Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Ongoing Quest

Happy New Year! Goodness, there's a lot I want to catch up on here. This blog has been a useful means of remembering what we have learned over the years so it's important to keep it up : )

Christmas was once again demanding. Making sure print orders were in the mail on time, everyone on our long gift list was taken care of, the house was clean and beautiful, the Christmas concerts and parties were attended, and the homemade food was delicious and memorable kiiiiiinda got the best of me this year. And on December 26th I hit a wall of sadness......REAL hard. I think the pressures of balancing work and family finally did me in and I pretty much wanted to quit both of them.

So a goal of 2014 is not to end it in the fetal position : ) Enter my on-going quest for simplicity. A lovely friend lent me this book.  Actually she's more like my secret guardian angel---I haven't seen her face in a few years (?!?!) but every once in awhile she drops the perfect note, book, or gift card off then disappears...I'm not sure she's even real. (Thanks "Debbie", if that is your real name) ; )

We've been putting a few simplicity principles into practice. One, I remixed our wardrobes to only include neutral colors. The boys each have ONE pair of pajamas and about five to seven sets of clothes. Everything matches everything else. They can dress themselves and not look homeless. Plus it's easy on the eyes and they look pretty spiffy all the time. (Note: to do this in the least wasteful way possible, I gave away the non-neutral clothes to friends and then hit up the clearance racks at Target, Old Navy, Gap, and Children's Place over the course of a few weeks and bought whatever neutral items they had marked way down)

The new color scheme makes even laundry piles pleasing to look at.

I've been making my own high-waisted maxi skirts in neutral colors too. Another way to keep the cost down-- clearance fabric or 40% off coupons.

And our house is slowly getting it's own neutral makeover. For Christmas I asked for neutral blankets, throw pillows, picture frames, candle holders, and all white dishes.

BAM, ten times more peaceful. If the picture below had sound you'd hear the 2-year-old crying to my left and the 5-year-old's 30-minute dissertation on the differences between stamina Beyblades and defense Beyblades ( I. Don't. Care.). But white makes me feel grown up and calm. And when the 2-year-old jumped me seconds later and spilled the coffee on the white blanket I just threw it in the wash with a little bleach. No problem.

We're taking baby steps.  Next is a re-do of our family schedule. I feel trapped in the domestic realm. I want to be able to work on art business more and clean house, change diapers, cook dinners, etc less. So we're redistributing the domestic tasks so that Daniel, Jason, and the little boys have more responsibilities and we're looking into some sort of shared childcare kind of thing so that I can have more time to work. While I am really thankful that Daniel has a good job and I don't HAVE to work and I GET to stay home with my kids, a little LESS time with my kids would make me a saner person and a better mom and, hopefully, a better artist!

I'm (sometimes) hopeful. I (try to) think 2014 will be a good year! I (really) hope it's a good one for you too!

Arian : )


Unknown said...

Thank you for your honesty. I find your goals truly inspiring. I really like your simple wardrobe ideas. I hope to get back to creating more art too.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! I would love to hear more about the realizations you guys are coming to concerning creativity and rhythms!
Did you happen to see the post I did concerning the book you suggested? You got a mention and even a link! :)

la said...

This goes right along with what I'd like to start moving toward... I'm in medical school so I always kind of feel like my life is crazy; having a calm/neutral place to come home to would be amazing. Thanks for the inspiration!! <3

Deanne said...

i feel so calm after reading your blog post, beautiful photography and simple living :) sigh x

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love your goals and I hope 2014 is your best year ever :)