Sunday, September 06, 2009

Setting the stage: Why I am blogging about simplicity

Wow, I can't believe I'm really sitting down to write this blog. I've been wanting to do this for at least six months and am finally making it happen. The truth is, I have several ideas for blogs. One would be a good career move - writing about what I do for a living - marketing. But right now, I have a burning desire to write about this new adventure that my husband and I are embarking on. We are simplifying our lives.

If you've started a blog recently, then you know what I learned today. Pretty much every good URL is taken. You really have to get creative to find one that conveys your message and doesn't sound stupid or isn't too hard for someone to remember. My plan was to name this blog "The Pickle Jar" (I will share why in a later post) but, nope! That was taken. So was just plain old "Pickle Jar." I could have gotten "A Pickle Jar" but for some reason I didn't like that as much AND I don't want others to confuse my blog with someone else.

After much rejection, I finally was able to come up with a name that I liked. One that really fits what this blog is all about. And one that doesn't sound stupid (at least, I don't think it does). Shooting for Simple.

One thing I know for sure is that in this quest for simplicity, I don't ever want to claim to have the answers, to know the right way, or to be perfect in my pursuit. In fact, I can think of a blog post that I will write at some point about my indulgences. These are some perfectly wasteful behaviors that don't fit at all with being simple. "Shooting for" says that I may be shooting for simplicity, but I'm most certainly not always going to hit the target.

My father is a minister. He was all my life. And I grew up steeped in Christianity. One thing I learned early on is the definition of that scary word "sin." It's not as scary as it sounds. It means "to miss the mark." Like, you shoot at a bulls eye and you miss it. That's like me and simplicity. While I will certainly hit the mark most of the time, there are times I will miss it, whether purposely or accidentally.

I think of my blog title as a bit of a disclaimer. For those super-duper-radical-simple-livers out there who may read this blog - just know that I'm doing my best, but will probably never do as well as you do. But you will remain my inspiration! : )

What do I want to accomplish with this blog? I want to chronicle the shift that my husband and I are making in our lives. We've made some pretty big decisions that involve getting rid of half our stuff, selling our house, renting again, and looking for ways to conserve. We have future plans that I will write about someday on this blog. Bottom line is, we want to live simply and responsibly. We want to buy what we need and use what we have and recycle (all the ways possible) what we no longer need. We also want to take care of the people around us and give of our time and ourselves in this way.

I'm writing this blog so I can process what we are doing and keep a record of it and so I can invite others to take the journey with us. Even if it's vicariously, we would love to have you along for the ride.


  1. Great idea Amy! Among other things... Remember that you need to practice saying "no", limit your communications, free up your time, find inner simplicity, learn to do nothing and live your life more deliberately. It's a great journey and you will never be happier.

  2. Good luck with the blog. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine.

  3. Godspeed on your journey. Have fun and make time for some volleyball :)

  4. Thanks, all. I appreciate the support!

  5. Great idea, Amy. I've enjoyed following your journey in person and look forward to following the blog for more inspiration. Even with kids, I've been able to simplify this year, and every move has made life better.

  6. Amy & Ryan, I understand where you are coming from. I now live simply...and could live an even more simple if I put some thought & effort into it. I would love to give up my cell phone and contemplating at the moment getting a pre-paid phone without a contract.
    Currently, living without a tv, no house phone, no napkins & papertowels-using only cloth, no paperplates....Would love to hear about your own journey about the simple life. It is a change but one that holds many lessons, freedom and time to as you say ...focus on the real stuff---your family & friends. Revealing Hope, Joanne

  7. Awesome Amy. I can relate to this. Our family just downsized to a smaller house, simpler lifestyle, no yard work, half the debt, and half the commute. I call it my retirement house. Prior to the move and with gas prices at records high we were spending $600 a month on gas! Wow! We are doing much better at spending time together as a family. Now I want to get rid of my debt and continue to focus on the things that count like my spirituality and family. Thanks for the excellent message!

    Best regards,
    Chuck L

  8. I'm a little slow in getting back to the most recent comments here.

    Jody - great to hear from you! I admire your efforts. All good! And it feels good, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing. Please keep on reading and keep in touch. : )

    Chuck - So glad you found me and the blog. Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds wonderful. What great choices you've made. Ryan and I did the math today to see how much money and time we will be saving and it was so encouraging! Thanks for being an inspiration to the rest of us.


  9. This is great. I wish more people would be concerned with living simply. I like the "Shooting for" because that is a great way to go about it. I am also shooting for simplicity. That doesn't mean I don't buy some of the luxuries I don't NEED persay. I do love my Kindle (and it does keep me from having to buy more book shelves!

    If you aren't famliar with Freecycling you might want to see if there are groups in your area. It is about the community meeting each others needs. My garage is cleaner then it has ever been and dozens of people have things they need or wanted. It also can be a good place to find things you might need without having to pay for them.

    Good luck with your journey. :-)
    Leslie "McIntosh" Ku