my minimalism story

my minimalism story

It seems like everyone has a different origin story around how they came to minimalism. Courtney Carver was diagnosed with MS and had to change her lifestyle. Joshua Becker realized he was spending more time cleaning out his garage than he was spending with his family. Why am I attracted to minimalism? If I’m being honest, it’s because I’m an introverted, highly-sensitive person who suffers from depression and anxiety.

minimalism depression anxiety

Believe me, I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. My heart rate just went way up. In my head, there are voices saying things like: “highly sensitive isn’t real, it’s just a made-up thing”, “what do you have to be anxious about, your life is great”, and “if you acknowledge any of these things, you’re weak”.

I’d always thought I was just a moody person. Starting in puberty, I’d get dark moods that would last for a few days or longer. I wouldn’t want to talk to anyone (tough when you’re part of a family) or do anything. I recently read a book by Daphne Merkin that had some of the best descriptions of depression and I’ll use her words to illustrate what I have a hard time articulating:

“...your mood, which has been sliding perceptibly downward for weeks, even months, has hit rock-bottom. You lie there in the sludge, no longer bothering to flail around, marooned in a misery that is no less easy to bear because there is nothing wildly terrible to point to in the circumstances of your own life—on the surface, at least—to account for it.”

In high school I was busy (part-time job, sports, editor of the newspaper, clubs, youth orchestra) and stressed out. I started college in a place that was cold and dark and hated it. When I neared the end of grad school (grad school is a given if you’re a classical musician), I started to have real existential crises about the state of the world and my part in it.

My thoughts would snowball towards dark places: “if there are people starving, why does what I do on a daily basis even matter if I can’t help them?” I was constantly searching for what I was meant to do and be. Throughout this time, I was having emotional meltdowns left and right.

I was constantly comparing myself to others and failing to measure up. “She practices for 6 hours a day - she's a better person than I am”. “Everyone else my age knows what they’re doing with their life”. “My mom taught public school while raising 3 kids, how pathetic that I can’t do it too”.

Again, from Merkin:

“Still, that lack of expectation of relief—of the coming end of sorrow—has stayed with me, so that I far too easily tend to fall into a mode of hopelessness when something minor goes wrong. Where another person might move to try and fix things, I sway in the wind, ready to be knocked over, prepared to give up. I admire other peoples’ resourcefulness when their plans go awry—the ones who’ve persuaded themselves that ‘every bump is a boost,’ who pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start over again—but I can’t figure out a way to emulate them.”

It took me until I was in my late 20’s to come to the conclusion that I might need to talk to someone about all of this. I worked really hard on changing my thought patterns through cognitive behavioral therapy. It took about 5 more years until my therapist convinced me that I’d done the work and my brain still wasn’t cooperating and that I should see a psychiatrist as well. I very slowly started to accept that my brain has a chemical imbalance and that taking medication was not admitting my failing as a human, but treating a medical condition like diabetes or any other.

Once I began taking medication, I could get enough perspective on my situation to see that maybe I didn’t have to measure up to everyone else. I started to actually begin to understand and accept who I am as a person, what my natural personality is. Maybe I didn’t need to berate myself for not doing more to save the world but that the way that I do my part is by working to be my best self. Maybe it’s not only ok to not want to talk to people sometimes, it’s necessary for me to recharge as an introvert. Maybe it’s ok to need to thoroughly think through every decision. Maybe it’s ok to be overwhelmed by busyness and a fast pace.

Only in the last couple of months have I connected all of this with minimalism.

minimalism depression anxiety

There are three areas of my life where minimalism helps me manage: my surroundings, my clothes, and my schedule.

As Gretchen Rubin says, “Outer order contributes to inner calm”. This is particularly true for me. People who come over to my house often comment on how little clutter there is on surfaces. Clutter on surfaces stresses me out, so I don’t have it. Messes stress me out, and I need to have things somewhat in order before I can move on to other tasks. It’s ok.

I’ve had anxiety around my clothes for a long time. I grew up in the South at a time when you had to have the right Tretorns, the right Guess jeans, and the right madras plaid to fit in. I didn’t have those things. I felt bad. Once, in college, I bought green suede shoes - why? Because they were on sale, of course. I’ll never forget the feeling of walking to class in those shoes. They felt so wrong and I could not wait to get home and take them off. Over time and through trial and error, I eliminated things that didn’t feel good when I wore them. What’s left happens to be pretty minimalist.

