Thursday, September 20, 2012

Simples: a simple living challenge

Since I started this blog, I've been on a journey. The focus has shifted slightly but significantly.

When I started writing, I wanted to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. But I quickly found that as soon as any conflict arose, I abandoned by alleged green principles. Green is awesome, but I wasn't about to turn down an invitation to spend a month in Argentina with my boyfriend to meet his parents and his friends. Plus I love hot baths too much.

This was followed by a focus on the homemade - baking bread, sewing and knitting and homemade cleaners. This is a rewarding exploration but doesn't have much in the way of unifying concept, and is also something I would probably be doing anyway. The blog is an opportunity to share this but no more.

Recently, there has been another shift. This is now really more a blog about simple living, and I think it is about time that I recognised that. Simple living encorporates the green and craft elements already present, but with more of the things I struggle with. I am naturally very disorganised, and I hoard. Boy, do I hoard, and nowhere is this more evident than with craft supplies. I have enough fabric and wool to keep me busy for years!

I want to make this general shift more deliberate and more specific. I want to be able to see my progress and share the challenge with you. I have looked into several simple living challenges, including the 100 thing challenge, but one key principle expressed in every simple living blog is this: find your own path. So I'm going to do just that. And it started with a list.

I am challenging myself to simplify my life. I was reading an extract from Tammy Strobel's book about her experience of downsizing from a large two-bedroom appartment to a tiny, tiny house the size of a parking place. In one page, she tells the reader to grab a piece of paper and write down all the ways they can think of to simplify their life. So I did.

It was a long list. It got longer. I kept thinking of things and jotting them down on scraps of paper all day. I now have a list of 89 items! I have divided them into fourmain topics - decluttering, routine, deliberate consumption and finances. I am challenging myself to make one change each week, and I'm calling this challenge simples because meerkats are cute.

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