Showing posts from January, 2012

In search of simplicity

So it's my birthday today. (I'll go ahead and pause for a moment so you can all mutter the obligatory well wishes.) So it's my birthday and I have an idea that I've been saving for this occasion. I'm going to spend this year trying to simplify my life. This will include everything, how I do things, how I spend my time, and what I own. You see, I feel bogged down by the stuff. Remember this post when I talked about how odd it feels to have so much stuff when there are so many people who have so little? Well, you know what else happens when you have too much stuff? You end up serving it, instead of it serving you. Think about it. How many loads of laundry do you have to do a week just to keep the laundry hampers from overflowing all over the floor? How many dishes do you wash in a day? How much clutter do you pick up: off the floor, counters, in your yard? What if you didn't have all that stuff? What if I didn't have all that stuff? How much s


To help me remember. It's almost healed.

Never Alone

Sometimes I lose perspective. Ok, a lot of times I lose perspective. I get over whelmed by straws, many tiny little straws that pile up until I feel like I can't move. Monday was that kind of day. At some point in the morning I called Aaron, who is out of town on business, AGAIN after being home just 6 short days, and surprised myself by weeping into the phone as I told him we were going to have to carry a balance on the credit card this month, for the first time in 2 years or more, because I just couldn't make it work out, this income we have, plus the expenses we have. I haven't really bought groceries all month, living on pantry staples from times of surplus when I stocked up. We have a 50 pound bag of rice in the pantry after all. We may get bored, but we won't starve. But it's draining, and wearying, this constant need to make do. I lost a filling 3 months ago. I probably need a root canal by now, but still can't afford a dentist. Add to that a hormon

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

It is receipt season here.  Accounting and spread sheets and lots of research for setting up how we're going to do things in 2012. I'm so glad Sara is helping this year. But I took a short break from it all to "capture some contentment" in the middle of all the chaos. Pretty Those freckles! $10 decal from home goods on my kitchen wall still makes me happy. I'm a little obsessed with collecting interesting old tins at thrift stores. I recently hit upon the brilliant idea of hiding things in them in the laundry room. It's a perfect place for all those rolls of different tape I have. Happy When your 10 year old comes up with the lunch menu from your depleted pantry. Tostadas and beans, with fresh from the tree lemons. The young chef. Happy diners I let them eat on the front step. Funny a gift for Bam Bam Some friends of ours from our old neighborhood visited this week. We haven't seen them in a few years. For some reason Mam

For When the Going Gets Tough

One of the things I inherited somehow from my Christian upbringing was this idea that if God is behind something, it should be easy, simple, smooth, etc. I don't know how many times I've heard someone use that as criteria for choosing a direction in their life, or whether or not to do x or y or z. "Well, we didn't get the visa on the first try so I guess that means God is shutting the door and that's not where we're supposed to go." Don't think it's just Christians who do it though. Cloaked in different words, the universe is opposing you, the stars aren't aligned, it wasn't meant to be, fate had something else in mind, it's still the same pervasive mindset that if things don't come easily then there's a wrongness in continuing to strive for them. I can't answer for anyone but the Christians here, but let's for a second contrast that attitude with some stories from the Bible shall we? For instance, this morning i

If only...

I lost a paycheck, the one dated for January 1st that he handed me, along with a bunch of receipts as I drove him to the train station a week and a half ago. Sometimes it's the little/big things that make you feel like a failure. The person who needs to sign a replacement won't be back in the country in time for me to pay the rent on time. So I'm in a bit of a tight spot. (It will work out in the end I think.) I think maybe the reason we fixate on such things, beat ourselves silly over the mistakes, is that we're trying to regain control of things. If only I had put it in my purse. If only I had double checked that everything was back in it properly after Bam Bam tore it apart that day. If only I had examined every piece of paper I swept up or vacuumed out of the van in the past 12 days. If only he had given it to me before we left the house so I could put it away properly. If only I had paid better attention I might remember where I really did put it. I look fo


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