Month: September 2015

Packing Party

So, we packed up all our belongings last weekend. We aren’t moving. We just wanted to. It sounds crazy and I think it probably is, but I am excited to see what is going to happen next. We did this because we want get rid of some of our stuff, hopefully a lot of our stuff. We packed up everything we own, and we are leaving it in boxes for now, and only taking out items as we need them. We got this idea from The Minimalists 21 Day Journey into Minimalism.

So far I would have to say that our house is a mess. There are boxes everywhere. It is a lot of work to find an item as you are constantly rearranging boxes trying to find what you are looking for, and can be really frustrating. Having a busy toddler that is just learning how to climb doesn’t help the situation. Not to mention, packing everything up was a ton of work. I seriously can’t believe how much stuff we have. I thought packing would be fun, and it kind of was, but Josh and I also felt a little bit anxious, and questioned what we were getting in to as the packing day progressed.

Yesterday, I cleaned the house up a bit, and I do have to say that the areas that don’t have the boxes are so much easier to clean without all the extra clutter. Also, I don’t find myself constantly picking things up like I used to, as there isn’t really much to tidy since almost all our belongings are packed away.

I definitely don’t regret our decision to do this, but I think it is going to take longer than we thought to get rid of everything. Our house is going to be in quite the disarray for a while longer. Josh is slowly going crazy with all the boxes, but I am enjoying the empty cupboards and drawers, and clutter-free counter tops despite the mess in my living room … and kitchen, and basement, and backyard.

packing party

I am really curious to see where this journey takes us, and I plan to update regularly to keep a record of our progress.

Questions about Life…

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Josh and I have decided to de-clutter. We are looking to The Minimalists 21 Day Journey to Minimalism to help us get rid of some stuff. To be honest, Josh doesn’t really need much help. Although he has lots of stuff he could get rid of, he can easily just chuck it into the trash and not miss it. In the past, he has even thrown out his TV because he felt like he was spending too much time watching it!  I get pretty sentimental and attached to things, and have a harder time letting go. I think this process is more for me than him, but he is definitely on board.

We are on Day Two of the journey, which involves planning how you hope to achieve you personal “musts”. I wrote about my “must list” here if you want to check it out. Part of the planning process involves answering a series of questions. My answers to these questions are below.

1.What is standing in the way of my musts?

I thought the answer to this would be time, money, energy … you know, resources. In reality, when I took the time to really think about it, I realized that wasn’t the case. I lack motivation, and the desire to actually follow through with what I want in life. I also lack faith that God will come through for me. I don’t always trust that my musts are really best for me.

I also tend to feel guilty about spending time doing what I want to do and taking care of myself. I am so used to taking care of my little family, but I realize that I need to take care of myself too so that I can be a better wife, mother, and friend.

I have a hard time opening up to my husband, which makes it difficult to work on our marriage. I have a hard time building relationships because I fear being rejected, or abandoned by other people. I also fear not having enough time to myself when I share my time with others.

I am afraid to commit to something and give it my all because that means I could fail.

 

2. When did I start giving so much meaning to possessions?

For as long as I can remember, I have given possessions quite a bit of meaning. When I was really little, I had a special “treasure” box. This box consisted of a torch I received at the Olympics, which I visited as a baby, a box with two little lovebird eggs, a silver bar, an old dress my mom wore as a baby … and some other items. I would take each item out when I was alone, and handle them lovingly, before carefully packing them all away again in their special box. I am pretty sure I still have that box buried in a storage room somewhere.

As I grew older I became pretty independent. I bought most of my own things except for clothes as a young teenager. I didn’t drive, so it was a big ordeal for me to get to the mall to go shopping. I didn’t have a ton of money either, so I kept everything in case I might need it.

As a young adult I moved to a new town, and had even less money, and relied on friends for transportation. I slowly ran out of clothes, and couldn’t really go buy more. I didn’t have a lot of possessions, and held on to everything that I had.

Now, living in a little townhouse with my husband, I think I drive him crazy. I keep so many items “just in case” we might need them, or because they are sentimental to me.

 

3. What is truly important in life?

My faith is number one in my life. After that comes love and relationships. I value and cherish both my immediate and extended family. I think happiness, joy, and fun are all super important to me. I want to spend my life loving others and receiving love. Ultimately, I want to live my life the way God calls me to, and help my family do the same.

 

4. Why am I discontented?

Who says I am discontented? Haha, okay maybe I am a bit or I wouldn’t be going through this process. I feel discontented because I am constantly doing little tasks around the house that never seem to get done. Always doing … never finished.

I spend so much time doing things that I don’t want to do. I know this is life, but maybe it doesn’t have to be?

I am also discontented because i feel like Josh and I are at an “in between” phase in life. We are waiting for a big change, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I feel like God has more in life for my little family and I want to find out what it is.

My house is full of things that I don’t love, that I spend my time taking care of.

I want more time to do fun things. I want to spend less time doing wasteful things like reading social media.

I guess I spend too much time on things that aren’t actually that important to me.

 

5. Who do I want to become?

I want to be a loving, caring, peaceful person. I want to have time for people, and build good relationships. I want to be happy, content, free, and easy-going. I want to spend my life in love with Jesus, and I want to be the best wife and mother that I can be.

 

6. How will I define my success?

This is a tough one. I will define my success by how I spend my time, and by my personal thoughts and feelings. I will also define my success by my relationship with God, my family, and my friends.

