The end of 2017 was not kind to me and my family in many ways.
Back in August, where we thought things were looking up, my “husband’s” appendix ruptured. That meant six weeks off work for him. That meant saying goodbye to our hard earned savings that were meant to be the base of a down payment for our house. Did that account ever drain fast!
My mental illness took a turn for the worst when the winter started to creep up on us. My son was fighting illness after illness. Mind you, it was the common cold after sinus infection. Regardless, this made my sleep patterns irregular and pitiful. My un-diagnosed pain made life difficult with migraines, muscle and joint pain. Finally my family doctor sent me to a rheumatologist and a psychiatrist. I had severe depression to which the tiny dose of anti-depressants that my family doctor prescribed me was basically just patting me on the back. That was increased twice over. I was also then diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Well, at least I was getting the help I needed. Ten years of chronic pain was finally recognised and my family began to take me seriously. Now that I ingest a pharmacy every night and cover myself in topical, “all natural” oils, I am happy – kinda.
To top this year off, my “husband” is undergoing medical testing to see why he is still having insane pain where he had his surgery. My son just recovered from a two and a half week battle with the chicken pox. My plate is full. I can’t take anymore bad news. La, la, la, la, la!
Living with your parents is not easy by any means. Five adults and one baby crammed into a house is not ideal. Space is very limited. I am living in my cramped childhood bedroom, my son lives down the hall, as do my parents and brother. Our basement is storagepalooza. It’s almost impossible to see anything past my entire life that was boxed away when I moved back home along with all the infant things. I feel like a hoarder. I wake up to see this:
My office space for my home business looks like this:
Going downstairs to visit my “husband” in his game lair looks like this:
This has to stop. I need a change. I find myself not being able to breathe. There is too much stuff.
Recently, a mom-friend of mine from Alberta began posting on Facebook about Minimalism. I loved the concept. She invited her friends to take part in the 30 Day Minimalism Challenge. I was doing great, until my son got sick, and then passed his illness onto me. You have to love daycare germs… It was devastating that I did not complete the challenge. When I look back, it doesn’t matter. My son needed me, I was exhausted, and I needed to take a few days for self-care. This past month I have been doing my research. I have been listening to The Minimalist’s Podcasts, reading blog posts from The Minimalist Mom, and watching minimalism documentaries. I feel like I am now ready. My “husband” is fully on board. My son has no choice.
That being said, this past month has been a real eye-opener for me. We waste SO much plastic. It’s not even funny. My family composts and we sort our recycling and make sure to recycle as much as possible. Yet, living in rural Ontario, my main option for shopping is online shopping. I live in a town with four stop lights, five if you count the one on the county road before entering my small town. My options for shopping are slim, Giant Tiger can only have so much. It’s a 20-25 minute drive one way to the nearest city. I know, that’s nothing compared to Northern Ontario and the rest of Canada. For me, it is difficult to find time. I am a Mom to a small human. Packing him up for a trip is painful, especially when he doesn’t want to go. I run my own business. I spend the majority of my time planning lessons, then actually going out to teach those lessons. I am a “wife.” This means laundry needs to be done, toys need to be picked up and sanitised, dishes need to be done, floors need to be vacuumed, and the list of never ending chores never fricking ends. While my “husband” does help when asked, we also live with my family which makes things difficult from time to time. Don’t get me wrong! I am grateful for having a roof over my head and the extra hands to help with Junior, but we tend to step on each others’ toes from time to time. Anyways, as I work in the city four days a week, I rarely have time to shop. The most I do is make a Costco trip twice a month for bulk essentials.
Shopping online gets me the things I need for my family, and for my growing business in a convenient way. What makes this inconvenient is the amount of garbage that companies (I’m looking at you Amazon!) put in their boxes for packaging. Children’s toys are the absolute worst! Buying clothes? Holy, I might as well just wear the plastic it comes in. The same goes for buying food. It’s ridiculous the amount of plastic packaging food comes in. My family of five and a half have TWO completely full garbage bags at the curb EVERY week. Granted, a lot of it is diapers. We also have four cats but they don’t make that much of a fuss here.
Something has to change.
This is why I am choosing this lifestyle. I want to be happier physically and mentally throughout every aspect of my life. So now my journey begins. Obviously I won’t be an extremist. I won’t give up toilet paper or diapers. That’s just not happening. As I have read through many minimalism posts I have found that this is a lifestyle that works for you and your needs. You can go full extremist and get rid of all your things and live that Hippy lifestyle. That’s not for me. I want to stop wasting money on things we don’t need. I want to stop hoarding things people give us that have no purpose in our daily lives. I want to feel that I have room to breathe in my life. We will see how far we get. As I dive head first into this lifestyle change, I welcome you to join me. This is my accountability to myself and those who support me.