Minimalism does not work for everyone. I, however, am on a personal mission these days to make it more of a priority in my household. I’m not going full minimalist and getting rid of things we love and living off the grid or anything like that. I already have a bad habit of throwing things away because I don’t care for clutter or ‘stuff’ and I already have a house filled with clean surfaces and clean lines, so getting rid of anything in our house would mean we have nothing in it (and my husband already lives with the opinion that I have throwing things away issues).
Our life is getting hectic. I’m minimalizing that. I cannot tell you how stressed and overwhelmed we are, and how much we look forward to Mondays these days because it means we can actually slow down a bit after the weekend – and our weeks are not slow by any means. We have gotten to the point where we no longer enjoy all that we do, and we are not enjoying our lives to the fullest as a result. Allow me to provide you with a small sampling of precisely what it is that I mean.
We have been married for 11 years, and we have four kids. Our girls are 7 and 5, and our boy/girl twins are 2. We have two in sports and clubs. My husband is a banker. I work from home. We have a very active social life, three nights a week that are dedicated to practices and tryouts and games and the like, and one night in the middle of the week that is dedicated to our 8-year-long standing dinner plans with our best friends.
We were in North Carolina for a little over a week at the end of April/beginning of May. We came home the first weekend of May. The following weekend we had a birthday dinner Friday night, we spent the night in Orlando for a Disney weekend Saturday night and into Sunday. Sunday was Mother’s Day so we then had to get up early and rush home to go to a family pool party and then come home and make a big dinner for my mom and my husband’s mom. The following weekend we had a family Cinco de Mayo party (late) and it was our 11th wedding anniversary, so we went back to Orlando for a day and night of drinking around the world at Epcot.
The following weekend was our annual adults-only trip to our local Pirate Festival on the bay where we boat, eat, drink and have a good time. The following morning we got up and drove to Tampa and had brunch for a friend’s birthday. That’s four weekends in a row we were not home and we were not with our kids half the time. No down time; no time for rest. We looked at our schedules and realized that we have boat days, theme park days, parties, events and plans every single weekend of the summer and then every weekend in fall since always take turns hosting Gator Football games during the season. Then it’s the holidays, and we realized our weekends are already booked with events and holiday happenings. We literally have not one free weekend until the middle of January 2017. It’s June.
That, my friends, leads me to talk a bit about being more of a minimalist; or perhaps simplifying our lives a bit more. We’re doing it; and here is how.
Say No to Plans
We don’t always want to go to every single event that people have thrown. We were just invited to a dinner Friday night, a boat day Saturday and a pool party on Sunday. That’s our entire weekend gone. We turned down Friday and Sunday and we are not going. We know we like to rest of Fridays or have a date night. Sundays are family days.
Simplify our House
Another of our issues is that I’m anal. I cannot have a mess anywhere in my house at any time, and it drives me crazy. Unfortunately, we have four children’s bedrooms and a play room that are filled to overflowing with toys. We’ve decided to clean them out, do some donating and keep it simple. Our kids do not need the 78 million toys they already have.
Something else that makes me a little bit stressed and overwhelmed and non-minimalist is my inbox. I receive thousands of emails every single day from people who want to comment on my work, ask me if they can collaborate and from different things I’ve subscribed to over the years. I’m making a concerted effort these days to unsubscribe and stop giving out my email address. Otherwise, I’m spending 15 minutes every hour deleting and reading emails. If I don’t, I get behind and I’ll never get it done.
In essence, I just want to go back to a simpler way of life. I want spontaneous plans; not plans that have been made months in advance every single time. I don’t want every moment of our lives scheduled because we have friends that like to be busy all the time. We don’t like to be on the go all the time, and we are learning to embrace that.
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