Society tells us bigger is better.
When I was young all I wanted was what I didn’t have. When I got older, I started working so that I could have what I wanted, but that lead to wanting even more. So naturally, I went to college in order to have a job that allowed me to earn more, more, more, more…
The nice car, the big house, super trendy clothes, I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was creating a better life for my family.
Then it started to happen. Debt, stress, a house to big to clean, a life to difficult to sustain.
How did it all go so wrong?
We knew we had to make some serious changes. I’d love to be able to tell you that one day we just woke up and everything was different. But we all know that’s not the way things happen:) And to be honest with you, as I sit here writing this essay, I can’t even pinpoint a moment when it all changed! It certainly has been a journey.
One filled with mistakes, joys, and struggles.
However, this journey toward Frugally Sustainable living, and a less is more mentality, has been the key factor in my family’s freedom.
2011 has been a year of small shifts in thinking coupled with big changes; and, I anticipate more of the same in 2012!
Plans for the New Year:
Kick start with the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge. Nearly 1,000 people have pledged to join me in this challenge! I love to challenge myself for a couple of reasons: 1) I tend to be a bit competitive and the nature of a challenge really speaks to me:) 2) Challenges push us to the limits (Did I mention how thankful I am for my family who follows me through this craziness). Never in a million years did I think 1,000+ people would be interested in this little idea of mine, I was just hoping for 50! By the way…there’s still time to join us. The challenge starts January 6, 2012. Be on the look out for specifics in the coming days!
Embrace the local community. I hope 2012 will be a year that I really connect with my community by embracing the joys of living where I live. Building relationships with like-minded individuals, getting to know my farmers, all of these things are priorities this year.
Further reduce our dependence on “the machine”. Beginning in late March/early April our family will embark on a 90 day no-grocery store challenge. How, you ask, will we do it? Continue to read along and I’ll tell you:)
Live without debt. Money can be the source of great stress, and stress can make us physically, mentally, and spiritually sick. Under that premise it is safe to say poor money management leads to poor health. My husband and I have together made the decision to live debt free.
Ease my expectations. As a homeschooling mama, homemaker, and freelance writer the expectations on my daily life can be rather daunting (just as they are for everyone). They are that way because I allow it. In the New Year I will strive to ease the expectations I set for myself.
Continue to work on redefining enough. As I mentioned in the intro, most of our bad decisions came from wanting something more, and not having a proper understanding of enough. Through the changes we’ve made, we are redefined what enough means to us. We have certainly determined that “more” isn’t always the answer. In no way am I suggesting that we have arrived. Oh no…there will always less. We’re learning to crave less.
Produce more food at home than we did last year. Add more perennials to the landscape. Install a few more raised garden beds. Implement vertical gardening practices. Expand the medicinal herb bed. This is probably one of the only times that more is better🙂
Declutter and sell stuff. One simple truth drives us here…The less you own, the less that owns you. Historically, I have always been somewhat afraid of empty spaces. But as we have started living within our means and essentially living with less, we have started to realize what a burden “stuff” can be! Our “stuff,” in a lot of ways, has stollen our freedom and reduced our creativity. I am continuously learning to let go.
I am fully aware that we do not have it all figured out, and probably never will. I’m okay with that.
Nonetheless, I am confident that our Frugally Sustainable life will lead us to freedom!
Thank you for join us in the journey!
See this post shared here: Homestead Barn Hop