Simple

An epiphany hit me this week. (Yes, it really took a week.) Live simple.

Two simple words have changed me. I feel like a coccoon has opened and I’m the butterfly flying out. Seriously. I read on Apron Craft Girl’s blog about an internet community called Freecycle. In a nutshell it’s a place where you can list items you want to give away. All you have to do is find a local chapter and sign up! I signed up about a week ago and saw that people really do have everything! During my live simple epiphany I realized I’m chained to my stuff. Stuff. Old paperwork, recipes I’ve never used, odds and ends of fabric and yarn, baking accessories, cords from two telephones ago…

I don’t want to live for my stuff. Recently my mom decided to go through everything in her storage. She couldn’t afford to pay $100 a month to store stuff. She gave me a lot of it. What would I do with it? So yesterday morning I posted 41 messages, (apparently too many, I’ve learned), of different things I wanted to give to others. I gave Scout’s old car seat, a vacuum, cookie cutters, old DVD sets, videotapes, boxes of envelopes, old dishes and glassware, my old computer printer, a broken PS2, Brita water filter, old knitting books…

The list goes on, literally. I’ve had people in and out of my home yesterday and today. There is still more scheduled pick ups. And it feels good. Did I really need to keep the two first seasons of “Law and Order” on DVD knowing I’d never watch them again? Or what about all of the various mugs and tea cups that haven’t seen a warm drink in years? No. I did good. People will get something out of my things. And that’s nice.

I am continuing with live simple theory. I read that some people are so consumed by amassing things that they don’t even enjoy it. I realize that I am one of those people. I buy fabric because it’s “cute” or “it would make a great quilt”. And it just sits. The pile gets larger and there is always cuter fabric. Or yarn. I can dream up the perfect use for a skein of Sundara. But 6 months later it’s sitting next to a couple more skeins. All of them had a perfect use.

It is beautiful. Even if I don’t care for purple. But maybe I can get better use out of this knowing I will never wear it for myself. I will never knit it for myself.

So on I go. I will make my life simple. I will start saving money and stop impluse buying. I will be more conscious of what we spend on groceries, gas, and bills. I will enjoy what I have. I will think about the things I want and the things I need. I will use what I buy. I will use what I’m given. I will remember those two hours of perusing in the library, alone, amazed at all the information at my fingertips. I will make a special time to read blogs and really get to know all of you wonderful bloggers.

I just wanted to let you know that I’m outside of the fire zones that Southern California is currently in. They aren’t anywhere close to where I live like they were last year. That said, my classes have been cancelled and I have a number of friends in the areas that I will be attending to. My mom is with a friend in the Porter Ranch area right now. So, I will be in and out. I apologize ahead of time if I don’t get to your emails/messages right away. Please cross your fingers for the people in Chatsworth. This is where I grew up as a teenager. I’m very upset to see my home burn to the ground. It has me very anxious. I guess living simple might have to wait a day or two.

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10 thoughts on “Simple

  1. so glad you’re not in the fire zone. a friend told me about freecycle. i joined in my city, but haven’t looked at it lately. with baby coming we’ve been cleaning and decluttering in hopes of having a garage sale. just don’t know when/if we’ll get to it before L&D though, there’s so much to do and ian is always working, so he’s not here to help. anyway, i feel a lot calmer, or just at peace knowing that i’m getting rid of things and trying to live simpler, too!

  2. I’m so glad to hear that you are safe and sound. I really enjoyed this post. I often feel the need to pare down and live simpler. I feel stressed when there is too much stuff around…

  3. First of all, I hope you and your mom continue to be safe, and I hope your home is safe from the fire.
    Secondly, I am so with you on the living simple thing. The only thing is that I am married to a PACKRAT. Who does not want to part with all his “stuff”. I swear, I actually fantasize about throwing 95% of our stuff away and just paring down and living in a 2 bedroom apartment – I FANTASIZE about it. It’ll never happen, but I will live vicariously though your de-cluttering! πŸ™‚

  4. If you haven’t already done it, check out Simple Abundance at your local library, or have a cup of coffee with it at the book store.

    Great insight into living simply.

  5. What a fabulous post. As I prepare for a move from a little condo to a full-sized house, I am grateful for what a move makes one do: reconsider all those items stashed for “later use”. Living Simply is refreshing, engaging and easy. Knowing what you have is what you need/use is a really good feeling.

    Glad to hear you are out of the fire zone in CA. Will keep your family and friends my thoughts.

    And finally – thanks for leaving a comment on my blog post about my Feb. Lady Sweater. I’m glad I was able to connect your blog because of it. I’ll add your RSS feed to my bloglines and will be in touch.

    Best,
    Holli

  6. oh, i love it. i have been trying to do the same thing. live simple. it really makes things a little less complicated, and really clears the mind/body/soul.

    glad you are well.

  7. Oh goodness! I had *no* idea that there were fires going on in CA affecting your family and friends 😦 It seems that all they want to broadcast here is stuff about the stock market or the elections. My thoughts are with all of them and all of you though, and I hope that everyone stays safe! I’ll be sending lots of good thoughts your way….

    Good for on living simple! I have been trying to do exactly the same thing for a month or two now. It’s hard for me to let go of things (I’m too sentimental) but I’m trying and it feels good πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to hear more about your success! Thanks for inspiring the rest of us!

  8. 1 – I hope that the fires spare as many of your friends and loved ones as possible. And I am glad that you are safe (at lest this round for certain).

    2 – Thank you for sharing the living simple mantra. It is a very freeing feeling when you realize that stuff has you and not the other way around. Do keep us posted!

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