 

7. How will life improve if I own less stuff?

I hope that I will spend less time taking care of it! I also hope that life will be less stressful, with less clutter. I think that having less stuff will also make my husband much happier. He easily gets overwhelmed when the house feels cluttered. I also want to teach Lochlyn about material possessions, and not to hold on to things that aren’t needed.

I am hoping that once we de-clutter we will be more careful about spending money on things we don’t need, and have more money for trips and other fun experiences.

lochlyn cooking

While answering these questions I realized that this whole 21-Day Journey isn’t necessarily about the things that we have, or our resources, but about ourselves. I have everything that I need to live the life that I want, I just need to change my mindset about it. The things that are truly important to me, are all available and within my grasp, and they aren’t material objects. I need to shift my mindset, and the way that I spend my time, in order to obtain what is actually important to me.

De-cluttering is simply a step in the right direction of living a more purposeful life. It is not the focus, and it is not the solution.

 

Day 3 in our journey is happening next weekend, which means we will be packing up our entire house! I am feeling both excited and nervous. 

My Must List

In my last post I shared about my decision to start the 21 Day Journey to Minimalism, courtesy of The Minimalists blog.

Josh and I’s journey will not be 21 days. We have decided to take more time on certain steps, and we needed to rearrange it a bit to fit our schedule.

treehouse slide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week we decided to work on “Day 1” of the journey. This involved creating personal “Must Lists”.

If this is something you are interested in, I would highly recommend you check out The Minimalists to get more information. In short, to me, a must list is a list of things that you consider non-negotiable for you life. Things that aren’t an option for you to go without.

Personal “musts” are the things that no matter what happens, or what direction you life decides to take, you adhere to them. They should also be the things that guide your decisions and actions day-to-day, as they are the most important things in your life.

I have already noticed that having a “must list” has reminded me of what is truly a priority, and changed with I choose to spend time and energy on.

pose scarf

Josh also created a Must List. We have hung both our lists up on a mirror in our bedroom, so we are able to read them whenever we choose.

I expect my list to evolve over time, as my priorities and life changes, and it is something that I plan to review regularly. At present, here is what my list looks like …

My Must List

  1. I must consistently seek to depend my relationship with God
  2. I must make time to take care of myself daily – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally
  3. I must constantly seek to improve my relationship with my husband
  4. I must spend time with Lochlyn and make her feel loved every day that I am with her
  5. I must seek new friendships and nurture current ones
  6. I must create and maintain a pleasant household for my family
  7. I must nurture my creativity
  8. I must be aware of time-wasting, or unproductive activities and limit them
  9. I must nurture and encourage Lochlyn’s relationship with Jesus
  10. I must get outside and enjoy nature
  11. I must make travelling and vacations a priority
  12. I must steward my finances wisely
  13. I must encourage Josh in his relationship with Jesus
  14. I must develop and maintain a healthy body image, and a healthy relationship with food

This week we are working on Day Two of the 21 Day Journey. I am actually finding this step even harder than Day One. I will be sharing my thoughts!

Out With the Old

Loooong time no see! I didn’t mean to disappear from this little corner of the internet, I just lost the desire to share on the blog for awhile. I have realized that my posts were becoming more about what I thought my readers would want to read, and less about what I felt like actually sharing. I was starting to feel obligated to write certain posts, even if it wasn’t what I felt like talking about.

nordegg hike

 

I’ve been too busy exploring the mountains!!

Anyways, a lot has happened in life since my last post, and I could update you on a ton, but there is something specific that has inspired me to start writing again, and that is what I want to share.

Josh and I have been feeling like we are at this weird spot in life, where we are just waiting for the next thing to happen. Like, we are done with where we are currently at, but not quite ready to move to the next new thing … does that make sense? I guess an easier way to explain it, is life kind of feels like its been in limbo lately.

Lochlyn pony

I think there are quite a few things that have contributed to this, but some of the major ones are…

-We have been contemplating and discussing moving for years, but the time has never been quite right. I still don’t feel like the time is right, but we would love a new house eventually, and we want to start getting our house ready to sell.

-We want to have another baby soon, but I’m not quite ready to be pregnant yet.

-Josh isn’t loving his job, but doesn’t feel like the time is right to leave, and he doesn’t know what else he would like to do

-Our finances have been pretty tight and we would love a change in that area

-We would both like to go back to school, but it doesn’t seem feasible with our current lifestyle

We don’t feel ready to make any of these major life changes, but we want to take some steps to get ourselves ready.

We have decided to get rid of all the things in our life that are getting in the way of where we want to be. Things that take up time, space, thoughts, or whatever.

I came across The 21 Day Journey into Minimalism on The Minimalists blog a few months ago and thought the idea sounded cool, but also pretty crazy. I never thought it was something I would want to do, but the idea has just stuck with me. I mentioned it to Josh one day and he was instantly on board. He loves getting rid of stuff.

The 21 Day Journey calls for a “packing party”. To paraphrase, a “packing party” involves packing up everything that you own in boxes as though you are going to move. Then, you unpack only the items that you need as you need them. Everything else stays in boxes. After a week or so of using only the items that you need, you go through all the items that are still packed, and either toss, sell, give away, or donate them.

lochlyn in box

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will be making some changes to the 21 day plan to suit us, but overall we will be falling it fairly closely. I thought it would be fun to document it and be able to look back on it later.

Stay tuned for Day #1!