Simplify. Seems simple. It isn’t really…

What’s the big deal about simplifying your life and home?  Why is there an increasing interest in this?  Why is it so doggone hard?  Well, it’s not thaaaat bad.  Unless you live with other folks that aren’t on the same page as you, the same thought process, the same goals.

I’m at that stage in life where I want to start downsizing.  Have you seen all the shows and articles and web sites related to tiny housing?  When my hubby and I (we just had our 16th anniversary, by the way–woohoo!!!) first got married, I moved into his 680 square foot house.  Tiny.  We were there before tiny was cool!  I wasn’t sure how to combine our two households effectively and beautifully, but persevered.  By the time we hit our first anniversary, I loved our little house.  It was cozy. It was complete.  It was welcoming.  It was adorable.  But then we found out a wee one was on his way!  No place to put a crib, another dresser/changing table, toys, etc.  So we thought.  We moved into a house nearly twice the size–1200 square feet.  Whew.  Room to breathe.  We were no longer always together no matter what room we were in, including when one was in the bathroom.  (We had plenty of conversations through the door.)  But I found that it wasn’t as convenient when I had a question or needed something.  And there was always something that needed cleaning.  And we bought a lot more stuff, which required maintenance.  Or additional stuff.  But then we wanted to move to a better school district.

Next house–1,964 square feet, plus footage that’s not included.  We’re always hollering from one end of the house to the other, for stoopid things, like where is…, do you want…, when is…, are you ready?  Bothers me.  I don’t like that we yell, but what’s worse is not understanding what the other person said.  Then you have to get clarification, either by moving to where they are, or yelling, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”  “I DIDN’T HEAR YOU–WHAT??”  “SAY AGAIN??”  We usually don’t hang out in the same room either, which saddens me immensely.  This is something we’re working on as we slowly simplify and get back to what is important. We’ve got a finished basement, which isn’t part of that square footage because there isn’t an egress window (a window big enough to get out through if there’s an emergency.)  Enormous family room (which is hubby’s favorite room,) a guest bedroom, and a half bath with sink and toilet.  There are also two BIG spaces that are storage space.  You know what that means?  We’ve gotten more STUFF; it all needs weeding out.  Last week I went through a container looking for our wedding books and pictures.  Found a bunch of newspapers in there that had no purpose that I could see. Recycle!!  Felt so good!  Made me want to discard more.  But I didn’t as I had other things to clean, maintain, buy, plan for, plan around…

When I talk with hubby and son about moving, there’s always a disconnect.  They sure don’t want smaller.  But they don’t get frustrated when looking for something.  They just ask me.  I’ll find it if I don’t already know where the item is.  And they don’t clean, much.  Or do the little maintenance, much.  Staying home with my synthetic fragrance sensitivity, I have become the cleaning lady.  And fixer.  In fact, just this morning, my dearest hubby asked why the living room touch up paint was on the counter with spackle and a brush.  Well, hmmm.  There are touch-ups to do.  Ah.

Yes.  I want to down size.  I love cozy.  Hubby loves space.  Lots and lots of space.  My favorite room in the house is the smallest at 10′ by 10′.  He gets claustrophobic in there.  It’s wonderfully cozy with a comfy couch (guest bed,) open bookshelf, small desk, small printer cabinet, a skinny wire and basket chest, and a tiny wrought iron garden table by the couch to set your beverage on. Very cozy, but not crowded.

Here’s a funny–hubby wants a smaller yard, as he dislikes yard work.  And I want more garden space to grow our own food.  I’d love to have chickens and goats too.  (Not possible in our current neighborhood.  We can’t even put up a clothesline or basketball hoop!)  We’ve currently got two pear trees, two apple trees, and a concord grape arbor that the previous owners put in.  We’ve added two blueberry bushes and a good sized raised bed for vegetables.  All of this on 1/3 of an acre!  I see room for more raised beds, but my guys want to be able to throw the football or baseball around a few times a year. We have a HUGE park a few miles from here. Their very valid point is when the urge strikes, they don’t want to have to drive.  Ok.

