2022: Simple Living

I’m sitting here with my first mulled wine of the season. An alcohol free one actually; the cheap, sickly sweet stuff from IKEA. It’s 13th December and I can’t help but feel ridiculously reflective at this time of year. It must be a natural phenomenon, although I don’t know enough to discuss it any further.

2021 has been pretty kind to me, but also pretty cruel. Sadly the same events that bought my greatest smiles also bought my deepest sorrow. A miscarriage bought many “at leasts” that didn’t really help at all. At least I can get pregnant, at least I have a lot of time in the future, at least I can enjoy non-parent life for a little longer… I have, however, had to grasp joy in the smallest of events. I’ve spoken to others in similar situations to myself and found that there is something that makes the sun shine a little brighter, the pretty colours in the sky more contrasting, the birds singing a little louder, and a cup of tea with family feel a little warmer. I can’t put my finger on it if I’m honest – but I’m enjoying a simpler life than ever before.

Aside from this, I started reading into minimalism in summer of 2020 and I was instantly hooked. I tried project 333 and threw out about 70% of my clothes. We moved house and – my gosh – you don’t realise how much stuff you’ve accumulated until its all in boxes in front of you. We made fair efforts to shift a lot of our belongings – and life started becoming clearer. Then our efforts unravelled in the tragedy of this years summer. Turns out that when push turns to shove, we are HUGE emotional spenders. We are still paying for it now, and I’m dealing with the aftermath of once again feeling cluttered.

Remarkably, I feel so close to where I’ve always wanted to be in life; and that is a huge comfort. The simplicity that minimalism once offered me combined with the clarity that accompanies such devastating circumstances has made it clear that I must continue decluttering my life.

Pintrest hasn’t been the answer for me. Minimalist/decluttering lists don’t go much further than 30 day challenges that mostly revolve around throwing things away. I love the concept of minimalism, but the environmentalist in me squirms every time a minimalist states that something can be replaced if you throw it out. Most Pintrest lists say something ambiguous like “clean out your closet” as if that takes ONE day?! *eye roll*. So I’ve taken some time to think about what I would want from a “minimalist” check list. What things would make my life simpler?

You want to know the conclusion? Most of my stress and clutter comes from my online presence. Yes, I have stuff cluttering my home… But selling items on Facebook Marketplace or doing a run to the dump seems tiny in comparison to the task of digital decluttering. Thousands of unread emails and even more thousands of photos clogging of my online storage systems. Email accounts I haven’t used in years. Notifications from accounts I don’t know the login to. These are the things that prevent me from a simple life more that the t-shirts in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn for three summers in a row.

One of my big goals for 2022 is to continue writing (I have so many travel blogs and eco-reviews in my drafts). I plan on using my “Simple Living” agenda to write weekly posts that will act as prompts for me to write and declutter. Two birds with one stone is the saying!

I have set out 30 specific decluttering tasks. They are a mixture of digital decluttering, physical decluttering and “activity” decluttering – which I will explain another time. The intention is to keep these posts pretty personal. They are a means of holding myself accountable. But hey – if you want to use them as prompts too, feel free! I would love to hear from you if they are of any help to you. Now… let’s get writing.

In the mean time, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you very much if you have visited my site this year, it really does mean a lot considering my low activity. I wish you all good health, happiness, and great travels. See you soon!

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