Sunday, April 12, 2015

What Really Matters

It's Sunday, and I'm reflecting on one of the most stressful weeks I have had in a while.  And the thing is, most of the stress, was good stress.  One of my best friends started having contractions last Sunday, I was so excited and eager to do anything and everything I could for her, all while, handling one of my biggest work events of the year on Wednesday.  The baby came on Tuesday night, happy and healthy, the parents beaming with happiness.  I too was beaming and felt honored and lucky to be at the hospital to share in their joy.  The next day I got to work early and had a 12 hour rush to put on the largest and most well attended event we had.  I worked hard, many challenges came my way throughout the day, and I handled all of them and found solutions.  I went to bed on Wednesday, physically and emotionally aching from the stress.  The next morning it all caught up with me, I had the stomach flu.  Friday, was a healing day and building up my strength.  This weekend, with an ok from my doctor, I continued to assist my friends with their new baby.  I also, made a Target run with the new father.

This is where I saw the positive effects of my week play out.  Normally Target is my minimalist place of 'sin', where I get tempted to make frivolous purchases, especially when stressed out.  That day, I had a list of 7 things:

dish washer detergent
laundry detergent
dryer sheets
plastic sandwich bags
panty hose

And guess what, that's all I bought.  Not one extra thing went into the cart.  I saw some things that were colorful, shiny, glistening and calling me to pick them up, try them on, "I'll make you feel amazing!" they called to me.  But no, they wouldn't.  They would just take up space and end up causing me more stress.

The events of the week put everything in perspective: stuff doesn't matter.  Stuff wasn't going to help me help my friends during one of the most amazing times in their lives.  Stuff wasn't going to help me handle the hurdles I faced with my event at work. Stuff wasn't going to help me get better from the stomach flu.  And the last thing my friends needed this week was STUFF.  They and I, all needed love, support and care to get through this week.

As I enter a much less stressful week, I hope to take this lesson with me.  When stress strikes, some TLC is the cure, not a Target run.

Here's to wishing everyone a simple and lovely week ahead!

Friday, April 3, 2015


I have a love-hate relationship with the holiday of Passover.  It is a pain in the butt to prep for both physically and mentally, and often emotionally.  It is a time that I look at my kitchen and think "oh my god, how am I going to do this!"  But the cleaning and the preparation always get done some how and it leaves me feeling very zen.  There was something cathartic about clearing out my refrigerator and all my cabinets and carefully deciding what went back in, what would be taken to the food pantry and what could finally be thrown away.

This holiday also forces me to meal plan, in a way that I don't seem to have the will power to do during the rest of the year.  I keep kosher for Passover pretty strictly, and will not eat out during the full 8 days.  I prep different options and have my lunches and dinners all planned out.  It makes the whole week very relaxed and very simple.

I also am forced to actually get up earlier so I can eat breakfast at home and make myself coffee to go because I can't just stop on my way or eat at the office.  This makes my mornings during this week nice and slow without the rush and the stress.

Passover is a time to reflect on the past and how it affects our present. It helps me appreciate what I already have in my life instead of desiring more.  It brings people around a table for every meal to connect.  While the prep may be labor-some and sometimes intense, it allows me to enter a focused and present state that I always try to take with me when it ends.

For those of you celebrating Passover, I hope, as you put the finishing touches on your tables and dishes, that you find that moment of peace and serenity to wash over you and relax into the rest of this beautiful holiday!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Minimalist Re-set

Hello everyone.  I've been gone for 7 months because frankly, I had not been living a very minimalist lifestyle. I had taken on too much and said 'yes' to too many things.  Clutter had even begun to creep its way back into my car and my home.  People kept asking when I would write another post, and I simply had nothing to share.

At the beginning of the New Year, I decided it was time for a minimalist reset and over the last three months I have been decluttering and simplifying different areas of my life.

At work I: 

  • Reduced 3 drawers of files into one 
  • Shredded/recycled what was not needed
  • Scanned and filed away digitally what I thought we should keep  

At home I:

  • Gathered three bags worth of clothes and shoes to give away
  • Culled and organized 'out of control' paperwork
  • Had old laptops wiped clean and put up for sale
  • Went through cabinets to throw away old food/toiletries

In Life I:

  • Started saying 'no' more often to make sure I have time for myself and my relationship
  • Left a few groups I was a part of to make more time for things I really love
  • Restarted my small business, Your Simple Home, and tackled a new project with a new client
  • Started making home cooked meals
  • Signed up for a plot in the community garden for spring
I feel energized and motivated after my minimalist reset.  I hope to write more now that I have simplified life just a little bit more.