Links to Think: 09.10.12

A Barometer for a Too Busy Life - I could probably link to helpful posts from My Home Tableau multiple times a week, but found Johanna’s suggestions here to be helpful and a timely reminder.

“You can have all the good intentions in the world, but if you are out most evenings you are just not going to get the sleep you need. Any evening you are out will inevitably push your bedtime later. It takes awhile to unwind after being stimulated by activities outside the home.”

“Everyone has a threshold of how many nights out they can take. In fact, you and your spouse probably have a different threshold. You need to know what you can handle before reaching that bubbling over point. Having a general gauge for what is good for your family is helpful.”

“If you are going to live a slower life, you have to learn to say no to (good!) activities. Obviously, there are specific weeks where things are extra busy. But these should be the exception.”

“Thinking it through and determining these non-negotiables ahead of time helps keep the calendar from spilling over with obligations. Because if I don’t have something in place, I’ll just keep adding things without even realizing how busy we are getting.”

Minimalist Enough – As many begin to react to the affluence, materialism, and clutter that are pervasive in our culture, sometimes I fear the classic pendulum swing toward overcorrection. Some simplicity and minimalism ideologies are encroaching on asceticism. This article provides some helpful thoughts on the goals of minimalism.
“[T]he idea of minimalism isn’t about reaching a goal, or checking off a box, or reaching a certain destination. To me, minimalism is realizing that what I already have is enough, and that adding clutter to the pile won’t make it any better. And chasing a dream of more minimalism is, ironically, not what I’m after either.”
“But then I realized: I don’t have to be the best or the most minimalist. I can be minimalist enough. Minimalism isn’t about winning, and it isn’t about a particular achievement. It’s about finding out what matters to you, and getting rid of the peripheral.

“Over the course of the year, I thinned out my closet and pared down to a few favorite items. I made over twenty trips to charity with bags of clothes and gently worn shoes that I no longer needed. At one point, I had socks and underwear with holes in them, and I got out my sewing machine and fixed them up. Making old things new again was surprisingly satisfying. Getting rid of all of my extra socks—and just having a few pairs to use each day—actually made my life simpler. The process of getting rid of things reminded me of what I liked—and what mattered.

Over time, I will continue to whittle away at the things I don’t need in order to make space for the things I love. It turns out, all those unnecessary clothes were crowding out the space of the things I loved. I got rid of several boxes and cleared off a space for all of my books—one of my loves. Clearing out, to me, is about reducing the unnecessary clutter in your life to make space for what matters, and finding a balance that lets your soul breathe. It’s about stripping away the things you don’t need so you can focus on what’s important.”

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