I'm very new to Voluntary Simplicity and part of the deal I've made with myself is to not give myself a hard time. I decided that to do this I would have to do it very slowly and I would start on myself. So far so good, I definately don't need any more new clothes, my wardrobe has never been extensive though I have coveted beautiful clothes. I am what you might call 'Fashion Impaired' before it left me feeling a little less than other people but now I can forget about shopping and lamenting that there is NOTHING TO WEAR! because I probably have way more clothes than what you might call essential. When the time comes to replace an item of clothing I don't have a problem with buying recycled clothing.
The other change I've made is to eat a little more simply, no more waste. This is another example of wanting to conform to some standard without ever questioning it. I guess I've had an idea that cultured people cook gourmet meals at least once a day. For me this has meant buying ingredients that I might use a part of and then having to throw the rest out because it spoiled. ( I couldn't make 2 meals in a row the same.) Also there was the time expenditure needed to make these meals. Not fun when you have young kids who want your attention at the end of the day. Time is definately one thing I want to gain from simplifying my life and I don't want to gain it so I can be more PRODUCTIVE , I want more time to really watch my children and savour this time, I want more time to relax and enjoy talking leisurely with my husband, I want more time to sit quietly with my thoughts, I want more time to recharge and energize instead of physically running around or thinking at top speed. So for dinner lately we've been having simple things with a hearty staple like the great grainy bread they have here, I find we're eating less and feeling more healthy, and lets face it in our advanced societies food is one of those things that has succumbed to overkill. We could probably all do with a little less in this area.
The next thing is a bit harder, have to tell the family back at home there will be no expensive presents from our overseas travels this time, however, if they want to see some photos and have a good natter, I have plenty of time for them!
It feels good to have made just a few small changes I'm going to sit with them for awhile before I tackle this a bit more.