Sunday, February 10, 2013

path to peace

It sounds a lot like cutting off the world and getting rid of your stuff.

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” 
― Bertrand Russell

I want my mind to have moments when it's silent.
I want my home to be a haven.
I want to have a deep relationship with those who are close and active in my life.
I want quality over quantity.
I want simple.

Sometimes I think about a part in one of my favorite movies "White Oleander" where a girl is looking out at the wildfires coming near her home, she's speaking to her foster parent about her Mother (who is in prison)... and how once when they were talking about the wildfires, she told her to make a list of the things she would take if they would have to leave, and then she told her- if she was brave- she wouldn't take anything.

Actually I think about that a lot.
When you leave the world you don't take anything with you, why become so attached in the first place?
I remember hearing someone say how they hold "loosely onto money" (and it really took me back and made me think) and that you will never see a Brinks truck following a hurst.

Here are somethings we've chosen to do to invite more peace and quality into our lives.

Get rid of your cellphone
Over the past two years Joel and I have stopped our cellphone service and got a home phone.

We did it to save over $100 per month and also because we felt we didn't need them.

It was difficult at first, we were avid iphone users, but we learned to love it.

Our in-laws didn't like the idea of us not having a cellphone, so they pay $10 a month for us to have one.  I was a bit turned off by the idea at first.  We only use it when we leave the house.  We live so far out in the country that we don't get reception anyways.

Joel is also on a special team at work that requires him to carry a cellphone at all times.  It's another comfort for those who think it's a necessity of survival to have one.

And one lesson I learned... everyone has a phone.  I think I've only needed to ask a family member once or twice to use their cellphone while I was out.  Basically if you need to make a call, just lean over to the person sitting next to you.

I love not feeling obligated to reply to a text message or hear the beep while I'm in the middle of making a meal or driving the car.

A lot of people shoot off texts as thoughts enter their mind... to make a phone call requires more thoughtfulness.  It's the same with IM or Facebook.

Joel and I were recently out to dinner, and it was a place where they cook your food in front of you... we shared the table with six other people, and there were several moments throughout the night when every single person was on their cellphone at the same time.  We whispered to each other in disbelief... Joel was surprisingly very annoyed.  It made me laugh on the inside because we're more alike then we think sometimes.

No Cable
Since we moved to this home, we chose not to get cable service.  We treat ourselves to Netflix's plan of streaming videos and also one DVD out at a time.  We don't see commercials anymore, and my son Jack doesn't even understand what they are.  When I do see a commercial at another person's home it seems odd.  I can also keep up with television by internet, which isn't exactly a good thing... but the option is still there.

Breaking up with Facebook
I broke up with facebook, but kept my business page.  That by far was the most difficult thing to do but also the thing that brought me the most peace.  I had 400+ "friends."

And once I cut the ties that were holding those "friendships" together, I began to see what was real and what wasn't.  It was a bit sad at first, but I feel like I took a lot of power back.

People who love you will pick up the phone and dial your number.  People who want to stay in touch, will find a way.  I found myself reaching out more too.

Joel is actually the first one who deleted facebook, and he urged me to do the same.  He said life is happier without it, and he was right.

Make your Home a Haven
This has been my struggle.  I have inherited some of my parents qualities of holding onto "things" because they are sentimental.  I held onto an old egg carton last week incase we could use it for an art project.

What?  Yea.  That seems so silly now.

I know what they say... I know what I need to do, but actually doing it is a bit harder.  I plan to go room by room and get rid of anything that we don't "need" or "love."  That has been my rule for things coming into our home, but I haven't put into action and cleaned OUT my home.

I am proud of myself for how I keep our boys' rooms, mine was very chaotic growing up and I really wanted peace in their rooms first.  I make sure to go through their toys and clothes all the time.  The rest of the house though?  Ohhh... so much work needs to be done!

I recently had a play-date with a friend, and I was really inspired to finally bite the bullet and clean out our home.  Her place is beautiful and simple.  It felt like a home and it told so many stories.  I want that.

“The things you own end up owning you. It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything.” 
― Chuck Palahniuk

Move if you have to
We want a smaller home.  Plain and simple, and we will begin our search probably within the month.  We're excited.  I'm tired of cleaning two full baths.  We're downsizing in a big way.  We're also planning on moving to the city where Joel works so we can see him more and save on gas money.  He currently has a 45 minute commute.  I think it's also an unspoken agreement that we're staying country folk :)

Sell your Car
We have three vehicles at the moment.  I don't even know how that happened, but our "plan" is to sell all three and buy a toyota prius.  Now is that how it will play out?  I'm not sure, but our goal is to buy a new very fuel efficient vehicle and get rid of the rest.

All of our cars are paid off, so we will be taking on some debt, but we feel the trade in savings for gasoline and the decrease in constant repairs will balance us out.

So those are our plans of attack for peace and happiness.

What have you done to bring more peace into your life?


  1. i love this post olivia, and thank you for the love. you're a wonderful person and mother, and i had a wonderfully chaotic afternoon with you and our kids. we need to do it more often... seeing as how we share a brain and all :)

  2. This was a fabulous post. I so admire that you don't use your cellphone often and that you got rid of cable. I admit, my phone and I are usually glued to each other. But lately, I've been leaving it in my purse or upstairs all day. It's wonderful to disconnect.
    I wishing you tons of luck in finding your new home.
    You are so inspiring.

  3. Can't wait for u and the family to move here im all alone...:( just now navigating around and not so and the kids have no friends here yet...esp sop so Come visit when u and joel.are out looking or when u r bored i bet Jack would go crazy with sop in.the olay room!!!! And id love to see u n baby jude
    <3 morgan


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