The feeling of being rushed triggers anxiety, so I work to reduce the number of things scheduled in a day. This is the area where I have had the hardest time accepting my needs, and I usually feel like I should be accomplishing more. I’m working on it.

Acknowledging and accepting all of these things about myself has made life a lot easier. So has minimalism. 

So, that’s my minimalism origin story. What's yours?

(photos by Celeste Boyer)





 

creative motherhood: jenny gordy

creative motherhood: jenny gordy

If I had to guess, I'd say I've probably followed Jenny Gordy for about 12 years. When I first discovered her, she was designing women's clothes. I loved her style and I also related to her because she seemed to move often, as I did (hello being in your 20's). She always seemed like a real human person, not a "blogger" or "designer" - does that make sense? To be clear, that's meant as a compliment ;) In any case, when I reached out to her about the series, she said it was something she thought about a lot and felt it was "important to connect with other moms in a real way that makes us feel not so alone in our messiness and frustration." I loved how much gratitude she expresses and am impressed by how much she gets done! 

creative motherhood: jenny gordy

Q: Introduce yourself, your family, the work (aside from mothering) you currently do, and how that work has evolved as your child has grown.

Hi, I'm Jenny Gordy, and I live with my husband Joe and our 3 1/2 year old daughter Iris in Portland, OR.  My work is designing knitting and sewing patterns for my company Wiksten.  I've worked for myself for the past ten years and love the flexibility of it.  My work ebbs and flows, meaning sometimes I'm really busy with work and sometimes not as much, depending on what I've scheduled for myself or what opportunities are coming in.

During the first couple of years with Iris I was able to slow down and not put out any new work but still get paid for continuing to sell the patterns I'd designed previously.  Iris has been my muse from the beginning, and when she came along I shifted away from women's styles and started focusing more on children's clothing.  There were so many things I wanted to make for Iris that I couldn't find patterns for, so I created my own.  I get so bored if I don't stretch myself and try new things, so that has been a great learning experience and one that's helped keep me interested in my career.  Now that Iris is getting older I've started working on some women's designs again too and taking on more freelance work.  My freelance work involves designing projects for yarn companies, books, magazines, and websites.

Q. Do you wish you could do more or less creative work? How do you manage those conflicted feelings?

Right now my company is just me, and unfortunately running things means not having time to do as much design as I'd like.  I experience conflicting feelings of frustration and gratitude at the same time.  There's no such thing as a perfect job where you get to do everything you want 100% of the time, and I remind myself to have some perspective.  Every day I feel so grateful that I get to do the work that I do.  As hard as I work, I still can't believe that I get paid to do this!  Whenever I feel discontent, I try to be proactive and brainstorm ways that I can change things for the better.  For instance, right now seems like a good time to hire an employee to help out so that I can have both more design time and more free time.

Q. Did choosing not to work a traditional full time job affect any financial or career goals for you?

Iris was home with me for the first 4 months after which we started her in part time daycare.  Having a baby forced me to let go of my career a little bit, and my income certainly dropped from not publishing many new patterns during that time.  We got by just fine but didn't have any spending money.  I'm very passionate about work and in fact tend toward workaholism, so taking a step back and letting other things into my life was very healthy and helped me grow as a person.  After about a year and a half of that I started getting excited about work again, and we transitioned Iris to full-time daycare.  

While we pay for the full-time childcare, sometimes we use all of those hours and sometimes we don't.  Most of the time I try to keep Iris home from school at least once a week to do fun stuff, and if I have work to finish I'll just do it after she goes to bed.  At times when I'm doing freelance work in addition to work for Wiksten, I need all of those childcare hours.  Doing freelance can be stressful because I have to work within someone else's timeline, and I find it's never enough time.  Not only do I end up staying up late and exhausting myself, but I feel guilty for not spending as much time with Iris.  My exhaustion and stress seem to cause acting out on both of our parts.  I've recently decided to stop complicating my life and just say no to freelance opportunities.  I'm not sure how that's going to affect my career, but I already know it will be positive for my relationships with my family.

jenny gordy shop wiksten

Q. What kind of a “village” or help do you have around you?

We have Iris in a wonderful preschool that she loves, and her favorite teacher babysits sometimes for date night.  The fact that we live far from our families and have only lived in Portland for a year makes it somewhat difficult.  However I've made some mom friends here, and while the friendships are still new they're very dear.  I have a few friends that swap babysitting with me and a group of moms I can hang with.  Joe works long, unpredictable hours, so spending time with my mom friends and our kids makes me feel less alone in this parenting business.  

