Part one: Living Simply

 In perusing the message boards on Ravelry.com I came across a thread that was posing the question of "Are living Simply, and Living Frugally the same? Or would they be mutually exclusive?"

The responses on the message board were ranging far and wide, and everything in between.  I would like to explore this.

For some, the idea of Living Simple is having fewer possessions, and making the most out of what we do have.   For others, it's about time management.  For others still, its about reducing the amount of stress and drama in their lives.   And then there is the whole aspect of environmentally sound decision making.

I like to think that it is a pleasant mix of all of the above.  As I've said in previous posts,  I'm going through my mounds of clothes that I never wear anymore, or are too small (I've grown a little bit robust in recent years).  I've been washing them piling them up as I come across them; and donating them to someone that can use them.  I am also trying to get rid of the pile of odds and ends that I've accumulated for no apparent reason, and question why I really have said random object?

Perhaps the biggest step I've taken in living a simpler life is not feeling the urge to be involved in everything that I used to.   I'm now to a point where I can pick and choose what I need/want to be involved in.   I don't think it's necessary for have to go to the clubs anymore.  Gods only know how much money I spent doing that.   I like to spend more time at home with my partner, spinning or knitting, or (UGH) housework.   I find that I have less tolerance for crowds, or whiney people, or people that

I'm still working on the time management issue.  The dishes don't always get put in the dishwasher when they need to, and the laundry never gets put away right as it's coming out of the dryer.  I have too much spinning to and two adorable puppies to play with.

But it's a process.  And one that I'm looking forward to seeing out.  I want to enjoy the moment, and live for the simple pleasures in life.  Even if it means taking time to let the dogs out to sniff the air.


Paring down

I have a dream, well more of a pipe dream really, but still a dream.  My dream is that one day I will be able to live in a house small enough that I can clean it all in about 4 hours or less.   This includes dusting, vacuuming, doing the laundry and the dishes, and even going so far as to make the bed and clean the bathroom. 

In my previous post, I had mentioned paring down on all of my stuff.  One of the responses gave warning that I should not pare down too much becuase I may end up needing it at a later date.  Very logical advice, and well recieved.   I did some thinking about this advice and what it meant, and how it could be implemented.  

My conclusion was that if I don't have any emotional attachment to it (such as the stuffed toys that I've had since I was 3 and have always been there). Another reason for keeping something is if it is a family heirloom (my Great-Grandfather's sewing machine that he used to repair shoes with and still works, as well as all of the lasts that he used).  My third reason for keeping stuff would be if I have used it within a year. 

If  I don't hold any emotional attachment to it, or can't readily use it,  or haven't even thought about it in over a year, then why am I holding on to it?  Why do we let things like this clutter our lives? It served its purpose in our lives, perhaps on some subonsious level we feel that it will, like the response from last post said, be needed at some point in the shrouded future. Holding on to stuff that is not needed can be tiresome.

Every increased possesion loads us with new weariness. -John Ruskin (1819-1900)


The Little Things

So,  I've been going through my things and starting to get rid of stuff that I don't need/want.  Going through bit by bit to try and pare down my life.  It's a challenge.  I've come to realize that I've let too many of the small things that need to be done build up until they are a great big mound of Things That Need To Be Done.

With my birthday coming up in two days, I've decided that going into my 31st year on this Earth, I need to start taking better care of the small stuff.  Not sitting around on Facebook, or other social networking sites as much.  I like to sit down and, "just check my email..." and that turns into a 45 minute process for deleting 4 pieces of spam, and scrolling through a bunch of stuff that I've already seen six times this afternoon, so why do I need to see it again?

I've been finding that taking care of the small  things in life, gives me more time to do the things that I enjoy, such as my knitting, or spinning, or just curling up with a book.  Because I'm slowly paring stuff down, there is less and less that I really need to deal with, thus allowing me more time to enjoy my life.  A beautiful cycle. 


It's spring time,  my birthday is in another week.  I am finally shaking off the winter doldrums.  This week has been in part about cleaning up my guest bedroom.  It tends to be a dumping ground of sorts.  Laundry that needs to be washed, laundry that needs to be folded, old receipts, clothes that don't fit or I don't wear that sort of thing.

Seasons change and with them my mood.  I've noticed over the last 10 years, that I tend to let things go dormant during the winter.  Once it starts to warm up, I pick up the pieces of the puzzle that I had let drop, and start all over.

Since the beginning of the week, I have started to once again sort through clothes that need to be taken to Goodwill, folding all of that pesky laundry (does it ever really get done? or is it just a vicious cycle that the Gods invented to help keep us out of the bars, taverns, pool halls, and brothels?)  I've started to de-clutter as well ("Why do I have 3 day timers, 4 bags of baby gifts for a non-existent baby, and a kitschy snowman door hanger? What the hell am I holding on to all this crap for!?)

Tonight though my project was to work in the craft room.  I clean, card, comb, spin(top whorl drop spindle, bottom whorl drop spindle, 2 spinning wheels and some supported spindles) , dye my own wool, as well as knit, and crochet.  Tonight was a spinning night.  I cleared off 1 bobbins of yarn that have been sitting waiting to be plied.  I also turned another bobbin into a ball to be plied.  It's all from wool that I have processed and haven't been happy with how it turned out.  Too much vegetation still stuck in the yarn for my liking.

I like getting projects done.  especially the ones that have been sitting around for eons waiting to get done.  March and April are the perfect times to do it.   It's a time of finishing up the old projects and starting the new.  There is always more spinning to do, more laundry to be done, more plates to put into the dishwasher.  That's where the magick happens.  Those thousand little routine things that we put our energy into that never seem to stop are what turn a house into a home.