Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In Pursuit of Joy

        I sat down at my laptop to write this morning's missive and just didn't know where to start- so many thoughts and emotions are swirling through my mind it's difficult to sort them all out. The past few days have been filled with flurry and activity for me and it's not the sort you would expect at this time of year. I don't know if it is a physical reaction to all the consumerism- the Black Friday and Cyber Monday- the Christmas adds- the incessant toy pushing- or maybe it's just the thought of starting off a New Year with a clean (er) slate but I have spent the past few days emptying out closets and under beds- clearing out the clutter even further.

     I thought we were doing pretty well in the living more simply department- however it turns out I have a real penchant for hoarding- craft supplies, Christmas decorations, old kid's clothing- yup I have been saving it. A good look around our small apartment and you would never know this stuff was in our lives- I am very clever at stashing things away in boxes under the beds and tetris like in the closets. A recent foray under the bed for the Christmas tree (yes we have a fake tree thanks to the by-laws of our building) proved to be eye opening to me- I saw I was hoarding- wait for it- a bunch of empty boxes!  This "stuff" weighed heavily on me even though it was out of sight- something had to change.

     The Mr. and I have been doing a great deal of future planning these days- we are in our mid to late 30's and have started to consider what we want to do in the next ten years- how do we want our children to live?  We both agree that it is better to travel this world lightly - filling our children up on experiences instead of being weighed down by things. We want to teach them that joy comes from with in- from a sunrise witnessed over a mountain range or a perfect stretch of deserted beach- joy is the culmination of experiences stored up in our souls- we want to fill up their souls with beauty.

   " Joy is no doubt something we all crave more of in our lives. Though closely linked to happiness, joy is something much deeper and longer- lasting. It extends beyond the momentary and lingers around in the every day, and is there when happiness isn't. It's what we all strive for in life, and the good news is that it's certainly within reach"

Clementine Daily*

       I think in a world where getting ahead is so revered and people can easily wear their success by sporting popular brands it is so easy to get swept up in going along with everyone else. I know I did- once upon a time I based a great deal of my self worth on how many of my co-workers commented on my new top- it's easy. Not only is it easy- but it's time consuming and quite frankly a bit boring for me-  I am opting out of this rat race. So for me getting rid of all this "stuff" has been so cathartic- so lightening- exciting and addicting even! As a family we are going into 2014 living much more lightly- much easier and most of all much more together!

     My question for you dear readers- how do you clear out the chaos and clutter? I would love for you to share your simple living tips and tricks! Does simple- minimalist living bring you joy?

* for the full article on living a joyful life from Clementine Daily click here!


  1. Simpleness brings me great joy! It's hard with 4 kids, but I try. I get rid of toys no longer played with, clothes that are outgrown and even ones that are too big sometimes. I know that my kids will never be naked, so if someone else can use it NOW, why am I holding on to it? Books do seem to overrun our house, but even those I am sorting through and just keeping the classics and loved ones, and of course the school books! I also encourage my children not to buy junk, but to wait and save for the item they truly want. Not an easy feat when your monthly allowance is equal to your age in years. (i.e. 7years=$7/month) As the kids grow I have bought each one a rubbermaid tub and put (or they put) keepsakes in it. Even in that we go through it and see if it is stuff they really want to keep later. It's a process for sure!

    1. I love that idea- the thing is with kids they want to save the most random scraps of paper and broken bits of junk- well junk to Moms- treasures to them! I like your idea of giving them each one rubbermaid tub! Yes we also try & encourage the kid's to save up their money for one good thing instead of a bunch of little things- still junk filters in!

  2. Every year I do a 1000 thing purge. It's liberating. In reality I should do a 10000 thing purge.
    I can't help to keep some things. Like the children's clothes. I keep them all, I justify it by saying that we want more children. But really, if I donate it and keep my favourites, I can get more, 2nd hand stores are inexpensive, and golly keeping all of their clothes takes up A LOT of space!
    I also have problems with kitchen appliances. I justify them because I use them all, I really do. But I guess I could trim that down some. There are so many areas I could trim down. I did get rid of nearly all of my text books from university, that was liberating. But there is always more. More. More.

    1. My goal is to not need to purge like this every year- the plan is to not replace any of the items we are getting rid of- that said we just got rid of a stack of kids books- so I'm sure those will be replaced! I like the idea of setting a goal like a 1000 things!


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