how blogging changes your life

I have been contemplating, however late it seems this year, about the changes I want to make in my life in 2018.

Then I realized I have already done quite a bit of changes and improvements that made my life abundant, easy, more self-sufficient, and satisfactory. I think I am good where I am 🙂

The majority of the changes I have made fall in the following categories: frugal life; simple life; reduced waste; and self-reliance.

Let me explain.

The need for frugal live was driven by the home-ownership that necessitated cutting costs and increasing age that require better investments so that I could handle the repair and other costs a house requires (a 100 years old house requires many) and the anxiety and uncertainty about my own future. While I was on the average pretty good in living below my means, thanks to many inspiring stories and bloggers going through the same journey I found some kind of strength and higher level of motivation. Score! 🙂 Frugal life-standards made me appreciate what I have had and the excitement coming out of finding ways to cut cost, better deals, and better financial management. As a result comes the feeling of being less dependent on material and being abundant in so many different ways.

As part of frugal choices, I also switched from automatic take of cab in the morning and the afternoon during the work days. It was a struggle alright and it still is. Bus operates only every 30 min and in our harsh Canadian winters it is not a pleasant activity to wait in an open bus stop. I still take the cab time to time when I am crunched in time or tired. But when compared to previous years, I say the reduction in my transportation cost is an impressive success.

I also walk time to time to work and from work. I am usually good at routinely walking in the afternoon. In summer time walking in the morning is also very pleasant. I feel great after walking 25-30 min and it also makes me proud of myself for having a day relying on my own abilities rather than others. It is one example of self-sufficiency and easy-peasy life style I have developed lately.

Other examples of self-sufficiency efforts are baking my own bread, making my own jams/marmalade, ad pickling. They are not only exciting activities, but I also share them with neighbours and friends, which gives me an extra level of excitement.

The frugal life also brings in reducing waste, particularly food waste. I now am very conscious about what I purchase and I also freeze food. Frozen food is very practical for me as I do not like cooking everyday and a ready meal is always appreciated, especially if they are home-made. I implemented other changes in my aim to reduce the waste. Plastic shopping bags is a good example; I mostly use my tote now. I donate my clothes and other items if they are in good conditions to prevent them from ending up in the landfill (and support people in need). I use mostly re-usable cleaning cloths rather than paper towels. I cut up old clothes (not good enough to be donated) and use them as one-time cleaning cloths. I make use of coupons, while not in great quantity, to help with my expenses. Last, I also purchase items from thrift stores that helps not only me and environment but also the people in need and the organizations that support them.

I also declutter once a year or so to identify the extra, un-wanted, or battered items, and then remove them from my office or home by dumping, donating, or re-using. Excellent activity I must say. What a relief once they are gone out of my life. Additionally, it helps me to see what I already have and make use of them and feel grateful for their presence in my life. How many times I found a pair of shoes or a piece of clothe in good condition that I could use? Blogs about decluttering was instrumental in doing this activity at a more conscious level.

When I look at all of these I kind of realize that they are all inter-connected; frugal life style is powered by decluttering and making smarter choices about expenses and needs/wants; waste and unnecessary expenses are reduced by many small acts; abundance increase by being aware and grateful; and life becomes quite easier once we realize the alternative ways to do the daily activities.

How is blogging related to all of these?

First, we by sharing our own stories and plans somehow support the others with the same interest. Second by sharing our plans, we move one step closer to implementing these plans in our lives. Third we often find new ways to enrich our lives and reach our goals; whether it is through shopping bans, or developing a hearty sourdough starter by looking at the others’ experiences.

My take on my current life style is that I in fact have done very well in reaching these aims and changing my priorities. It took me around 3 years, but I am content at where I am right now and I think this blog and blog sphere have been instrumental in it.

 

I have everything I need

I spend the New Year`s Eve as I wish it; at home and in peace.

I have found time to reflect in between the clogged toilet and my efforts to fix it; talking to my lovely family and enjoying every minute of it; and baking and eating my traditional meal of beef pie 🙂

I also have had negative thoughts crossing my mind (mostly because of the irritation some people gave me recently), feeling like sh.t sometime as a result, and also watching a horror movie just out of curiosity while I am also scared to watch it :))

It is a mental judo to deal with negative thoughts and annoyance; I easily pay attention to them, so they are usually very, very annoying. But when they become too much of an annoyance, the moment I make a conscious decision to not react to them, I find peace. I love those peaceful moments.

My reflections nowadays have made me realize that I have everything I need in my life; my family and their well-being; my own well-being, my job, salary, and financial independence, and meaning and hope in life. I am content with where I am and with my life, character, mind, and heart. I like myself and what I have become, and I love my family.

For the first time in a very long time, or perhaps even for the first time in my entire life, I feel whole, content, lucky, blessed, and satisfied all at the same time….. I should thank for my efforts, love and support of my family, and all the people and things that in a way constituted my life and helped make me who and what I am.

I especially thank those people who annoyed me with their unfair and unkind behaviors and ridiculous characters that make me realize how good-hearted, mature, kind, and genuine I and the people I care about are. It feels great to credit myself and others in my life who are awesome. This would not be possible without having annoying, selfish, ridiculous people in my life. They annoy, yes, but I now gained from this annoyance and it is priceless 🙂

Like anyone else, I strive for feeling better, having better life experiences and physical, emotional, and financial health, accomplishing my dreams, or just going thru the demands of life and work without losing my mind 🙂 There are many bumps along the way; I too have suffered by set backs, losses, emotional damages, bad people and circumstances, and my own inexperience and mistakes. Yet, here I am at mid-40`s that is perfectly fine with the imperfect world and life.. Even if this turns out to be a short-term thing, I am grateful that I have both thought and felt this way today...

Perhaps it is really true what they say; that we should sit and do nothing for some time. Then we remove all the rush and demands of our lives and find our true core. That life is life, with all the ups and downs. And we constantly strive to make it better as we wish it. And sometimes, just sometimes, we realize that we actually have everything we need among all the struggles, plans, pain, and laughter…

I hope you too will find this moment of peace and realize what a blessing your life is 🙂

Happy New Year!

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