Feeling renewed and centered from my recent trip to Maui, I’ve been approaching the simple things in life with renewed excitement. Here are a few highlights that I especially love.
1. Purge, toss, hide. I’m a big fan of this anyway, and this weekend, I purged my kitchen in preparation of an upcoming renovation (more to come on that). Haven’t used it in a year? Toss it. Have two (OMG three!?) of a gadget? Toss it. Wedding gift hasn’t been used six years later? Toss it. The result: six bags of items to donate and neat, clutter free cabinets, half of which will soon be open shelves. There are some great tips for doing this on Apartment Therapy and DIY Life. My inspiration came from the latest issue of Mother Earth Living, formerly Herb Companion, which arguably has the best home life articles of any out there (without an over abundance of ads).
2. Animals to soothe. It’s no secret that viewing animals reduces one’s stress. While I love my adorable dogs, Mango and Cokie, I decided I needed a little more. The result: two small and easy fish tanks (betta in a bowl, five gallon tank to transport me to the tropics) and a simple bird feeder.
3. Knitting. I love knitting, but I rarely have time for it anymore. Over the weekend, I made time and focused on a few quick projects to keep my attention (with all natural wool, hand-dyed yarn). The result: a hat and mittens for my best friend’s new baby. Want to try knitting? Visit Ravelry for thousands of free patterns. You Tube has all the how-to videos you need to get started.
4. Turn off the TV. My husband and I have a six-month cable plan. Each year in October we get cable, and then in March, we cancel it. It may sound silly, but it’s our balance between wasting hours in front of the tube (necessary during those long winter nights) and focusing on the many other, more productive activities without it. Instead of watching TV, we are reading, talking, knitting, and working on house projects together.
5. Celebrate love. OK, you’re saying, “duh! Of course.” But, we all get in our habits and routines. From time to time, it’s so important to spend time and energy focusing on the one you love and the relationship you share — the love, fun, laughs, quirks, and interests of the couple and the individuals in it. I am so thankful that I have a wonderful husband and a healthy marriage. It’s a love worth celebrating daily, constantly.
Sasha, Laura, and Jeanne — I know you’re always focusing on the simple things in life. What is your latest “simple” focus?