I wanted to write a bit about my mindset as of late... Wanting to express how I have felt these changes in the past few weeks. And I have had major shifts in how I feel and think. So I figured instead of trying to draft it into a long post I would list the ways, with some minor detailed explanations. Sound good? I hope so, cause that's what I am gonna do....

  1. The Shopaholic Me: I still get urges to run for the store if I feel stressed with the kids or just life itself. But, I have noticed that I can overcome that urge, generally. Sometimes I have the internal dialogue going of, "You are fine here at home. You have everything you need right here. Books, paints, journal, computer. It's all here and it's all you really actually need." Amazingly, it is working. I have still been in stores! I am not locking myself at home. But the urge to buy it just because it's cute is a long way behind me. Past me, 6 months ago, wouldn't have been able to come away from the PILE of Rae Dunn at  Winners with only a couple items. I would have had the cart full! But nope, I walked away with the set of two big letter mugs that I loved and didn't have. And I have no regrets! I have no major pull to shop for clothing, I am happy with my clothes as they are now. I have everything I need for books and kitchen do-dad's. Grocery shopping has even changed course with me. I go in, I get the items on my list, I leave. I actually know in my head what I have at home and so I don't just buy whatever I see on sale. (In the past I'd actually have 6 of the sale item at home already, waiting to be used, and I'd have not a clue!) It's been such an amazing shift in my thought process and in turn my daily life!
  2. Birthday Gifts: I am usually an all year long shopper, buying whatever springs into view and looks like a great gift for so-n-so. But what would happen is come the birthday or even Christmas, I was swamped with WAY TO MUCH! And so I have stopped that way of doing it and in turn wasting my time and money. My daughters 10th is coming up soon, and I am in need of some gifts for the occasion. My criteria for this birthday is to buy well for her. Not just random, but to buy to build a collection of what she already loves to play with. The biggest of these right now is her Lottie Dolls. She is really loving them and I am thrilled to have her engaged with a real looking little girl doll series that encourages true childhood, play and exploration.
  3. Money Talks: Okay, not actually, but I was able to have a financial conversation with my husband recently. I'll be honest, we are in a pretty good amount of debt right now.  And normally having these conversations would lead to anxiety, strain and inevitably a huge fight. So we ignored, which of course didn't help things, but it seemed safer at the time that arguing all-the-time.  But now, we have been able to have a true heart to heart on this subject and are making drastic changes very quickly to help us overcome the debt and hopefully, aside from our mortgage, be debt free in under two years. That's a pretty amazing feeling! To not just have had a conversation, but also to have a plan and to top it off be excited about it! Excited to be done with debt. To push through the months of spending less and be on the other side.
  4. Less Clutter is Less To-Do's: I touched on this in a previous post. But I am going to say it again here. Having less clutter/stuff has allowed for more time in my day. I can actually breathe in the morning. I am far less overwhelmed by the "upkeep" to-do list when I have less stuff in my way to accomplish the upkeep. It's amazing! You'd think it's rocket science, but it's not! I am also finding that the mess stays away. I, without even knowing it, had let my norm be constantly shuffling excess around my house! It's crazy! But it was true!  And now if I have piles to go downstairs, they are headed to a specific place-mostly. I still have some more decluttering and fine tuning to complete. But I'll get there.
  5. Boredom: Okay, this sounds funny. But I am finding I become bored. Which actually is a great thing to have! It means I have time. Time I can choose what the freak to do with! It's not all consumed by the never ending runaround of MESS! I LOVE IT!
  6. I Actually Enjoy my Home: I touched on this to previously, but again I'll say it here too! I have spent years avoiding my house. Which lead me out of the house to places- mostly stores- where I would buy out of boredom and anxiety. That stuff I would bring home. Dump it and move on. No joke! Such a waste of time and soooo much money! But today, I can honestly say, I have been choosing to stay home, to actually spend time there. And when I go to sit down, I am not overwhelmed with the piles of stuff surrounding me that I "should be" doing something about. There aren't any piles!!! I can sit and read a book at home and it's actually enjoyable. I can actually choose an activity and not have the clutter be my deciding factor.  
  7. Kids are More Engaged: It's true. I've noticed them spend more time in their rooms playing with toys or getting out craft stuff than I think I ever have. Our girl is spending tons of time just in her room playing with her horses, Lottie and Polly Pockets. My boy is all interested in sticker books, mazes, making mazes and being outside. He is also newly obsessed by Mario Cart Wii.  Now I won't lie, we are having to set some ground rules for the Wii and Netflix. Their use got a bit out of control this summer haha. But thats okay, all part of the season we have been in and sometimes you just need the screen sitter. I refuse to feel guilt over it anymore. All that breeds in more to drag us all down.  

I am pretty sure I could come up with more things to tell you, but perhaps I will do a Part 2 down the road. But for now I'll leave you here. I have been so, so, so beyond thankful for this change. This choosing a life of less so that I can have a more abundant life. It has truly been transformative.

Wildflowers from my garden.