Here it is almost July and I finally sit down to type a blog post. I have been avoiding the blog. I thought about shutting it down, but never had enough nerve to hit the delete button. I have been struggling for the past two years with my blog....what it was...what it became....what I would like to to become. I have hopped all over the place with different subjects; from our story and family, to posts about faith, to my desire to be more minimalist, to my love of travel. At the beginning of the year, I decided to settle on a main theme - slow living and minimalism - but my content puttered out as quickly as it began. :-/
I am going to be totally honest here. Stress has really gotten in the way of everything. When I am stressed I eat, drink, and shop.....none of which lend themselves to a simple, quite life of slow, minimal living....thus the lack of blog posts on the subject! I also focus on myself rather than others during times of stress. By doing so, I lose some of the desire and fervency to live my life with others in mind. I believe much of the benefits of slow, minimal living is having time to do the things you love, having time for others, having a respect for the environment, and the ethical and kind treatment of others. While this may not be true for everyone who is interested in slow, minimal living, it is the basis of what speaks to me about the practice. And when under stress it all gets buried, causing even more stress because I am not doing the things I have a conviction about. It's a viscous cycle.....
I am trying to deal with stress better. This year I have taken up reading books and journaling again. I love to read books, but the past several years with blogs becoming so huge I would tend to just read those instead of a book on a particular subject. Towards the beginning of the year I asked Chad what a perfect afternoon looked like for him..... he said reading together. :-) He is a bookworm, so that figures! He gave me a gift card to a bookstore for Valentine's Day, so I bought a book and we had our "reading afternoon." I found out that I actually enjoy it and have read another 11 books since then! We regularly read together now, especially before bed and on the weekends. I have never been much of a "self help book" reader, but have enjoyed several books that speak to things I'm going through in life.
Exercise is another good way to deal with stress and one I have not been as good at recently. I found a yoga class on my side of town and want to start doing that a few times a week if I can make it work in my budget. I still have been walking, but I need to kick it up a notch! With yoga there is not only the exercise of putting yourself through each pose, but the mindfulness and meditation, both of which are great for reducing stress.
Writing is also a way I deal with stress, so I'm contemplating starting a new blog that will touch on the struggles I'm going through. I think by voicing many of them it will be a way to help heal and get through stressful times. I could keep everything on the this blog, but I really would like this one to stay more upbeat about living simply and minimally and the convictions and rewards that come with it. I am hoping by having the new blog as an outlet to talk about my struggles I can get back to posting here regularly! Stay tuned for more information on my new blog once I work up enough nerve to publish.J
Thanks for sticking with me, friends! Stay tuned this week for an update on my quest for fewer, better things and living with less.