My biggest challenge with simplification is the part about getting rid of the stuff.  It amazes me how things become valuable when I’m purging.  We’re gathering garage sale goodies together, and have a good amount.  But there could be more!!!  And the whole recycling thing is hard–do we REALLY need this?  Can’t I just take a picture?  Can’t we make a copy and put it in our cloud?  One friend tells me I should just do it.  But that’s a violation of their opinion, isn’t it?  Guilt prevails.  But so shall I.  I WILL prevail at simplifying our lives and home.  I do want to say that all three of us are getting better at making do with what we’ve got.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.   And upcycling by reusing something in a different way than what it was originally intended for.  Yep–getting there.  It certainly is a process, and we Know that happiness is the journey, not the destination.  So, as I go down memory lane with the items that have accumulated over the years, I send you

Warm wishes on Your journey!
Nance

Ends and Beginnings, All Mixed Together

What I am writing today is based of free writing/unlocking the mind for 20 minutes.  I’m supposed to post even if it’s not done.  Just free write.  My head actually needs this.  There’s so much change going on in my immediate life.  Hubby started a new job today!  It’s his biggest one yet (senior executive chef for a huge hospital,) and he’s so excited about it. It’s really cool to watch this happening to him/us.  🙂

I went to lunch with my former co-workers as it was their last lunch out for the school year and I was asked to join them.  Bittersweet feelings–I feel like I was missed, yet haven’t had contact with them hardly at all during my 5 1/2 months away for my fragrance hyper-sensitivity.  They DID respect my sensitivity and were as fragrance free as possible so they could hug me.  And THAT was awesome.  Made me realize that this job is REALLY over. ohmygoodness.  This is so hard.  😦  Three others in the department are also leaving; one transferred to another school in the district, one got a promotion to administration and one is moving back to her hometown to teach there.  Out of 8, four are leaving.  That’s a lot of upheaval.  My immediate supervisory principal is retiring this year as well, so it’s going to be crazy-nuts next school year.  

This past Saturday, I attending a going away party for a family at my church that’s moving to Washington D.C.  In their household, the eldest daughter graduated high school, the other daughter finished middle school and starts high school in the fall, the dad turns 50 in a few days, the mom got the fabulous job in D.C., but has to uproot the family from the family homestead where she personally grew up and has always lived, leaving friends and family behind.  It was hard, because I was just getting to know them and their wonderful selves. But we’re assured we have a place to stay when we head to D.C.!! 

On Sunday, my minister, the only one I can call “mine” as an adult, gave his last sermon at our church because he and wife are moving from Missouri to Florida, so he can minister at another church.  This was a hard choice for him, but he feels like he’s taken the congregation as far as he can, and now wants to bring another congregation to their best levels. I thought ministers stayed until they retired or died, once they found a place that felt like home. I actually feel betrayed.  Happy for them, yet betrayed.  He’s WHY I’ve stayed at this church.  If there were guests in the pulpit, I seldom attended, because I like HIS sermons.  Not happy. This is hard too. 

I went to the doctor today about my broken foot, fearing that I’d get the news that I need surgery. Well… we don’t know and I have to wear my boot for another 3 weeks.  However, I can put more weight on it, in fact need to, to strengthen it.  CRAP.  It’s springtime, almost summer.  I have yard work and gardening and house projects that I wanted/needed to do before the hellish heat waves arrive.  Hubby and son are tired of being my minions.  Understandable, but I wish they actually knew how much I do NOT ask them to do!!  hahaha!! The news about the foot is ok, but sure isn’t what I was hoping for.  ah well.  The Universe has some sort of plan for me.

AHHHH–timer went off.  There’s still more in my head!  And I sure don’t feel like I made any profound statements.  lol