Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Staying Simple

I'm going to cut right to the chase here: I bought laundry detergent this week. And dishwasher fluid. Commercial brands, no less.


For someone who takes great pride and sense of personal acheivement from making homemade, earth-friendly versions of these two things I must say this is a break from the norm. But I had my reasons...

I (obviously) write a blog called Simple Little Home, and I am passionate about living simply, frugally, and intentionally on our earth. These are things absolutely central to my being- a big part of what makes me tick.

But sometimes these things compete for my attentions, and become somewhat mutually exclusive. I realize that sounds sort of off base, but I find that every once in a while being too "gung ho" about DIY creates stress, which in turn degrades my quality of life.

Have you ever been there?

It seems to happen to me suddenly- I run out of laundry detergent and baking soda at the same time so I can't make more right away. Then I run out of rice and potato flour at once so I can't make bread on my regular schedule. Or we're home from vacation and I have more laundry to do than usual so I put off my freezer cooking or lesson planning. (If you've ever done either you'll know that those are only temporary time savers because both come back to bite you when it's dinner or school time and you've got nothing planned...) It seems that the little things conspire so that every once in a while I must stop doing everything to sort of re-set the clock and get things back in order- in order of my priorities, that is.

This week I'm taking it slower and giving myself permission to sit. Still. For. A. Few. Minutes. Because it isn't necessary to do everything perfectly all the time. Or even most of the time. What's most important is that I keep my priorities straight, and that means spending time with my family (and just myself!).

This week, because I bought some of the "essentials" our family uses instead of making them, I have spent more time:

reading all the books my children ask for,

playing along with them in the yard,

reading a grown-up book for pleasure,

staying up late with my husband for a grown-up dinner with wine,

intentionally enjoying the sensation of the sun on my face

and my family gathered around me.

Likewise, this week I have given myself permission to not:

blog about every moment of our lives,

talk on the phone for more than a half hour with friends in the middle of the day, no matter how much I'd like to forget about everything else that's going on,

do much food preservation even though we're at the height of the harvest,

feel guilty about the things I'm not doing,

think too much about the future in favor of savoring the present.

There are so many, many, many ways to be good to our earth, each other, and ourselves. (And thanks to Pinterest I know about them all!). This week, I am just trying to remember that I don't have to do all of them right now.

Phew! That feels better.

Do you sometimes give yourself permission to just let go? (Come on girls, tell me it's not just me!!)


  1. Wonderful post. There has to be a balance! Good for you for giving yourself permission to see the big picture and spend time with your family.

    1. Ah yes, the ever-elusive balance. Sometimes easier said than done... or perhaps not? :)

  2. I call it a mini-home-vacation. Every once in a while you just have to step back and relax a little. For balance.

    We actually ordered a pizza for dinner last Friday. Say What?!? And I don't feel guilty about it at all. It's not an every week habit for us (I think I do it once a year), and it was fun to see my daughter turning up her nose to something someone else has cooked. She was asking for more veggies on the veggie pizza.

    1. That's a victory in it's own right- when your children call you out on "veggie skimping" then you know you're on the right path most of the time, even if you may not be in that exact moment. :) Thanks for the comment!

  3. Oh my gosh, thanks for this post. I beat myself up all of the time for choosing to take it easier on myself than insisting I do everything my ideal way all the time. I am learning to let go of that and know that some of the time is still great, especially when it means I am taking care of myself and my family better because of it. I can totally relate and this post made me feel better. :)



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