I have been reading about 'A Clean & Simple Life', and I find this very interesting. The theory is when you keep your life basic and simple, it will give you a peaceful mind and happyness. The theory can and should be applied to every aspect of one's life. Here some examples:
Take a deep look inside and tell yourself the truth: what are really your wishes and what do you do because you think that your surroundings expect from you? It's your life and you only have one of it. Don't waste it on trying to fulfill other people's expectations! Don't think about what other people might think (ask them, as you'll find out that you're often wrong, most people are their own worst critic), it doesn't matter what other people think, it matters what you think.
Bring structure into your life, do certain things on certain days, like cleaning the bathroom on Thursday and sports on Friday. It may sound dull, but most people feel more happy if they have structure in their lives and know what to expect. It also makes that you don't feel the whole pile of tasks on your shoulder, just the tasks of that certain day. Be sure to also take fun things into the scedule and leave more than enough room for unexpected and spontaneous things. The scedule is not to cage you, but to free you.
Lessen your amount of obligations, learn to say no. That's a difficult one. It has also much to do with living up to the expectations from other people. There are things in life which give you energy, and things which take energy. Keep the enery-giving things, but don't take the whole world on your shoulders.
As for a house: it should have enough room for you, but not too much, as you will need to keep it clean and maintain it. It helps when it's easy to clean and maintain. And keep up with those jobs. All the things that wait for you to do them, take energy from you, even before you started on them. It's like a tv on stand-by: on it's own, you won't notice the amount of energy it takes on your bill, but when your house is full with machinery on stand-by, you certainly will pay a price for that. When you look around and see the things which should be done, it lessens your ability to relax and enjoy. You might even only see the things that should be done, and nothing else, and that's very depressing.
Another silent energy-absorbant is stuff, which you don't need or use. Take your wardrobe: it's probably full, but you only use a part of it. The rest is fine, but doesn't fit that well, or doesn't look that good, and you feel it's too good to throw away, but you never wear it either. You might even feel guilty just looking at it, for wasting money on something which you don't use. All that negative energy! Throw it away. And if you're not up to that: put it in a box on the attick and after a year (in which you won't miss any of those things, I sure of that), you bring that box unopened to charity. And while you're in the attick, isn't that ready for a good clearance as well? Atticks should contain stuff you temporarily don't need, like summerthings in winter and winterthings during the summer, holiday-things (but not camping things if you never go camping anymore), precious things that have no place (but not things that might come in handy someday, as that day may never come, and if it comes, you can buy it new), ... etc. Our attick is very small, it's just some space beneath the top of roof, too low to stand, and it's so full, even if we remember things being there, we can't get to it. It doesn't function the way it should, like this.
The colours you use in your house will reflect on your mood. Choose colours that fit the function of the room, but keep it light and airy. Don't pack your house full with furniture and decoration, keep it open and functional (is also easier to keep clean and tidy).
As for a job, be sure to do something you like. In the perfect world it should not feel like work at all, but I guess that's out of reach for most people. But it's a big part of your life and it helps enormously if it gives you joy. Joy is something really precious that money can't buy (although it can facilitate it). Ambition is good, but don't overdo it. Status is a good example of living up to other people's expactations, and it comes with a price.
Invest in friends and family. You'll get it back double.
Don't try to be perfect in any way. It only makes you unhappy. Think about this example: guests don't feel at home in a dirty house, but also not in a perfectly clean and sterile house. The last things to make something perfect, take relatively the most effort. There's an optimum between input and output. Use this optimum as much as you can. Think about what really matters. Don't iron the bedsheets, if you hate ironing more than you get pleasure out of ironed bedsheets. And try to accept things which you cannot change.
The last example is financials: don't let them keep you awake at night. Be up-to-date with them. Fully understand your financial situation. Scedule a certain time every month to do bills and stuff, keep a buffer for unexpectated expenses. Be sure about your insurances, what do they pay when, which riscs do you want to take yourself and which are better to be insured for? Don't borrow money, keep a low mortgage. (And if you get into financial trouble, don't wait too long to get help!)
It's all about getting overview on your life and cutting away the ballast. And I do believe in it, but I don't seem to get there. My life is far from clean and simple! The biggest problem is that there's so much to be done, that there is no room in my 'scedule' for anything else. This morning I wrote down all the things which still need to be done in and around this house since we bought it six years ago:
And I wrote down 162 (!) items without hesitation... Since then, I have been adding another 20 things to the list, other things surely will come. And this is just the house... I shouldn't worry so much about these things, but I do.
It doesn't help that my husbands job is on two hours travelling from our home. Yes, he travels 4 hours a day just to go and get back from work! You can imagine that all he does at home on a working day, is eat and fall asleep on the couch. That is, if he isn't abroad for his job. I have tried to convince him to move to the area of his job, or to search for an other job near our home. But it's not that simple, and I do know that, but this situation is going on for years now, and I'm quite fed up with it.
It doesn't help that I have been chronic tired for a few years, and even though I am recovering now, it goes so slowly!
Today I made a start with my attick-clearance, to find out that we probably have a leak near the old chimney... Oh well, that will be a good number 185 on my list!
I guess a clean and simple life is a good pursuit, an Utopia to wish for and dream about. And I will: dream and try, for a life with less worries.
I used to put all my creativity into miniatures (see the blackcatcottage blog), but somehow it doesn't interest me as much as before. Now I do all kind of things: scrapping, card making, taking photographs, drawing, sculpting (clay and wood), making jewellery, ... And again I started blogging about it (Woodland Ways blog). I love fairytales and nature, and that will show in my work. (Photography on this blog is copyright protected!