The Little Things That Make Us Happy

Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project wrote a post yesterday about Gift Bags.  It got me thinking about the little things that make us happy.  I’ll edit this post and add mine – please share yours!

The start of my Little Things That Make Me Happy list –

1.  Visitors – friends and family alike.  It seems as if we spend so little time with our loved ones these days – Virtual Hugs just don’t cut it!

2.  Time spent outdoors – in the woods, on the water, at the farm.

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The Alternate Alternator

Last month I started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  He is adamant that the first step to financial peace is an emergency fund.  My emergency fund just prevented my “car emergency from turning into a financial emergency.”  Yes, it still was an inconvenience when the alternator died and I sat by the side of the road for an hour waiting for a tow truck.  But I knew I could take care of the towing bill, as well as the repair bill – yes, it would put a dent in my emergency fund, but it will not take that long to replenish.

Here are some of Dave Ramsey’s suggestions for building that emergency fund back up again.  Anything we can do to head a stressful situation off at the pass is a gift to ourselves and our families.  Our lives will get better as we find the right tools and begin to realize we can do this with confidence!

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Cleaning Crisis

The lovely FlyLady calls this “Crisis Cleaning.”  My landlady is coming by tomorrow to do some repairs, and the housework has been on the back burner – vacations and baseball seem to have been interfering with our routines.

First came a shiny sink, then a swipe at the bathroom, and a quick spin through the living room and I was ready to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea.

This program is a wonderful starting place for anyone looking to simplify their approach to housework, not to mention all the attention she pays to Finally Loving Yourself – hence “FlyLady”.  Once we start to get our space and days under better control (turning our new routine into habits), that peace and sense of confidence can spread to other areas of our lives that need attention.

Best of all – all these tools are available for FREE from her website!  She’s been in our shoes, and as Marla always says – BabySteps!

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Let’s Talk About the Weather

Having grown up (pretty much) without a television, it was not too difficult for me to make the decision to go without again.  The biggest change has been going without internet access at home.  Yes, I miss checking up on the news and the weather, but we now spend so much more time together, peacefully, as a family.  But, the weather…  There’s the dilemma.

New England weather changes drastically at times – hourly!  Last week we had two days of snow (I wore sandals), then record-breaking heat (I wore ski clothes).  There in lies the problem.

Any favorite ways to keep track of the weather, other than calling a friend with Weather Channel access?

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Houston, Do We Have A Problem?

Having spent a good portion of the last couple of days researching Minimalist blogs and websites, I realized there are very few feminine voices in the mix.  Why is that?  As most full-time single parents are women, does this make a “Minimalist Single Parent” an oxymoron?

I believe it is possible to Simply Single Parent.  It is important, though, to take a look at how “Simplicity” and “Minimalism” are marketed to the majority of women in the Western World.  Aren’t we usually encouraged to buy something in order to simplify or organize our busy lives?  “Use this product to simplify your beauty routine”…  “Contain your clutter with this plastic store-all”…  “Five Ingredients or Less – The Cookbook to Save Your Weeknights”…  Not to mention pieces along the lines of “Add accessories in new spring colors to update your look”…

They’re good… taking your money, your time, and your sanity.  Let’s think about ways to keep these for ourselves and our families.

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Minimalism and Single Parenting

My ex always joked that he would come home one day and find me wearing white robes and living in a tent.  Well, after many months of no child support, I was left with no option but to sell our four-bedroom house and down size drastically.  After four scary months of stress and upheaval, I find I love our tiny new house – and that I still have too much stuff!

I’m hoping this blog will serve other single parents who find they, too, have too much…  Too much stuff, craziness, debt, bills, not to mention items on their “To-Do List.”

I don’t think it has to be this way – Now, there’s a radical thought!  Let’s explore this together.  Share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section.  Together we can make change, for ourselves and for our children.

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