the simple minded suburbanite

My Inner Cowgirl
January 17, 2012, 3:47 pm
Filed under: budget, suburbanite, voluntary simplicity

I made a promise to myself late fall 2011.  It was a financial promise. It was a time management promise.  It was a quiet promise I chose not to share.  It’s no big deal, really, but little promises made and kept have a way of putting building my self-empowerment muscle.  As the air chilled, I promised to buy myself one super cool pair of black cowboy boots and one fantastic pair of jeans.  The end.  Why do you care?  Because I vowed to buy myself NOTHING else, barring some unforeseen special event, I mean REALLY special event, until the summer months approached.  Big deal?  Yes, because my committment to my jeans and my boots brought several things into focus for me.

1. I did not deny myself something I needed, desperately, a new pair of jeans ( refuse to dwell on why I needed said jeans).

2. I did not deprive myself of something that brought me joy:  a fantaistic pair of cowboy boots that express the shit kicking side of my personality and provide that needed rough edge to many of my far-too-girly ensembles.

3.  I did focus my money (neither of these items were cheap) on quality and did not piddle that same amount away or more on polyester blend sweaters, gold hoochie-mamma earrings, or 7 long-sleeved white t-shirts.

4. I have not wasted time browsing the racks at Target when what I really needed to grab my box of Always and get-the-f outta there.  I don’t stop at that cute little boutique on route to work at my local coffee shop.  I used my time, instead, directed to what I truly value and to creep my way toward my goals.

5.  I have taken pleasure in saying “no” to frivolous purchases and joy in embracing my closet, getting creative with scarves, belts, layering, and yes, wearing the same thing twice or thrice (albeit in a different way) around the same people, who really don’t care because they are truly my friends (I have limited time with those who don’t fall into that category) and they think I’m alternately dorky and cool no matter what I’ve got on.  Besides, doesn’t creativity and not giving a shit automatically put you on that thin wire between cool and dorky?

6.  I love the feeling of saying, “I know where our money went,” as opposed to “Where the hell did it go?”

7. I embrace the sense that “I have all that I need” and “I am enough.”

8. I smile and gently forgive any small transgressions:  Had to go to a white party that was fancy enough that my white Tshirts didn’t cut it.  Bought a $17 pair of black tights that I can’t wash and put back in my drawer fast enough to wear again with my cowboy boots.  And Costco, yes Costco! had this fantastic gold sequin top ($22) that I have worn a dozen or more times through the holidays and “trendy” dinners out with my new, cool jeans, old heals, and old, gold, hoochie-mamma earrings.  Just like dieting, we must have the occasional square of chocolate.

9.  Reiterate #7.  I am enough, I have enough and, somehow I am growing more enough and enough the less I am diverted with stuff and things to do that pull me from that personal level of fullness.  Amen to the cowgirl in us all.


Vision Boarding…online
January 11, 2012, 4:07 pm
Filed under: achievement, authenticity, voluntary simplicity | Tags:

As we enter 2012, most are reminded of setting goals and leading a life closer to our vision.  Vision boards (or collages of your dreams, aspirations, identity) are a great way to visually express your goals.  I found a cool, free online “vision board” of sorts that helps you interactively set your goals, monitor your progress, and GROW!  Check it out:  It’s fun!  A great way to simplify your time to include what is truly important.

Voluntary Simplicity
October 14, 2011, 12:00 pm
Filed under: suburban

Challenge yourself and check out:

Slow Living
October 12, 2011, 12:00 pm
Filed under: parenting, suburban, time management, voluntary simplicity | Tags: ,

Less Stuff, More Happiness
October 9, 2011, 12:00 pm
Filed under: suburban, voluntary simplicity | Tags:

“Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
October 7, 2011, 12:00 pm
Filed under: suburban

Everything Valuable and Desireable is Difficult
September 20, 2011, 8:01 pm
Filed under: achievement, voluntary simplicity | Tags: , ,

Says Amy Chua, Tiger Mom.  An interesting idea, I thought as I read her book in which she discusses Indonesian Gamelan music in contrast to classical Dvorak.  “Gamelan music is mesmerizing because it is less structured and repetitive,” Chua says of why she couldn’t appreciate it after visiting Indonesia preferring Dvorak because his compositions “reflect complexity, ambition, and harmonic exploration.”

It got me thinking about my midwestern upbringing and the idea of hard work being necessary and the image of each of my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother sighing throughout their day.  Work, work, work.  Life is tough.  We have to work at our relationships.  We have to burn the midnight oil.

Yet, I think of easy Sunday afternoons and a simply delicious BLT sandwich.  And of easy silences.  And the buoyancy of my body as it floats in the waves of a cool lake.

I think I thought that once, that “everything desirable is difficult.”  Maybe that explains why, though I have a special place for Dvorak ever since I visited Prague, if I’m honest, I can really only take him in small doses.

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