I am no expert on minimalism, I only know what I have discovered during my personal journey. As I have said before minimalism will look different to everyone. One common thing I hope is true for all who choose a more minimalist lifestyle is that we place a high value on people, experiences and making memories and a lower value on stuff, especially extra stuff. During a season of insane consumerism and people frequently saying, "I have to go holiday shopping" I am so grateful to have discovered minimalism. It has helped to to shift my view further and really have awesome experiences and make great memories with my kids. I also feel it's setting a great example for them during a season of too many toy commercials. They have come to appreciate spending time with friends and family more than getting this year's toy of the moment. They get more excited about holiday get togethers and playing with friends than they get about gifts. Now I'm not going to lie, we still have a bit of the 'I wants' here in our house, its not a minimalist paradise with my kids refusing gifts and donating their toys to charity. My son especially likes to tell me all the things he wants regularly, not just during the holidays. If we have conversations about what we REALLY want and need and he has time to reflect he usually changes his mind, at least to something that he really values and not some gimmick as seen on TV item.
This week I sat down at Lakes Coffee in Medford Lakes, NJ with my friend and birth worker sister Brandi Robertson to chat about birth work, her personal birth experiences and what has lead her to this point in her life. I met Brandi almost 2 years ago when she moved to New Jersey from Japan with the military. Brandi, then a ultrasound technician with the Air Force, was brought back to the states and looked me up on the internet. We instantly connected and became fast friends. She is an awesome wife and mother of two children, Priya,10 and Graeme, 5. We could chat forever about birth work, among other things, so I thought starting off my birth worker interviews with someone like Brandi would make it easy and fun. What made it even more fun, there was construction going on outside of the coffee shop that day and there was a lot of giggling as we were trying to be professional doing a professional interview. As we settled in and got used to the background sounds we started chatting about her journey to birth work.
Since things are rolling with the conversion of the bus I wanted to start "official" blogs to keep everyone updated on the progress. Some weeks are slow on visible progress because some jobs take so much longer than expected with way more trips to Lowes than I would like. Some weeks we are surprised at all we complete and are fueled by the progress. Hopefully by the end of this week we will paint the bus, which is so exciting! I am so used to staring at the large yellow thing in the driveway that looking at a large green thing will be crazy. Yes, green! We were so inspired by the beautiful green from our Vermont plates that we ran with it and got a green to match. It will also be nice to complement nature when we travel rather than compete with it by painting the bus hot pink or neon orange. We will post photos of that as soon as it gets going. If you follow the bus on Instagram or Facebook it's the best way to get our great bus conversion photos especially since Nick got a new camera for his birthday and LOVES using it!
Almost three years ago when I was pregnant with Ida I started reading about minimalism. First on the internet and then I read a book by Joshua Becker called The More of Less and I loved this book. It really spoke to me and I started de-cluttering like it was my full-time job. Joshua Becker also built a course online called Uncluttered which was a life-changing experience. It felt so good to get rid of the things that weren't working in my life to make room for more time with my family and to gain a greater clarity about life. I continued on my minimalism journey after Ida was born and discovered a lot of other awesome people talking about how to enjoy life more by owning less things. It was such a wonderful time to be born into this new way of thinking as I had such a wonderful birth experience with Ida and felt like I was born again as a mother and woman. When I discovered The Minimalists, Everything That Remains I was already deep into it, I had drank the Kool-Aid and took the pitcher it was served in to Goodwill. The Minimalists brought home to me that minimalism wasn't just about physical stuff. I could apply the principles of minimalism to all the areas of my life to enjoy life more and enjoy the people and some stuff fully.