A Year of Living Without

A Year of Living Without

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Well, hello, good friend! It has been nearly one year since I last posted and if you asked me (as several people have recently), I couldn’t give you a great reason why. I’m sure the start of a new school year had something to do with it, along with the fact that I had reached a certain level of satisfaction with my minimalist efforts. My house looked, overall, decluttered and I no longer felt the need to blog about it. In any case, the better question is: what brings me back?

I recently revisited a minimalist inspiration blog of mine, the very awesome ZenHabits by Leo Babauta. He is currently undertaking an experiment called “A Year of Living Without.” Think of it like Lent for year. Each month, he tries to live without one thing he regularly incorporates into his life. For example, for his first month he went without coffee. If you’d like to read about Leo’s experiment, visit here.

As I thought about Leo’s experiment, I couldn’t help but be inspired. I already live without much of the “stuff” I used to have, but what other things could I live without? Could I go a month without meat? Sugar? Make-up? Gossiping? As I thought about the possibilities, I got excited… and a little scared. (Kind of like how we feel when we sort through the attic, right?)

So, with no real premeditation, I started going without eating meat last Wednesday. After one day, I decided to modify my experiment to allow for seafood and eggs, since a girl’s gotta have some protein! I’m committed to trying this for one month, but I haven’t figured out my other months yet. Here is a short list of possibilities, arranged from what I consider least to most challenging:

Facebook (I kind of hate this time-suck anyway.)
One Less Thing (i.e. get rid of one excess thing in my house each day for a month)
Gossiping/Negative talk about others (This will be tough in the teacher’s lounge!)
Sugar (Scary… I could definitely not do this one around the holidays!)
Heavily processed foods (I’m not even sure what exactly fits in this category, but I’m guessing it’s all the “unpronouncables” on that Twinkie label.)
Alcohol (I’m a glass or two of wine per night girl. This would be challenging for me to give up.)
Make-Up (Perhaps I’m extremely vain and never knew it, but this one scares me the most.)

I realize I only have seven things, but this is an evolving experiment. I’m still mulling over other ideas and I welcome suggestions. 🙂

I know I will be more committed to this experiment if it is shared, so I’m planning to use this blog as a format for it (and, perhaps, other posts about minimizing/organizing, if I am so moved). I would love to have you follow along with your advice and encouragement. I’d also love for you to join me and see what you can live without this year!

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