Spring Bluff

Time away and outside is incredibly healing.

Even a short walk, whether around a city block or through a park, is one of the best ways to lift our mood.

Breathe the fresh air, enjoy the surroundings, gaze up at the sky.  It’s a great way to push ‘pause’ on life, reconnect with what’s really important to us, and remember how expansive the world is.

Whether we head out alone or with a companion, let’s try to spend more time outside, if only for a short time.

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Dragon Valley | Ute Valley Park

Spring Seeds

Happiness is in the Simple Things

Happiness can be a struggle sometimes, but there are simple ways to foster that warm fuzzy feeling.

  • Cook and enjoy some healthy food.
  • Start a garden or a pot some plants inside.
  • Look up at the sky.
  • Do some housework.  Doing laundry/dishes/repairwork can not only open up and improve our space, but can give us a small sense of accomplishment.
  • Go on the walk or hike.  Whether you jaunt around the neighborhood or spend the day in the mountains, time outside under the sky definitely does one good.
  • Create something!  Draw, paint, make some jewelry, or anything that lets you create something that didn’t exist before.
  • Hope or plan for the future.  Even if you can’t afford it yet, let yourself daydream about your dream home or your travel goals.
  • Share with others.  Spread joy with others, and their smile will be reflected in your own.

Ways to foster happiness are endless, but these are some of my personal favorites.

When life gets hectic, it’s easy to forget the simple things that bring us joy, but we need to remember how essential they are.  It’s the small things that can make the difference!

Let’s keep our simple pleasures in mind and keep our faces aimed at the Sun!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Spring Seeds

Happiness

Growing Greener

Nature photography of new green plants

Things have definitely changed since when days were spent vegetating before the tv and computer.

Instead of watching tv shows and movies for the majority of the day and being constantly on the computer (sometimes at the same time), I no longer have cable or a service like Netflix, and DVDs are rarely watched.  The computer is off and stored away the majority of the time; it’s most heavy use related to photography and running Roman Leaf.

Although video gaming has come back into play, it’s reserved for off-peak electric hours and usually spans 3-4 hours a night, if the console is turned on at all.

With so much less time before the tv and computer, there’s been a great expanse of time open to reading on the back step, crafting, and hiking, among other things.

Hoping to continue decreasing the amount of time spent ‘plugged in’, here are some tips and ideas to help us spend less time before our screens:

  • Try to reserve most computer/tv use to off-peak electric hours (check your local electric company).  Not only will the power you’re using be less likely to cause added power production, but it will help you break up and limit your time plugged in, and may save you on your electric bill.
  • Set limits.  Give yourself only so much time to watch select shows, play video games, use the computer, browse the web, etc.  If you only give yourself two hours to watch tv or a half hour to browse the web, you’re more likely to spend time with the shows/websites you like most.
  • Check email only once a day.  Don’t really use email?  Same thing goes for Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.  Check only once a day and/or for a set period.  Save these for actually being social, not just to kill time or see what people are up to.
  • Save electronic leisure activities for after you’ve completed your important tasks for the day.
  • Consider getting rid of cable or your tv all together.  It’s harder to spend hours watching tv when you don’t have cable or a screen.  If you insist on having shows to watch, though, many can be viewed on a computer.
  • Limit ipod/radio use.  We don’t need to be listening to music every second.  Try driving, crafting, reading, etc without music or a DJ buzzing in the background.
  • Find other enjoyable ways to use your time.  Just because you’re spending less time plugged in doesn’t mean you have to sit and stare at the wall (unless you want to).  Find books you enjoy, outdoor activities that get your heart racing, crafts and hobbies that inspire you.

Spending less time plugged in is as simple as not turning something on in the first place, although it can be quite the challenge at first.

If you live with anxiety, these plugged in activities may provide a distraction and keep our minds busy.  When we start to limit these distractions, we may feel jittery and anxious for a while as we adjust to silence and more time to think.  But it will pass.