Q. Do you feel as though your work and home life lines are blurred? How do you handle that challenge?

Totally!  My work space is very close to the house, in our backyard in a converted garage, which is both a convenience and a distraction.  My daughter loves fashion design and always wants to come out to my studio to explore and tinker with my craft supplies.  Since she seems to relish being involved in my work, I've given her a role in it by having her try on garments for fit and model for photos.  I'm not going to lie-- I love it.  I think experiencing me being empowered by my work is a good example for her, and it makes me happy to see her inspired and participating.  However you should know it's not all roses.  One time she actually stomped on a dress I designed because she hated it so much!  At the time it was a little traumatic, but now I think it's hilarious.

I do worry that it would be healthier to have more separation, but I'm not so great keeping things separate. I love both my family and my work, and it's all sort of intertwined.  I think you can see that in my Instagram feed, which is something that bothers me.  I want to protect my family's privacy, and I sometimes I wonder if I'm doing the right thing.  Another thing that bothers me is that sometimes I have a hard time leaving work behind and being present with my family, but I'm working on it.

Q. What’s a typical day like and when do you actually get your work done?

6:30-9:30 AM  
Joe brings me coffee in bed (bless him), after which I snooze a bit and then drink my coffee cold while scrolling through Instagram.  Iris wakes up and drags me out of bed so we can get dressed/eat breakfast/play.  I try to use that precious but brief morning time to connect with her and just be silly together.  I drive her to preschool, and when I get home I make the bed and do the morning dishes, unless I'm really inspired by work and put it off.  

9:30-4:30 PM
This is when I work, answering emails, packing/shipping orders, doing social media, writing blog posts, writing instructions, taking photos, drafting patterns, sewing, illustrating patterns, and designing.  Some days I run errands or have meetings as well.  To stay sane I go to yoga and therapy once a week during my work hours, which is such a luxury.  

4:30-8:30 PM
If Joe is picking Iris up I usually try to cook a Blue Apron meal (because I don't have a whole lot of time for grocery shopping or meal planning), but if I'm picking her up I'll order takeout.  When everyone's home, we eat and then goof around-- picking blueberries in the yard or dancing to records.  Joe and I try to divide up nighttime duties and Iris's bedtime routine evenly, and we take turns.  One night he'll do the dishes, while I do Iris's bath, then the next night we'll switch, etc.  

8:30-10:30PM
After Iris is in bed for the night (not that she always stays put, ugh), Joe goes running while I make Iris's lunch and take a shower.  The sad thing is how little adult time we have alone together at the end of all the things that need doing.  I wish we had more!  After 30 minutes to an hour of hanging out we collapse into bed.  Sometimes I work late.  We each make it a priority to get out of the house separately one night a week to hang out with friends.

Q. What do you do when creative ideas hit you and you’re in the middle of mothering?

That doesn't usually happen because I need quiet to have ideas!  On the rare occasion that I do, I'll talk to Iris about it because she's usually interested and has lots of opinions.

Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for other moms trying to do all the things?

I like that the question says "encouragement" and not advice, because I definitely don't have it all figured out.  I'm often a mess.  I think anyone who does ALL of the things WILL be a little bit of a mess.  Balancing a bunch of things is never going to feel peaceful and easy, and I try to remember not to expect it to.  Because we're used to seeing images of beauty and perfection on social media, we're tricked into thinking that everyone else is doing it better than we are.  That's just not true.  We're all in the same boat.  We all have something we don't photograph, whether it be a messy room, ugly carpet, marriage problems, depression, etc.  We're all a little bit of a mess underneath, and to me that's normal and okay.  I would encourage myself and others to strive to keep priorities front and center and say no when needed, but to stop beating ourselves up over not doing everything perfectly.

mindful closet creative motherhood: jenny gordy

Thanks, Jenny! Find Jenny's work at Wiksten and follow her on Instagram. Photos by Shay Carlson.

See the other posts in the Creative Motherhood series here

what to wear when it's 100 degrees outside

what to wear when it's 100 degrees outside

...a.k.a. clothing that barely touches your body. Even though it seems to have passed, we here in St. Louis experienced a couple of weeks of 100+ temperatures. Here are a few of my favorite things to wear when it's blazing hot outside: loose dresses, boxy tops, and breezy culottes. 

mindful closet: hackwith design basic dress

(photos by Celeste Boyer) 

Above: Hackwith Design basic dress (ethically made), Need Supply Necklace, Madewell Marie sandal (similar, similar)

mindful closet: hot weather inspiration
mindful closet st louis personal stying

(Tank, dress, top - all ethically made)

mindful closet: ethically made summer wardrobe

(Culottes, wide leg crop pantstencel chambray pants - all ethically made)

Underneath, I like to wear something comfy like this (no underwires and sticky silky fabrics, please!) and this and these are great for a bit of chub rub (you know what I'm talking about). 

