I started this blog about a year ago, and I cannot believe how much my life has changed in that time. Last year I was a full-time stay-at-home mom who was trying to simplify life as we headed into the home stretch of having kids at home. With a child in middle school and a child in high school, and their associated activities, I wanted to eliminate as much extraneous stuff (and activities) as we could to better appreciate out time together.
Instead, it seems that my efforts to streamline our household made space for an exciting business opportunity with my mother and sister. We are able to pull clothes and other items out of the waste stream, and provide a service to the small, isolated community where my parents live. It has been the opposite of quiet and simple, but it is also exciting and it brings the whole family together.
I've also discovered a lot about myself while working to eliminate the surplus in my life. I'm not exactly the person I envisioned I was, of would be. I found out that I do not really like making things -- I thought mothers made things, so I made ... stuff that felt like clutter. (I'm not opposed to making things I need, but a lot of things I made I'd just be happier buying. I guess that's just how I'm wired.)
Working outside the home (shopping, washing and pricing goods mostly) has taken a lot of time. A lot more time than I expected. I really respect those moms that have been doing this all along! Minimalism has really helped keep things on track around here. I do notice that the house is messier than it was before I started working at the shop. I will continue to identify what is really necessary in our home, but it is a lot slower process than a year ago!
I guess I'm feeling reflective about the changes over the last year (it's time for Christmas cards, after all!). I do feel like I need to simplify further, but I am grateful for the improvement over last year.
I have a lot less physical stuff around the house. I've gotten rid of a lot on ebay, and a lot of larger things on Craigslist. Eliminating physical clutter has reduced stress. Creating new patterns has reduced wasted time, and that has reduced stress.
This year has been really weird. It's been so different from previous years, and so different from what I was expecting. The first half of the year -- simplifying -- was critical to success in the second half of the year. I would like to streamline the changes of the second half of the year to have more of the simplicity and peace that I was pursuing a year ago. I will continue working toward my goals, and see what effects I can achieve.