Let’s try to spend less time plugged in.  Whether we live with anxiety or not, let’s remember to take it slow, and soon we’ll find silence to be golden.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to limit your time before the screen?  I’d love to hear!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Bliss of Solitude Greener Gaming

Wooden Ladder | Memories

Wooden Ladder | Memories

The last photograph of a much-loved wooden ladder.  A present to my parents when they were married, this old ladder accompanied our family for decades.

We were unable to bring it with us this past move, and although I would’ve preferred to leave it on the edge of the forest to bring some joy to a new family, it ended up curbside.

Even without the ladder at present, it still brings a peaceful smile to my face.  I’ll probably always remember it sitting against the tree in the shade of the forest, growing older and warping as the seasons changed.

It’s a good reminder that memories outlive their physical selves, and that we don’t need to cling to things to hold onto memories.  While physical objects can serve as lovely reminders, they’re not always necessary.

We don’t forget loved ones when they pass on.  We don’t forget the taste of a perfect meal once we’ve finished eating.  You catch my drift.

It’s no big deal to keep some things because of sentimental value or shared memories.  But as with everything, balance is best kept in mind.  Having just moved a while back, it’s shocking to see what someone can amass and refuse to abandon because of memories or sentimental value.

Some encourage us to keep everything: our baby toys, blankets, clothes that no longer fit, china we never use, the list goes on.

When cleaning house, or just taking stock of what we own and want to own, let’s remember that our loved ones won’t turn in their graves if we donate the china, and we won’t forget our childhood if we donate our baby toys.

Our lives should be filled with what actively brings us joy, and with actual living.  Memories make the best collection.  They take up less space, don’t need to be dusted, and don’t have the itch of the hated sweater your aunt gave you for the holidays.

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Nature photograph of flowers and a green forest Snow on Ladder

The Weight of the World

Nature photograph of a rusted watering surrounded by green sprouts.  Blog post about minimalism.

It’s not always clear how much weight we carry around on our shoulders.  Things get a little clearer those weekends when we clean out the garage/closet/basement/what have you.

Things get crystal clear when we empty our home to move.

When we’re clearing out part or all of our homes, it becomes very clear how much we own, and we get a glimpse at the energy and time they take up.  Things have to be cleaned, repaired, stored, moved to fit more things.  If they’ve reached the end of their lives with us, we must decide where they go next.  A friend, buyer, thrift store… the dump?

We own so much stuff, and how much of it is really necessary?  If not necessary, how much actually contributes to our lives?  Do we really want those posters we keep rolled up in the closet?  Do we really enjoy those DVDs we only watch once a year?  What about all the pots and pans we never use, the clothes we never wear, the blankets that never get snuggled?

If we were moving on short notice, how long would it take to get our things together?  Would we need a moving truck, a cab, or a few friends willing to carry some boxes?  It’s not necessarily how much we own that’s important.  It’s how much we need, use, and truly appreciate.  If our homes burned down, what would we miss the most?  What’s really important to us?

Trust me, I’m terribly guilty of keeping things that don’t actively serve a purpose.  Even after sorting through already reduced possessions to prepare for the move, there were still a lot of clothes, jewelry, props, etc. that were packed to be used one day.

It’s a hard habit to break.  We like to collect.  We like to be prepared.  But once in a while, let’s look around our homes and ask ourselves how much weight we’re carrying on our shoulders.

Let’s take the time to let go of what we don’t want or need, and to appreciate the things we do.

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Thrifted Decor Wall Flowers Close-up

Simple Beauty

Simple Beauty

There is beauty everywhere, especially in the simple things.

Our lives can easily be made a little brighter with things we already have or that can be found at a thrift shop.

Dried tea leaves can fill glasses, extra yarn can be braided, and extra packaging can be repurposed.

Simple beauty is everywhere, we just have to look for it.

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Thrifted Decor Simplicity

Thrifted Decor

Thrifted Decor

Home décor was never too important to me, but since the severe reduction in possessions, I’ve grown an appreciation for a little color and decoration.

Keeping minimalism in mind, my ideal décor is thrifted or up-cycled.  Things we already have, like a patterned top we don’t often wear and items found in the junk drawer can easily be used to brighten up our space without adding more to our collection of ‘stuff’.

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Teapot Wall Decor Bow Golden Teacup