What are you wearing during heat waves this summer? 

(this post contains affiliate links which generate a few cents of revenue when clicked on)

creative motherhood: brandy wells

creative motherhood: brandy wells

I only recently discovered Brandy and her beautiful family on Instagram while exploring the “consciousparenting” hashtag. I love (and maybe am a little jealous of!) her calm and confident approach to parenting and life. She clearly enjoys her work but is present with her family as well, and shares more about her parenting philosophy on her blog, My Motherhood Magic. I love her security in the fact that we as mothers are enough as we are. -Dacy

creative motherhood: brandy wells

Q: Introduce yourself, your family, the work and creative work (aside from mothering) you currently do, and how that work has evolved as your children have grown.

My name is Brandy Wells. I am an independent licensed social worker and mother to two little Queens Kennedy, 10, and Karter, 3, who I share with my amazing husband Maurice. I work with children ages 4-19 with a diverse selection of mental health diagnoses. I would say my creative work is my mental health/parenting blog where I share information regarding early childhood mental health as well as how it interjects with my own family.

My works has evolved substantially since having children of my own because I truly have first hand experience of the importance of maternal mental health and raising mentally healthy children. Which is why in my platform I use my children to say: no matter how you raise your children, let's raise them strong together!

Q. Do you wish you could do more or less creative work? How do you manage those conflicted feelings?

There are times I struggle with balance. Sometimes I feel I'm giving too much of myself to my children or too much to my creative outlet. What I have told myself recently that whatever it is I'm doing, I am doing enough, and I am enough. So if I’m not doing work but laughing and educating my children, I am enough in that moment and vice versa.

Q. Do you work full time? Does choosing to focus on motherhood affect any financial or career goals for you?

I currently work in a school system which allows for a lot of flexibility. I get summers and all holiday breaks off. I think this was perfect for me because it made it easy to separate time for both. I told myself I could never go back to a 12 month schedule. My kids get to have me be present, as well as career focused. It also allows for a 12 month salary. To say I'm blessed is an understatement.

Q. What kind of a “village” or help do you have around you?

Village is everything to me. Of course I have my immediate family, my mother in particular who has played a vital role in helping and guiding me in raising my children. I have recently taken my girls on small road trips to engage with some of my best friends so they know love exists outside of family. But my village extends to teachers, neighbors, coaches, people who play any role in my or my daughters’ lives.

Q. Do you feel as though your work and home life lines are blurred? How do you handle that challenge?

I don't. I did. When I did, I wouldn't give myself boundaries, breaks, and permission. Now that I have grown as a mother I am purposeful about my time and how I spend it. I can literally feel my body saying: okay this is enough it's time to stop and go to something else. Listen to your mind and body. If that feeling is telling you to go to something else, go. Don't be bogged down by the thought that the hustle has to be all day and night. There is beauty in the art of nothing.

Q. What’s a typical day like and when do you actually get your work done?

At work I am therapist Wells. I am talking to kids individually, helping families with resources, and advocating for mental health rights in the classroom. But as soon as I'm off, I'm off and I am Kennedy and Karter's mom and Maurice's wife. I play a lot, cook, do bedtime, etc., and once the kids go to sleep I write a blog piece or two. The rest is time for my husband. That schedule works for me and I don't like to vary.

Q. What do you do when creative ideas hit you and you’re in the middle of mothering?

I am note writer. All my inspiration comes from my own children or the children I'm working with. So when I get a thought or topic I simply write a few notes to have for later. Again I don't allow it to shift where my heart is. If I'm playing with my children that means it's their time, and that's what's needed for them in that moment. So I stay right there, everything else is secondary. If I'm working and my kids need me or a student is in crisis, I'll always attend to that, it's always a priority.

Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for other moms trying to do all the things?

Just a reminder to remember that you are enough. Sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit. We compare and compete and we forget that God purposely gave us our role and was intentional.

