Thursday, November 28, 2013

getting back to simple

i'm not sure what has shifted, but the last couple of years i have slowly watched myself slip away from the idea of really trying to live simply. it is something that i feel like we had worked hard to do- getting away from a lot of complicated life distractions, but when i look around i can't help but notice how many of those distractions- good or bad- have crept back in.

when i was pregnant with finn we were so adamant about having less 'stuff' - always conscious about the items brought into our home and regularly purging from the excess that inevitably built up around us. lately i have felt a little overwhelmed. in part with the abundance of things that seem to be taking over our space- boxes of stuff that we dont have room for tower in my closet. dozens of unhung picture frames neatly stacked behind the headboard of our bed. more shoes than we even know what to do with. where i once ruthlessly sold or consigned all finn's old clothes, i now have bins and bins stored under the bed (in part because i have yet to find that perfect consignment shop here in vancouver, but also because we are still unsure about having a second child... and getting rid of clothes when the cost of buying news ones is not something i care to think about seems a bit silly.)

i could likely justify all of it.

i have struggled this year with what to get finn for christmas. i have a bag full of stuff- little treats and toys ready to add to the growing clutter in his already too full toy basket. but i can't seem to help myself- i have lost my ability to tell when it's all too much. when did i slip away from loving the simplicity of the holidays? from wanting to make it about memories rather than things? or am i maybe being a bit too hard on myself- life changes and perhaps its about trying to find a new version of simple. a simple that works for our whole family and not just me and my unnatural love/hate relationship with consuming. probably a little bit of both.

in my darkest moment of dismay, i came across a perfect blog post over on one of my favourite blogs, che and fidel- she describes how at every gift giving holiday, she gathers the presents she has collected and picks something to tuck back into the cupboard and save for another day. She also sticks to a strict rule when considering gifts -

"...something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read..."

its funny how sometimes the simplest thing at the right time is all it takes to reset and get you back on track. i have seen this saying before, but never did it resinate with me so deeply. for the first time i'm EXCITED to reevaluate what we have piled away for finn (and everyone on our list). i feel able to move forward with this simple rule always in the back of my mind. i feel like my balance has been restored.

and as for the rest of it, i will chop it up to 'a work in progress'. it's hard to admit that your previous idea of what life should look like has shifted- especially when a small part of you still thinks your original vision is, by most counts, ideal. but as with everything, there is a great life lesson buried somewhere in all of this. I'm not sure what it is yet, but I'm sure when it reveals itself, it will be a good one. :)


  1. i was just feeling the exact same way. was thinking about when we lived in the condo and charlie was a baby. i had no room so we had i nothing, but the moment we moved it was, whammo! just stuff, stuff, stuff. i miss the condo half because my life was just SO much simpler then.

    1. its crazy hey, and i think the boys getting older is a hard thing too- they can finally express what they want (or don't want to get rid of) so its much trickier to manage what comes in and out of the house. argh. life! haha. glad I'm not alone. thanks jacquie!

  2. Hey it's the same over here. For me it is a struggle convincing our loving family to follow along with our scaled back gifting wishes. Birthdays and Christmas etc. result in so many presents from relatives and friends despite expressing our contentment with what we have. Right now we're getting ready for our babe's first birthday and I know people think I'm terrible for saying he doesn't need anything but really he doesn't. Don't feel bad from drifting away from simplicity everything around you is designed to sway you towards consumerism, the fact that you're conscious of it means something.

    1. thanks my dear. you are so right. i appreciate the kind words.

      for finns first and second birthdays, we said no gifts, but if they absolutely had to get something, we suggested their favourite childrens book with a heartfelt inscription... perhaps a happy compromise for the loving family members that just need to give? :) good luck!