forward thinking" (a.k.a. New Year's resolution-y thingys).
Better time management? Uh, no, not really. Taking a Sabbath? Kind of. Book? Zero progress. Blog more? Okay, last week I just squeaked in at my 2 posts a week goal with my silly little Milo post, but it counts. Right??? Sew more? Ummm... I plead the Fifth. Use less? Wellllll.... finally, yes, I think so.
I've been much more conscientious about what I buy. I've bought less (sticking to my policies for myself). And also, I've been getting rid of so much stuff. The thought of moving a bunch of trash we don't really need has been motivating me to purge, purge, purge. In the first week of January, I made three huge trips to the Goodwill Donation Station, and there are a few bags in the garage awaiting transport there now.
I've been donating furniture, too. This started in November when I was trying to figure out how we'd fit the Christmas tree in our house, and I got rid of the awful coffee and end tables we had (pictured here) plus some random chairs and things. Though I thought I liked them when we purchased them, they'd started to leave a bad taste in my mouth. They had an awful finish that showed every speck of dust, every chip, every everything, and they were just so big. Still, it's really hard for me to get rid of furniture. I always think, "But I might want that at our next house!!" And plus... a coffee table?? You need that, don't you?
But the funny thing with all my purging is the freedom it gives. I don't feel so stressed thinking about the places we might move to, and the sizes of houses we might have to live in. I don't worry about the days of unpacking. I feel... well, cliched though it sounds... lighter.
Another thing: I finished reading Simplicity Parenting, and I stand by it being one of the top books I would recommend to every parent or wannabe parent. It really helped motivate my purging and paring down. I think the kids still have more than the author recommends. Since we homeschool, I'm not going to pare down to the handful of "favorite" books like he suggests, but what I did do was go through our shelves and decide what the real quality books -- particularly the "chapter" books -- were. There were plenty to get rid of! And I did it with the kids' help, so I wasn't tossing anything they would miss. Same with the toys.
It was funny, too, because one of the blogs that had recommended the book (Imperfect Homemaking) ran this post about cleaning and re-doing their twin daughters' closet. When Skyler and Lilly (who share a room) saw it, they declared they wanted their closet to like that too. I told them it would mean getting rid of stuff... and they went upstairs and started doing it right away!!! Now, their closet doesn't look like the blog's yet, but I think their actions certainly lend to the notion that kids really do want to keep things simple!
Finally, my last resolution-y thing: loving more deeply. Well, this is not a pass or fail, but a work-in-progress. But it ties into the whole concept of paring down, focusing.
I've noticed that donating many clothes has allowed me to realize which clothes I love. And donating things that really just take up space, gives room for what I really care about. Places to cuddle, talk, read, dream, dance, sing.
I love this quote by Kim John Payne at the end of Simplicity Parenting: "Simplification offers a new way forward for parents; it aligns their daily lives with the dreams they originally held for their family... What your family can be without the centrifugal force of distractions and excess becomes internalized. It's a feeling you will come to recognize, treasure, and protect. A center that holds."
All this new breathing room... well, it feels good. So does our new dancing room. And so does dreaming space.