Over the years, due to my mental illness, I have had to simplify my life so much.
I have tried working so many times and can’t; I’ve tried homeschooling (many times) and can’t.
These cause severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. Also, with my bipolar 2, I never know if I’m going to be able to function from one moment to the next. I haven’t been stable for more than a month at a time for years.
I am at a point in which, with my simple life, I’m doing really well and enjoying my days! I have so much gratitude for all that God has put in my life and I attempt to live out my gratitude daily.
Simple Schedule and Routine
Recently, I decided to get rid of a lot of things and truly simplify. I organized well in order to keep things easy to keep up with. I take one day at a time. I try not to over-plan because I know that that usually means anxiety.
The only things on my plate are:
- Time with family
- Self care
- Bible study (personal daily and women’s once a week)
- Coffee with friends
- Cleaning (I have a daily routine that I try to keep up with so things don’t get out of control)
- Cook/make simple meals
- A few small hobbies such as blogging and baking.
- Working on my Childbirth Education training
- Spending time outdoors! On my porch, walking, hiking, camping, etc.
Our kids also have very simple lives.
- Chores (daily they make their bed, fold and put away laundry, and clean up their rooms and living room if they leave things there)
- School (of course, they are gone a long time every day for school)
- Homework (very little)
- Play with friends/ride bikes
- Play games and read
We don’t spend a large amount of time doing sports or other extra curricular activities. This isn’t for everyone, but it’s best for our family.
I basically just sit down with my planner the night before or the morning of and plan my day. It tends to be a lot of the same each day and I’m good with that. I used to try to follow a schedule and I was never consistent with it… so, I decided to throw it out. Too complicated.
We typically eat a lot of the same things consistently. I try to mix it up sometimes, but pretty much every meal I do is simple. I use my instant pot a lot, and I usually make meals that don’t take very long.
I have a weekly routine to do some food prep so that things are simple through the week. I fill my veggie tray to pull out for lunches and sometimes for dinners. I sometimes make homemade Greek yogurt and granola because I love the taste and it’s an easy to grab breakfast.
I try to buy some things that are convenience to be easy to use/eat. For example, I buy already cut broccoli and baby carrots. I buy some granola bars and peanut butter crackers. Sometimes I buy pre-made salads but they are much more expensive than buying leaf lettuce. So sometimes I buy leaf lettuce, tear/cut it, and add some bagged spinach to it. I have taken a break from salads for a while, though.
I meal plan each week so that we all know what we will be eating. I post this on my blog and then print it and put it in our “planning hub” in our kitchen/dining area. It helps keep the guess work out of it, and I am able to do any prep ahead of time (like thawing meat, etc).
We also eat in the dining hall when we can because it’s free, and I don’t have to cook and clean up. Sometimes I can’t handle being in a loud dining hall, but I’m getting to where I can these days.
The Little Things
I try really hard to enjoy the little things each day. I have learned to be content with what we have and where we are in life. I am at peace with where we live and know that this is life from now on (unless God has us move on, but I highly doubt it to be honest). I light candles every day, and start out with a good cup of coffee. I have been slowly decorating our home (on a tight budget) because I want to enjoy being here. Having coffee with friends has helped me to grow closer to others here and it has given me a ministry (other than AA). I enjoy getting up in the morning now and watching the sun rise.
I love our home. It’s pretty small (1200 sq ft), but it’s perfect for us. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Here are some pictures of the favorite rooms in my house:
I love my kitchen so much. Keeping it clean is a huge consistent goal of mine, and I am working here often. I love that it’s open to the living room and our dining area is right in the middle. Our table is really old and has been in the family since the beginning. It used to be my great grandparents’, then it was my great uncle’s. When he died, we got it. I love it so much. The chairs are old solid wood chairs from UT classrooms. They were donated to our old camp and they were going to throw them away! I wish we had taken more. They are amazing.
I love a little color in the middle of my table. These Pioneer Woman decorations are perfect. We use cloth napkins instead of paper to create less waste and they are just pretty!
This piece of furniture is called a Pie Safe. It is also very old and came from an old friend of my Meemaw’s. We use it in our kitchen and I love keeping pretty jars with our whole foods in it. Also our tea party set, tea, and raw honey to have in the tea.
I am in this room allllll the time. It’s my favorite room in the house. I decorated it with things that we already have, curtains from Walmart, some art from the Dollar Tree, a $30 rug from Amazon, and more!
We have had this handmade cedar post bed since when Karis was a baby. That and the cedar table were bought for us from my parents for my graduation and Christmas. The curtains came from Walmart.com and the love seat came from a thrift store for $30. The shelf in the corner came from a friend here at camp for like $5. Also, I bought the rug when we first moved here and I think it’s from Overstock.com.
I wish I could claim the tree, but it was here when we moved here. The people who lived here before us had it painted and they left the frames! I recently updated the pics! The couches we have had since I was pregnant with Levi. The table with elephants on the corners came from the basement of the church where Robert used to work. The rug came from Home Depot I think.
We don’t have a ton of books anymore because I got rid of the books that we either would never have read or that we have read and felt like we wouldn’t read them again. I have baskets around the house with other books in them. The kids’ books are in my office or on the shelves in their rooms.
The kids’ rooms are a pretty big disaster at the moment, but this is what they looked like when I organized them in January:
These are their closets:
The boys’ aren’t this organized anymore but Karis’ is! She actually keeps her room pretty clean and organized these days!
Check back for more ways that I have a simple life and the things that bring me joy!