minimizing stuff…

Since that first viewing of “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things,” I’ve watched it more times than any sane person probably should. It has become my go-to perspective reset.

When I feel overwhelmed, or even a little lost in my life, I’ll head to Netflix and turn it on. It reminds of what’s important in life and I’m instantly called back to the benefit of less.

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starting over…

While I was pregnant with Caroline, Collin and I found out that we had to move; the owners of the house we had been renting wanted to sell. Even though the thought of rental hunting at eight months pregnant made me a nervous wreck, it would end up being a cosmic blessing.

Let’s just say that our landlords had not really been interested in being landlords, so to be free of them was a great relief. We also ended up finding a place for a lower monthly rent and in the most perfect location near my older kids’ schools.

The new home was A LOT smaller, though, so it would really force us to start paring down. At the time, I was reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up at the suggestion of a few friends.

The book’s philosophy on decluttering helped us go from shelves upon shelves of books to just the essentials (You’re welcome The Last Bookstore). We figured that if we REALLY wanted to read one of our books again, we could check it out of the library. (Did you know they still have those?!)

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saturday morning coffee…

On a Saturday morning back in February, I met my friend, Ali, for coffee. These weekend coffee dates had become a wonderful timeout from real life. For a couple hours, I could venture out into the world (just down the street, but still) as an individual person.

I didn’t have to struggle with getting a kid, or four, in and out of the car. I could just pull into a parking space and get myself out of the car; it was a lightness that I rarely felt anymore.

Our conversation that day spanned many topics—from plants to how much our time is worth to how our mindsets shift as we move through life.

Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, I had an epiphany. And then sometime after that, I forgot what it was. (This is why we can’t have nice things.)

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the world owes me nothing…

the world owes me nothing … we owe each other the world.

Ani Difranco, “joyful girl

Almost one year ago today I began writing a post about gratitude. It’s so important to talk about and I’m sorry that it took me this long to revisit the draft. But I kept getting a nudge to finally get my thoughts on this phenomenon out there, and I’m happy to be seeing it through now.

Let’s get things rolling with a quick reader poll…

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an empath parent… (the teen years)

Ever since Jillie crossed over into teendom, I’m either shocked, dismayed, angry, sad, impressed, proud, confused, “seriously?” or “wait, what?” For me, this has absolutely been one of the most challenging periods of parenthood thus far.

The mood swings, the attitude, the back talk, the disrespectful language, the terrible decisions, the doing dumb stuff…

And Elliott is only four months shy of entering this stage of life. But I guess this is growing up. (Cue Blink-182)

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an empath parent… (the early years)

My older kids have always been described as “sensitive.” This word has been used both as an insult and a compliment at various points in their lives. Having grown up self-conscious of my own quick-to-cry nature, I always thought it was one of my flaws.

It took me a long time to realize that this part of me was actually a superpower. In fact, it wasn’t until long after I had my first two children that I discovered I was an empath.

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catch me flying in the sun…

As I’m sitting up in my bed listening to Mazzy Star’s Seasons of Your Day, I suddenly feel a wave of contentment wash over me.

Maybe it’s the music; maybe it’s because the kids are asleep and it’s only 10:12 p.m. (this is actually early for our household… don’t get me started); maybe it’s because my littlest love just became one year old; or maybe this is just supposed to be my opportunity to breathe.

A moment from my past comes to mind… I was young (probably under 10 years old) and was spending the afternoon with my sister. I only recall a few details about this particular day, but I’d still consider it a “core memory.”

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circle the drain… (pt. three)

I realized that I was so deeply unhappy with myself that I couldn’t even look in the mirror. If I did happen to catch a glimpse of my reflection, I didn’t recognize the person staring back. I pretended not to care about my appearance after awhile, citing “#thatquarantinelife” and “#workingfromhomewithababyatoddlerapreteenandateenlife.” Though these are legitimate stressors, they are also excuses. BS excuses.

Sure, times are hard and you don’t have to be perfect, but when you start to feel disgusting in your own skin (and there’s something you can do about it, but you just don’t), there is something wrong. In my particular case, there was no one to blame but myself.

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circle the drain… (pt. two)

Since March, it’s been hard to express joy. It seems like everyone around us is facing hardship, whether it’s illness (COVID-19 and beyond), financial loss, unemployment, racial inequality, LGBTQ+ discrimination, depression, or something else.

Because we haven’t wanted to make a big deal out of it given the current social climate, not many people know that we bought a house this year. But truthfully, it’s a BIG EFFING DEAL. We still can’t believe it. Coming from Southern California, we never expected to own a home. At best, it was a far off goal.

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circle the drain… (pt. one)

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that friends and family have picked up some new hobbies or learned new skills while in quarantine. Activities have included solving puzzles, gardening, sewing, and refurbishing furniture.

I never thought I’d be one of those people. Cases in point: the two dusty guitars hanging on our walls and the shrink-wrapped ball of macrame cord sitting at the bottom of my drawer.

That said, I have been known to go a bit overboard when I set my mind on something. And sometimes, I get a bit obsessive or completely consumed. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I’ve got addictive tendencies.

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