I used to worry about what other people thought of me. I was afraid I would scare “normal” people away if I was too silly or weird. What if they didn’t “get” my oddball sense of humor? I would walk on eggshells around certain people because I was afraid I’d do or say something to make them angry. I would even avoid speaking to anyone whom I perceived to be more intelligent or successful than I was (out of fear I would look stupid to them). Then I learned the truth. And the truth has set me free. Now, I no longer care what people think of me. And neither should you.
The truth is…
Have you ever wondered if you might be a hoarder? Has your clutter crossed the line from untidy to out of control?
For the longest time, I was worried I had hoarding tendencies. I would spend hours watching shows like Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive. Watching these shows would (temporarily) make me feel better about myself. After all, my clutter was bad; but not that bad. I frantically Googled, “symptoms of hoarding disorders”. And read everything I could find on the subject. After discovering that at least two of my family members had hoarding tendencies, I began to research whether hoarding was hereditary.
What I discovered shook me to my core. Compulsive hoarding does, in fact, run in families. Actually, there are multiple symptoms associated with hoarding disorders. To my horror, I suffered from more than a few…
Chances are, if you were alive in the 1980’s in America, you’ve heard the phrase, “Just say no” at least once. While the phrase was originally coined to keep kids from doing drugs, I am a firm believer in reviving the “Just say no” mantra for the sake of our sanity (busyness) as well as our bank accounts.
I used to be a crazy person. Crazy-busy, that is. Every single time anyone asked me to babysit, fill in at work, pitch in for a gift, attend a sales party, go out to eat, or help organize an event; I would automatically say “yes”. The thought never even occurred to me to say “no”. I thought I should help others. All of the time. Even if I really wanted to do something (or nothing) else.
Our family of 5 plus our 2 dogs, multiple fish and a crawdad all live (rather) harmoniously in a 1,100 sq. ft. home. Is it easy? Not always. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Why does our family choose to live in a small house when we could live in a much larger one? How do we deal with the challenges of being crammed into a small space for 12+ hours a day? Keep reading. I will share the pros and cons of living in a small house with a family. And, I’ll give you tips for staying sane while doing so.
I love the start of a new year. There’s just something about coming to the end of a well-worn calendar, tossing it out, and opening up a new one. Out with the old, and in with the new. It’s the perfect time to look back at the previous year and reflect on the good and the bad; while at the same time, anticipating the possibilities a new year brings. For the sake of simplicity, I prefer to choose a one-word theme instead of a long list of resolutions. In addition to my one word (persistent), I’ve been thinking of ways to further simplify my life. This year, I’ve compiled a list of 7 things to simplify in 2017.
There is one thing I just don’t do: New Year’s Resolutions. I haven’t for a long time. There’s just something about setting myself up for failure that doesn’t appeal to me. Instead of a long list of resolutions that will be forgotten by February 1st, I’ve decided to go with a one-word theme for 2017. My focus this coming year is to be more persistent.
Maybe you’ve heard the buzz lately about the simple living/minimalist movement. I’ll bet you’ve even heard of (if not already read) the best-selling book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Have you been wondering if this lifestyle is for you? Perhaps you’ve been longing to live a simple life, but you’re not sure if it’s worth it. All of the hours you’ll need to spend decluttering your stuff, saying “no” to extra activities and overtime, having to change your spending habits. And for what? Why not just keep going on the same path you’ve always known? After all, it’s easier. Should you even bother trying to simplify your life?
“What if Christmas,” the Grinch thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” -Dr. Seuss
Take a moment and think back to the Christmas when you were 5 years old. Do you remember what gifts you received? What about when you were 10? Or 15? No?
If you have any children, ask them what they got for Christmas last year. Do they remember? It’s okay, neither do mine.
Christmas is my second-favorite holiday next to Easter. It’s the time of year when we (Christians) celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Christmas season presents the opportunity for us to count our blessings one by one. Christmas is an occasion for us to get together with family and friends near and far and enjoy each other’s company. It is the season to give joyfully to those in need.
Or at least, it’s supposed to be.
Through the years, Christmas has become more and more about mass consumerism, mass consumption, and massive debt. Christmas has become less about giving and more about receiving. It has turned into a stress-inducing holiday for many because of all of the activities we try to cram into our holiday schedules. Christmas has come to be a time of tense interactions between family members who don’t always agree. Just another item on our already full to-do lists. As a result, Christmas has become far from simple.
I don’t know about you, but I think we can do better. I think crafting a simple Christmas is possible; it can be savored, celebrated, even enjoyed.