It has been a while since my last post in May last year. A lot has happened! Probably the biggest event is the birth of our daughter Violet in August last year! She’s now 7 months and we seem to have passed the turning upside down of life that newborns seem to bring! She’s a gem and her big brother and sister adore her!
More recently I’ve started a journey to a simpler life. My husband in recent years has been doing the 100 items project, whereby you only have 100 personal items. A couple of months ago he went on a course at work that sort of tied in with this and completely changed the way he looked at life. You can see his blog about it here! It was very inspiring and the decluttering and thinking ‘less is more’ rubbed off on me too. We’ve spent the last few weekends sorting through belongings and giving away or selling things we don’t use, need or like! That bit was fairly easy, once you got past the barriers such as ‘but someone bought that for us’, or ‘what if I might need it one day’.. Just let it go, its all just stuff! Yesterday I read a short book called ‘Living in the Land of Enough’ and started reading another called ‘You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too’. After finishing the first one I deleted my Twitter account and many of the apps on my phone.. including Facebook. It made me consider how much time I flutter away on the internet and how being constantly plugged in via my iPhone made it too easy to do! I’ve not deleted my FB account, but not to be constantly connected to it, is refreshing!
In the chapter I’m reading now, it asks you to write down what your definition of happiness is. The first thing that comes to my mind is my family – the man I’ve chosen to spend my life with and the three children we have brought into the world. Having them in my life makes me happy. Spending quality time with them – going for walks, the park, having a cup of tea in the M&S cafe with them, listening to the children play & laugh with each other, listening to them tell me about their day, watching a film, having my husband at home at weekends and holidays, watching our baby learn new skills, I could go on! Then, spending time with other family and friends, cups of teas and catching up, homemade cakes or dinners just because! There are other things that bring me happiness – reading, photography, baking etc but those I could live without, the relationships I hold dear I could not.
Next the book asks ‘how can you simplify your life?’ We’ve started this already by decluttering! Stuff is distracting and most of the stuff is useless and we don’t miss it! Even the kids got involved and decluttered their toys, so now they have space and can see the ones they like playing with, they’e not hidden amongst a barrage of toys they didn’t play with!
Turn off technology. Its easy to get stuck in the habit of watching TV every night, or browsing Facebook or Twitter – more distractions! Turn them off every now and again and see what else you could be doing! We often think that TV is rubbish these days so we just turn it off and read or something instead!
Organise! I’m terrible for forgetting to pick up and send birthday cards and/presents! Especially with having young children who get invited to parties, I often find myself having to go out on the day of the party to find gifts! Would be a lot less stressful if I had them ready in advance! Same with housework, I tend to wait until someone needs something out the ironing pile before I do it! Instead I’d like to try and do a bit of housework everyday and keep on top of it!
Simple, healthy food. Fresh fruit and vegetables. Less processed food.
Say no and don’t feel guilty. It’s ok not to want to do something! Don’t do things just because I think I should. It’s a waste of time and probably a source of negative feeling so I should just say no (thank you)!
I’m sure there are plenty more ways I could simplify life but they are the ones I can think of straight away!
Something I’ve picked up from the first book was to keep a journal. The author tried to stick to 5 things each day that she was grateful for. I think I’d like to try and do something similar, maybe 5 positives from my day.. So for today:
- Ran for 25 minutes! With the pushchair. I’m currently doing the NHS Couch to 5K program, today was the first time I’d run that length of time without stopping!
- Phoenix card delivery. The other week I ordered all my birthday and anniversary cards for the year and they were delivered today! This will help me be more organised as mentioned above!
- Baked some cakes! Cinnamon muffins, they’re not bad! Also introduced the kids to semolina for pudding tonight, Millie and Violet approved! Xander, not so much!
- Gave my brother a hug to congratulate him on the birth of his second child. Hugs are good 🙂
- Silly sentences. I did bedtime with the kids tonight, usually my husband does the bedtime story but he’s away tonight so I had the pleasure! They chose The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child and then we were making up silly sentences! Lovely!