I'll leave you with this:

“’Perfect’ is simply not relevant, whatever that would mean in regard to parenting. What is important is that we be authentic, and that we honor our children and ourselves as best we can, and that our intention be to, at the very least, do no harm. To me, it feels like all the work is in the attending, in the quality of the attention I bring to each moment, and in my commitment to live and to parent as consciously as possible.” Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn, Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting

mindful closet creative motherhood: brandy wells

Don't you all just feel better now?! :) I'll be coming back to this post any time I need a little reassurance that I'm doing what I need to be doing. Follow Brandy on Instagram and check out her blog

See all the creative motherhood posts here

5 ways to cultivate positive energy anywhere

5 ways to cultivate positive energy anywhere

More goodness from Ellie to start your week...

Earlier this week I was sitting at work, scrolling through my inbox. It felt like I had been putting out tiny fires for hours. My body was clenched, my breath was shallow, and I was feeling overwhelmed. Normally, I don’t notice these feelings. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I normally don’t interrupt these feelings.

mindful closet: 5 ways to cultivate positive energy

Instead, the tension continues for hours and I don’t fully realize I’m clenching until I arrive home, completely drained, capable of only binge watching Netflix.

I’ve been trying to leave enough space (in my schedule and in my mind) for me to notice when I’ve fallen out of alignment. Rather than running on autopilot for hours at a time, I’m attempting to slow down, recognize when I feel stressed, and do something to change my state.

Sounds simple enough, right? But when the day is in full swing and you’re balancing 6 plates, taking a moment to breath can easily be forgotten. (I am completely guilty of this.)

I decided to start managing my energy the same way I manage everything else. Everyday, regardless of obligation, I schedule 2 breaks for myself; one at lunch, another in the afternoon. While I’m learning to recognize stress in the moment, having established breaks helps me to slow down. I give myself the opportunity to be flexible and respond to my situations, rather than running from meeting to meeting, task to task.

Below I’ve compiled my best strategies to release stress, change your state, and cultivate positive energy.

  1. Dance Party : Even when I don’t feel like it, I start every morning dancing super hard to Beyonce. Nothing helps me to lighten up and loosen up like explosive dance moves. If you think you don’t possibly have time to take a dance break, consider every car ride an opportunity to jam out.

  2. Take a Walk : Walking is free and accessible to everyone. This is my go to when I’m at work. Even without a ton of trees, walking around my office’s parking lot lifts my mood and clears my head.

  3. Read a Novel : I’ve found myself exclusively reading self help and business books for the last few years. Then I picked up the Cormoran Strike novels by J.K. Rowling. I finished the series in days. Everytime I opened the book, I was completely transported, absorbed into the mystery of who killed London’s most affluent super model. Probably popcorn fiction, but reading a good book can help you get out of your head and ‘live’ somewhere else for a bit.

  4. Meditate : This one had to be on the list, right? You don’t have to sit in Lotus Position om-ing to meditate. You can meditate by sitting at your desk and taking a few deep belly breaths. You can jump on an app like Headspace or Calm. Taking a few moments to breathe deeply, center your thoughts, and relax can be an absolute game changer in your day.

  5. Get Creative : Creativity without expectation is incredibly freeing. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, there are hundreds of ways to get creative in your daily routine. Spend some time doodling or free writing. Maybe curate an interesting Pinterest page or think about how you would redesign your bathroom. Those selfies you are always taking? Consider them self portraits. The key here is to remove judgement and let your inspiration flow.  

Follow Ellie on Instagram for more healthy living tips! 

creative motherhood: erin loechner

creative motherhood: erin loechner

Imagine my delight when Erin Loechner, queen of slow living, agreed to participate in this series. If only I had re-read this post before my recent meltdown over being overscheduled, it would have saved me some grief! I began following Erin years and years ago on her blog Design for Mankind. I always appreciated her aesthetic sensibility, but more than that, loved that it seemed she was striving for simplicity in her daily life. In 2012, she changed the game with a blog post called "The Rebirth of Slow Blogging" (essentially, blogging when you have something to say, instead of what your schedule says). Her book published earlier this year, Chasing Slow, is a must-read if you have ever tried and failed to simplify [*raises hand*]. Along the way, she's had two kids, and here's how she manages it all.   -Dacy

creative motherhood: erin loechner

Q: Introduce yourself, your family, the work (aside from mothering) you currently do, and how that work has evolved as your children have grown.

