I never thought I would be a “minimal” type person. I have always loved doing all the things and have a house full of treasured possessions that I have collected over the years. But that all changed for me 5 years ago.
To give you a little framework for what my life was before, my husband and I were DINKs, dual income, no kids.
He works in tech and I had a marketing business that employed three women and took up lots of time. I was also publishing books with a writing partner and working on my online marketing. Oh, and we had two dogs and a cat. Life was great!
I had time to take trips to Vegas a couple of times a year, attended marketing conferences, and flew around the world to give speeches about marketing!
And then we decided to adopt one child from foster care. The process took a couple of years and at the end of we wound up adopting THREE kids from foster care.
From 0 to 3
At first nothing changed, I still did marketing for other people, still met weekly to write books, still spoke, and kind of felt like I could just fold the kids into everything else… no problem right?
After about a year, the wheels fell off. I was exhausted and cranky. The kids were great but took WAY more work than I ever dreamed. And the little one had a bunch of trauma from foster care that we had to manage.
That was when I realized something had to change.
Finding ways to minimize
I slowly closed my marketing business, letting clients go by attrition and firing some that were fussy.
I started ramping up my blogs and opened a vintage Etsy store.
Blogging and Etsy allow me to work when I have time, rather than when others need me to work.
I had to split up with my writing partner (we are still fast friends), but the hours a week spent writing books was just too much.
I got REALLY focused on what I like to do (write blog posts, make pretty pictures and do videos) and slowly phased EVERYTHING else out.
And now I live a perfect life with no problems!
Joking. But I am SO much happier. I never really liked doing marketing for other people. It was lucrative and helped me employ other women I loved, but it is definitely not my passion.
I found out I like writing blog posts way more than writing books and limiting everything else means I get to do what I want all day, every day.
A new normal
My house is still not minimal, because that is not my style. We have three dogs, three cats, three kids, a Grandma Linda, and a turtle now! But my life as a whole is much more minimal.
I spend my time with a few friends, my family, and doing work I love.
If I can give you any advice from the trenches it is to figure out what makes YOU happy. Then relentlessly say no to EVERYTHING else!
I am not the Mom who bakes cookies for the school bake sale.
I am not the Mom who makes the gift bags for the volleyball team.
I am not “Team Mom” and I don’t volunteer at my kid’s school.
My husband cooks dinner most nights and Martha Stewart will never think I do enough around the house!
But maybe you ARE the kind of Mom who loves all that!
I think the world would be a little better for us all if we could give ourselves some grace and be the kind of woman who is happy with a little less of everything!
This guest post was written by Tara Jacobsen. She is a writer, mom and dementia caretaker. Read all about her crazy, creative life at www.ArtsyFartsyLife.com!