Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Coming back: first topic simplicity
For Weeks, Months, Years I have been dreaming of a more simplistic existence. A way to tread more lightly on this Earth. I have wanted my children to understand that "wanting" of "things" is in bad form and that we as a society need to take back the excitement of less meaning more. I grew up around retail. My mom worked/works retail, I went to college to study retail, my husband works retail, I sell things (handmade at least ;-), retail is all around us. On that same note, I firmly believe in decreasing consumption and I read many blogs ( Zero Waste, Soule Mama, Mommypatumus, Frugally Sustainable) I read many books ( Simplicity Parenting, Freedom of Simplicity, Waldorf Education)
I speak a great deal of needing to live more simply.
If you are this man:
or these women
Or especially this man
You have heard my thoughts on simplicity. In my ideal world I would live on a farm. I would have my closets friends and family living within walking distance. We would have animals to tend to. We would grow food. We would thrive as a community together. There would be fires lit. Stories told. Bread made. Knitting circles. Mending of trousers. Yea, kind of like a commune. With clothing ;-) Just something about that really appeals to me. Although I find it slightly impossible to obtain, when I think of that life (in my romantic eye) I see peace, serenity and happiness.
So for now, I try to bring my simplistic views to a much smaller scale. In our house. Trying to find a balance of simplistic life. I have no better seen the need for taking control of our lives then last week. On two separate occasions I witnessed Hudson lose it in stores. His body was overcome with a sense of "needing" "wanting." His eyes swollen, tears flowing down his face, anger filling his body, words unable to be found, pure exhaustion because he "wanted" and I was saying "no!" He has never been a kid to "want" a lot. He usually wants a lot of love. He usually wants a lot of your attention. He has never in his 3 years wanted "stuff" for the sake of wanting. It dawned on me how we spent our December. The constant influx of "stuff" making its way in to our house. Disrupting our lives and rhythm. the constant ringing of the doorbell of the UPS delivering something new. We would hear the rumbling of his engine and we would perk up to see that, yes, he is stopping yet again at our house. Our house full of newly opened boxes, plastic wrap, unable to find its place in our recycling bin because it was already too full. Unfortunately December and January brings my birthday, Christmas, and Nolan's birthday so there is indeed going to be "stuff" coming in to our lives. BUT on that same note, we don't need to be adding unnecessarily. Simplicity.
So it started. My time to start. To scale back on things. To reteach my child that we don't "need" all this "stuff." To help Nolan understand that he too will grow to be happy without needing stuff. To be honest, our kids play with less than a handful of things, but we have a room dedicated to storing their things. We have closets full of clothing (most of it unworn), we have cupboards full of dishes never used, we have a pantry full of food waiting to be served. It's time.
The main thing I want to teach my children is the importance of "making." If you know me, you know I make. I make a lot. I don't buy gifts, I make them. It's a rewarding feeling. I want that for my children.
My steps to simplicity (are you tired of this word yet)
1. Making bread every week.
2. Inviting curious and helpful hands back in to the kitchen
3. Making my own clothes. (within reason. I will not make my own undergarments (yet) or gasp.. never will I make my own jeans.. I don't give up jeans)
4. Limiting coffee out. This is going to be my hardest thing. I will keep outing coffee to special occasions. Not an every day thing like it is now. As this converstaion unfolded yesterday:
Me "we are going to mix to get a coffee"
Hudson "can I get a special treat?"
Me "no, we have homemade ice cream at home you can have"
Hudson "well we have coffee at home too"
But he is right. I need to lead by example
5. Make our household cleaners, lotions, soap, etc.
6. Drive less (this would help if we moved in town)
7. Use the library
8. Decrease spending: this one has way too many layers.
I am keeping my list small, to be realistic. It takes time to meet these goals, but I know we can do it. And fortunately my husband is on board.
Here's to 2012 and hopefully great things for this family. and no more store tantrums cause, really, that sucked!