Hi! I'm Erin Loechner, and I live in the Midwest with my husband, Ken, and two kids (my daughter Bee is 4; my son Scout is almost 1). I'm an author and blogger (for 12 years now!), and truly, my work has evolved many, many times in the past decade plus. My kids are still young and underfoot, so they're my first priority, and I've found them to be such a positive catalyst for the evolution of my work. When you suddenly begin valuing your time - truly valuing it - you gain laser focus on the things that matter. I've learned to accomplish more in less time simply by dropping the many things that are "expected" for my job, but no longer feel aligned with my values (here's looking at you, Instagram Stories!).

Q. Do you wish you could do more or less creative work? How do you manage those conflicted feelings?

Oh, I'd love to do more creative work, but I also know how beneficial those limitations and restrictions on time can be. Training myself to work when I have the time available (rather than when I feel like it), has honed my craft immensely. You learn very quickly that writer's block is a real thing, yes, but is nothing to fear. You commit to writing something (anything!) down anyway.

Q. Did choosing not to work full time affect any financial or career goals for you?

For us, choosing not to work full time was the goal. We started a family later in life knowing we'd want a solid foundation on all fronts, including career and financial stability. We never wanted to be in a position where our life was 100% fueled by and centered around work, especially given the incredible responsibility, energy and time parenthood calls for. Yes, it takes sacrifice elsewhere (we're no longer climbing corporate ladders, that's for sure!), but for us, the trade-off has been a no-brainer.

Q. What kind of a “village” or help do you have around you?

So much help! My husband and I both work from home and have flexible (albeit opposite!) schedules, so together, we're a pretty solid partnership. And my mother-in-law is two doors down, popping in often to take Bee on field trips to the hardware store, or inviting her over for a history channel sleepover. ;) A large reason we love living in the MIdwest is that we're surrounded by a strong, secure home team and deep family roots. We're very lucky.

Q. Do you feel as though your work and home life lines are blurred? How do you handle that challenge?

You know, I'm a big fan of compartmentalization, so my lines don't blur often. I work very early in the morning, and when my kids wake up, the laptop is shut and the phone goes into a drawer. It's just home life from there!

Q. What’s a typical day like and when do you actually get your work done?

You're going to laugh, but I wake at 2am to work, write, read and enjoy some peace before the kids wake for the day. I LOVE this time, so it doesn't feel like a chore for me to wake that early (and don't worry - I'm in bed by 7pm each night!). Once the kids are awake, we have school and play at home in the morning (reading lessons, tower building, art, etc) and we generally get out in the afternoons for trips to the grocery/library/playdate/park. It's a beautiful rhythm that works fairly well for us right now, but Ken and I are often switching it up to ensure we're both getting a bit of time for ourselves, too.

creative motherhood: erin loechner

Q. What do you do when creative ideas hit you and you’re in the middle of mothering?

Sometimes, I'll dig my phone out of the drawer and email it to myself, only to find later the idea has lost its luster and I delete it. Par for the course! :)

Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for other moms trying to do all the things?

Busyness isn't inherently destructive, but busyness for the sake of busyness (out of distraction or avoidance) is. If you're feeling constantly overwhelmed and overscheduled, it sounds like you might need to shift your focus to the end goal. What do you feel will be important to you in 25 years? 50? Work from that place. List the resources available to you, then list your priorities and values. The "things" you should be doing will be at the intersection of those two lists, and for this particular season, everything else must go. Be ruthless in this edit.

Photos by Ken Loechner. Find Erin on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook

obliger rebellion

Obliger rebellion: when obligers meet and meet and meet expectations until they get fed up and lose it. 

Lately, all I've been doing is talking about how much work I have and trying to carve out the space to get it all done and acknowledging that it's a busy time. I haven't gone grocery shopping in weeks, I haven't exercised, and I certainly have not been spending the time I would like to spend with my family. 

I just spent multiple blog posts talking about how my priority right now is my family and not this business, and yet I continued to schedule things and place deadlines in my life that don't align with that those priorities. I've completely neglected to remember or be aware of the fact that all of this is in my control. I can cancel things. I can change the deadlines. I am in charge. This is the whole reason why I am creating a business where I work for myself.

Luckily, I have an amazing mastermind group who can remind me of these things. Even if I can't always seen the warning signs of an impending meltdown, I've surrounded myself with people who know me well enough to point out when I am not practicing what I preach.

I want to have a summer. I want to go to the pool with my son. I want to go out for ice cream. I also want to create an online course eventually. All of these things are within my control and somehow I forgot that. Creating a course was meant to open up my time in the future it also can't take away from my living my life right now.

So I'll be slowing down on the posting and the Facebook lives and will be revisiting the course launch date. Thanks for following along as I learn over and over again how to live a slow life.