Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Quest to Simplify

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak.
Hans Hofmann

I am on a quest - a quest to simplify my life, to eliminate the needless stress that I tend to invite by my actions.  Consciously, but slowly, step by step, I plan to find ways and methods to relieve stress, create time, and simplify.  I yearn for serenity.

Over the next couple of months, I hope to share with you what I have tried, and what has worked and hasn't worked for me, in the hopes that maybe you will find your path to serenity.

First, I need to get rid of the unnecessary, the clutter, and the unwanted.  At the same time, I need to acquire new habits to save time and energy.  They say that if you do something for 30 days, it will become a habit.  From there, I am unsure what the next step is.  I want to say to grow, but that's where by chaos came in to play - doing too much at one time.  Just maybe, the next step would be to be still, reflect, and think, while I maintain the new habits I have learned.  From there, I can then go on to what I discover is important to me, and then grow in those areas. 

A little secret - I think I already know what is important to me.  Hint:  The topics in my blog postings.  I'll let you know if I'm right.

Time Savings

The first new habit that I will practice is to get my outfit ready for the next day.  This will include my clothing, my jewelry, and my bags.  I know that many of you have a habit of doing this, but I have never done this, so this is new to me.  Usually, I am running around, trying to figure out what matches what, finding socks to match, grabbing jewelry, stuffing things in my bag, and running out the door.  I don't know how many times I had to run back in because I forgot something, or not being able to find a pair of earrings that go with my necklace.  I sell jewelry, so I have to make sure I look like a jewelry lady, right? 

Well, beginning tonight, that will change.  I will let you know in my next couple of blogs how I'm doing on this new habit.

Money Savings

I came upon this idea on a blog I visited, and, after I explain it to my husband, we're going to do this.  It's called Eat from the Pantry Challenge, and was started by Jessica G. Fisher at Life as Mom and Crystal Paine at Money Saving Mom.

Per Jessica, "Here are some guidelines to help you think about this challenge and how you can grow in kitchen management this month:

  • Reduce grocery spending. We're talking about reducing grocery spending this month, not eliminating it. Set a goal that is lower than your regular food budget and shoot for not exceeding it.
  • Take stock. Take an afternoon and empty your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. Ditch what's gone bad and make a list of what's left. Knowing what you have will make you less likely to buy more.
  • Use what you have. Check your pantry before you meal plan or head off to the store. Develop meals based on what you have rather than buying new.
It's a personal challenge, and you make up the rules.  My goal is to sit down with my husband and come up with our rules by the end of the week.  I'll let you know what they are by the weekend. 

One of my biggest problems is buying things on sale.  Our pantry is loaded with brownie boxes, and jello, and God knows what else.  I know that we need to go through our freezer, (throw out what is freezer burnt,) and take inventory, but I would love to try to eat from our pantry to save money.  I do still plan on buying from Angel Food Ministries because of the money savings. 

One note - I think I may have offended someone when I suggested Angel Food Ministries to them.  Per their website, "There are no qualifications, minimums, income restrictions, or applications.  Everyone is encouraged to participate. Some churches even encourage participants to apply the money they saved to help someone else in need."  Also, they say "With a heart to help others and a generous spirit, Joe and Linda Wingo founded Angel Food Ministries in 1994 to provide food for friends and neighbors who were struggling financially."  They purchase the food from "the nation's top food suppliers" at discounted prices.

Since the majority of us are going through financial hardships at this time, they encourage everyone to participate.  I believe that they are able to charge so little because church volunteers coordinate and distribute the food.  It gives seniors a chance to volunteer - to feel needed, and it gives us help and hope.  I kind of look at it as sort of a God food co-op.

I better go pick out my outfit.  Talk to you soon!
Aunt Janet

1 comment:

  1. I want to do that too, mind, body , soul and home.
    Guess I will refer to your blog on how you are going to go about it. Blessings and a Happy New Year.


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