06/20/2017

All the Things I Thought I Wanted

If we take a quick look around the internet and social media, it is not long before we find something that catches our attention, causes us to pause through the scrolling, if only for a second. We see someone’s post from a beautiful location, another person sporting a perfect six pack on the beach, the fashion blog writers with their on-point outfits wearing the latest trends (seriously, do those people re-wear an outfit, EVER?!) many more with beautifully decorated homes… you get the picture. Essentially, we find something that we want. Something that we may even think we need.

Here’s a list of the things that I believed I needed to be happy:

  1. A perfectly decorated condo to entertain guests.
  2. Muscles worthy of a bikini at the beach.
  3. To live in a beautiful location, where every day would feel like a vacation.
  4. Lots and lots of friends.
  5. A perfectly designed outfit for every event. Heck, maybe even just every day.
  6. Counter to that, the perfect “minimalist” capsule wardrobe (Hint: Most sites are lying to you. “33 item wardrobes” usually mean they are leaving out certain items and many are per season… 33 x 4 yo, I’m not that impressed anymore).
  7. A pet (Never mind if I have the time or space to actually take care of it responsibly).
  8. Perfectly organized everything.
  9. A bed so cozy that every night is a perfect 8 hours of sleep night where, if guests didn’t know better, they would swear that it is where a garden fairy sleeps. Cue expensive sheets, pillows, etc. (I see you Anthropologie).
  10. The perfect job. It may not pay much, but I can ooze that I am working my “dream job” to anyone who will listen.
  11. Perfect photos or documentation of my life. Photos are amazing memories, but they don’t have to be perfectly posed or stylized.

Honestly, this list could probably be a lot longer. I have stressed myself out in any one of these areas, trying to plan, plot, acquire and control it. And for all my efforts, when I come up for air to look around at what I have “achieved”… it doesn’t look like I’ve gotten anywhere.

Jim Carrey once said:

I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.

This morning, as I sipped my coffee in bed, the window was open and it was a pleasant 50F outside; as my fan gently circulated the cool breeze, I listened to the rustling of the leaves and the sound of birdsong drifting through the air. I felt such Peace in that moment that has carried into my day; and I thought, this is happiness. This is contentment. I smiled as I opened my Catholic Youth Bible (no shame, same Bible I have used since I was eleven), realizing that the only thing I really need to be happy, I already have.

And so do you.

06/13/2017

Scaling Down Time Commitments: The Final Tidying Frontier?

I know it's been FOREVER since I released a blog post, so I apologize for the hiatus and the more-than-likely informality of this post. I want to get my feet wet with writing again; I've still been journaling, pondering, meditating. Yet somehow nothing has ended up here. It could be because my work firewall blocked my blog 😂 so I can't multitask anymore. Which is probably a good thing, but... hey. Give a girl a break. Some people take real lunch … [Continue reading...]

03/28/2017

Creating a Minimalist Pantry

My latest tidying project involved finally tackling my pantry... It has been through many phases of "organized", but I started fresh with a new goal in mind: simplifying my dietary choices, streamlining my meal prep/cooking each week, and keeping track of what I really enjoyed eating and what didn't make the cut. My strategy is simple: one binder where I print & save recipes I like, with the end goal in mind to have a rotating meal plan. … [Continue reading...]

03/28/2017

My Laughing Heart

As I journaled through my thoughts this morning, it became clear that a ray of sunshine has parted the clouds of the last few months. God has poured out blessings and abundance into my life, such abundance I couldn't have imagined as I scaled down again and again the amount of "things" in my life. Creating more space for Him, and slowly, He is filling up those empty spaces, empty moments. He is turning my perceived "lack" into "more than enough." … [Continue reading...]

03/21/2017

The Ongoing Magic Of Tidying Up

It seems as though there is one flaw in all the minimalist writings I have stumbled upon: the lack of emphasis on the ongoing nature of the minimalist lifestyle. I'm not even sure I like using the words "minimalist lifestyle" because it implies I've joined some sort of cult. Okay, maybe I have. In that case, I counter my own argument by saying that Jesus would also be in that cult (he had no possessions besides the clothes on his back and his … [Continue reading...]

03/16/2017

Finding Peace

Meditation Mount in Ojai, California It's been over 3 months since I've made use of any sort of social media platform.  That sentence is the first thought I've given it since I decided to give it up.  It's strange to think that a year ago this Lent, giving up social media was a real struggle for me, I was addicted.  It makes me wonder, how did I have time for the mindless scrolling, the carefully curated posting, the "keeping up with the Joneses" … [Continue reading...]

01/17/2017

A Dying Ember: New Years Burnout

Good afternoon y'all! I know, not my regular posting schedule. And how is it January 17th and this is my first post in the New Year? Well, life. By January 15th, 75% of Americans have failed to uphold their New Years Resolutions. It's January 17th, and can I be honest? I'm burned out. Am I part of the 75%? I'm teetering on the edge. But here's what I propose: just keep going. By December 31st, my pent up "do better this year" energy is just … [Continue reading...]

12/29/2016

Goodnight 2016, Hello 2017

Good morning friends! It is quite possibly my favorite time of year: the end of it 😂 In all seriousness, I love taking some time to review the highlights of the past year, set goals for the upcoming year, and just take a moment to reflect on my life in general. 2016 felt like a life-changing year for me. It definitely had its ups and downs, but I find myself finally starting to reap the benefits of the hard work I've been putting in on my … [Continue reading...]

12/20/2016

It’s the Most… Wonderful? Time of the Year

Good morning dear friends! Christmas is fast-approaching, and the frenzy of the season is upon us. I admit that despite my best efforts, periodically I find myself caught up in it. Scurrying about stores, nearly colliding with too many vehicles to count in busy parking lots (seriously thinking about investing in a horse and sleigh – I can barely move in a parking lot without almost hitting a car or person, stresssssful), waiting in long lines, … [Continue reading...]

12/13/2016

Two Science Terms That Will Help You Change the World

Good morning friends! Today, I write to you from a hotel somewhere in Silicon Valley. I'm here for a number of reasons, all work-related. These weeks are always stretching, as it requires long hours, (seemingly) 24/7 networking and communicating with other scientists, and little sleep. Somehow, despite my normal need for 8-9 hours-or-I'm-crabby, I always look forward to these weeks of learning what the rest of the scientific community is doing … [Continue reading...]