber from Heart Wanderings takes her yoga practice off the mat to focus on the ordinary moments which make mothering magical.
  • Simple living - what it looks like to me - Does simple living mean we have to be selfish? And what does selfish mean anyway? Mrs Green from Little Green Blog ponders in search of a more simple life...
  • A Simple Life is a Peaceful Life, For Me - Destany at They Are All of Me writes how simplicity is a very necessary part of her daily function and crucial for coping with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.
  • Getting Back to the Basics - Minimalism was the first step toward living simply for Momma Jorje. Now she's got big plans on getting back to the basics of living in order to live a simple, healthy, family-focused lifestyle.
  • Simplicity - What living simply means to sustainablemum and how it is woven into the fabric of daily life.
  • Simply Living - Sophelia of Sophelia's Adventures in Japan writes about her reluctance to tighten her budget after years of living in poverty, but also her anticipation of the pleasures of simplifying her daily life as she and her husband prepare to adopt a child in Japan. 
  • The Simple Life: A Work in Progress - Joella at Fine and Fair ponders her idealized vision of simple living and discusses the steps she's taking to get closer to it. 
  • Simple Living is Simply Living - At Living Peacefully with Children, Bart and Mandy hope to help their children focus on what is truly important by simply living.
  • Happiness, not Greatness - Lauren at Hobo Mama discovered that ambitions got in the way of simply being.
  • Shifting to Simplicity - At Authentic Parenting, Laura shares a couple of ways in which she tries to simplify her life.

14 comments:

  1. Hello sustainablemum, I found your blog through the Simply Living blog carnival but I immediately added you to my reader. I was home educated and ended up with an unmitigated disgust for all parents who made that choice for their children. Having got a little bit older I've started to see more positives to home schooling and have softened my opinion somewhat, although my reaction is still a very visceral one. I'm making a conscious effort to read blogs by home educating families who seem to be creating a positive environment for their kids, and I am really looking forward to reading more about your family in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sad to read that you're being homeschooled was such a negative experience. We're an unschooling family ourselves and so far we're loving it. Our children have such richer lives as those that are forced to attend schools.
      Greets
      Laura

      Delete
    2. Thank you for lovely comment. I am sorry to hear that you have had a negative experience of home education. All the families that I have met since starting are doing so for a huge variety of reasons and approach their home ed in a huge variety of ways. We have little structure to the actual learning in the sense that I do not spend any part of the day doing work with the children that I have pre prepared. We tend to be more topic focused here with topics led by the children which I will then provide support through reading books with them and to them, help them find books in the library, look info up online with them, research and take them on visits to musuems etc related to the subject. This is what works for my eldest, my youngest is due to 'not start' school in Sept so I will wait to see as she gets older what method of learning works best for her. For me it is about finding the right method of learning that suits the child and then providing the environment for this. I would love to say that my children have a better experience for learning at home but I will never know that as I cannot turn back the clock and compare. What I am tho is confident that, for now, I have made the right decision about their education. As time goes on we will review this and if school is appropriate or where my children prefer to be then I will send them.

      Delete
  2. A great post...I can mirror a lot of what you have written, especially about the two steps back at Christmas and birthdays on the decluttering path! x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing your family's view of simple living. I love that no matter how individuals or families define the term for themselves, we all have a connection of striving to slow down and enjoy life. I hope you will join us again for next months Simply Living Blog Carnival.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, this carnival sings to me. I will join in every month as long as I am around to post ( and not on holiday that is). Thank you so much for hosting.

      Delete
  4. All of this is so important, and the virtues of simplifying ones life are so often discounted and even scoffed at. It's truly sad when you see so many frustrated people who have no idea when they are unhappy, but constantly complain about being over-scheduled, pressured, and overloaded with belongings.
    Thanks for the lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a lovely post which I can relate to in lots of ways x x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've come to dread the avalanche of stuff at christmas and Birthdays too... Much of it doesn't sit with us/doesn't fit into our life and just ends up cluttering our home. This christmas we celebrated at home with little presents and no extended family and I'll be making another effort in telling family members we only want consumables: craft supplies, clothing or foods.
    And if it still gets too much, we donate to the local orphanage, because they CAN use some toys

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How I would love to celebrate at home with few presents I am not sure my extended family would cooperate!

      Delete
  7. I resonate with so much of what you have beautifully expressed. Agree wholeheartedly about gentle communication, not cramming too much into the day (I@m still guilty of running that programme to my detriment) and the 'stuff' thing; Yes I'm trying to find my equilibrium with that too. I just love it when you read a post by someone with which you can feel so deeply an inner resonance. Thank you for that!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great idea for a carnival.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think that being more mindful about communicating appropriately (especially in terms of timing!) with my 3 year old daughter would simplify my life considerably! Sometimes I forget to inform her of an outing until it's time to get ready to go, which usually results in a lot of chaos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't always remember too, so then we have chaos too!

      Delete

Hello......would love to hear from you :)