“We need space to engage in activities we love – be that play with our children, do yoga in our bedroom, or dance a tango in the living room. It’s what we do, not what we own, that makes life memorable and meaningful.” – Francine Jay –
I’ve spent my whole life cherishing things that bring me joy: memories, things I’ve collected and hobbies. Though it seems more recently, maybe put it down to being a new mama, that my focus is more toward living simply and being more mindful of what I surround myself with.
For many folks, this seems to mean that they have to give up things that they have, love or own. The reality: this is far from the truth. By deciding to live a life in more simple, refreshing terms, you’re gaining so much more.
Suddenly, you’re not caught in the net of wanting things you don’t need, and you’re more purposeful about the things you are attaining.
I’m really focusing on surrounding myself with things that make me truly happy. Of course I love DIY projects, they’re my jam, bread & butter! But I’m learning that this doesn’t mean I suddenly need to hoard so many pieces of furniture to convert, or buy loads of fabric to make things that stay on a list and never see themselves brought to life.
We need to just, well…stop. Take things slowly. My new focus could be dubbed as slow style: filling my house, wardrobe and life with pieces that tell a story and memories that stick or that I want my mini to happen upon with adventurous spirit.
This slow style concept is something I’ve grabbed from the idea of slow fashion, particularly as I embark on a year of either making my own clothing or buying pre-loved wears. When I say slow style, it’s the same idea: that you take time and put in a labor of love creating something that is truly meaningful, rather than running out and just “grabbing” something from the store brand-new.
It gives us time to plan for what we are looking for and to live in the moment, searching for the perfect “piece” that we can transform. We are aware of the effort that it took, where the product came from (era, place, time) and have a deeper appreciation for what we are surrounding ourselves with.
My favorite surroundings are bits and bobs collected on our travels, projects that we have put blood, sweat and tears into and photographs or gifts that are beautiful reminders of good friends and family who are forever imprinted in our lives.
So my challenge to you, fellow folks, is to become more informed consumers. Make purposeful decisions on the “things” you want to surround yourselves with. Be smart about it, share your pre-loved items with others to de-clutter before introducing something new into your space.
You’ll feel like it’s a breath of fresh air, and hopefully find you are really living a beautiful, full and simple life.
I really wanted to get this post out there, to whomever it reaches, before the holiday season takes hold of our better judgement and we make so many unintentional and random purchases.
Our Christmas tree won’t have an abundance of physical presents under it this year, but it will be trimmed with a collection of many wonderful ornaments that tell a story of our lives as travelers.
Our home will be filled with love and laughter and hopefully a nap or two, and our hearts will be genuinely full in our new little home in Texas.
There will be good food in our bellies, wine-stained lips from a homemade mulled recipe and happiness glinting in our eyes.
Wherever you celebrate the festivities this season, I hope you find that you’re home, loved, happy and free.
Be kind, give your all and love with all your heart.