I have been obsessively listening to The Minimalists podcasts lately, and I've been finding them really inspirational. For one thing, I get my socks folded in record time (I find it SOOOO boring, but now my brain can be happy and I fold socks the same day I wash them). But I realize that I have been trying to do too many different things, thinking they are the same thing.
They have a quote (that of course I can't find right now, maybe it isn't them) that says something like "Simple living isn't simple," and I have been forgetting that. I have been all over the map -- decluttering, trying to make money to pay down our debts, parenting -- and I can't understand why things are not matching my vision. I have a vision of a simple, clean, elegant home with happy children. We calmly sit together, talk, drink tea, enjoy being together. The dogs sleep quietly on the floor (not the sofa!). But that's not who we are -- that is a moment in time. And I keep forgetting that!
I also was hugely inspired by T.K. Coleman on their School podcast. He said that, if you want to do something, then start and learn as you go. So I started talking to my friends, telling them that I am interested in helping declutter homes. If they have friends who need help (because I can't suggest that they need help!) to pass my number along. It's not simple, but it is working toward my goal -- and I'm so tired of paying interest on the car, paying interest on the house -- I want to be done! And that's my larger goal -- simplifying my life so I can enjoy my life.
I can't have my vision of a peaceful house all the time. I have kids who want to do things, explore the world. I want them to pursue the things that they are curious about! So we will have swim, and robotics, and 4-H, and dogs (on the sofa and otherwise), and homework, and birthday parties, and all the things kids do. And from time to time we will sit and talk and drink tea.
And this is as simple as I am willing to make my life at this point. I need to remember this. If minimalism is removing everything that doesn't add value, my life is minimalist because the things I do add value to my family (if not to me specifically). And the journey to the life I want is worth the effort it takes.