Category Archives: Simplicity

Crowded House

Published / by Annie / 3 Comments on Crowded House

The other day my friend from Michigan moved her family to this area. Until they get situated with employment and housing they are all staying here.

I must confess that I was concerned about this. Five adults (since Katie is almost 18), two dogs, and two cats living in a 500 square foot one-bedroom house means that we are stacked up like cordwood.

I have learned that it isn’t near as bad as I expected it to be.

For one, we all work together in a spirit of cooperation. While two of the adults have yet to secure employment (one is physically incapable of working), the rest of us are now employed. When schedules match up, my friend insists on driving me to work and picking me up to make my life a bit easier. We come home from work in the evenings to find that the others have prepared meals for the family and tidied up the house.

At night, since I have to keep a somewhat regular sleeping schedule due to my personal health issues (my brain glitches when my sleep schedule is disrupted) I am usually one of the first to go to bed. They move around stealthily that I don’t get disturbed. If one takes a nap in the evenings or is still asleep when I wake up, I give them the same consideration.

We even coordinate bathing schedules so that no one is caught unawares and has to go to the restroom while someone is taking a bath.

This experience has shown me that it truly is possible for a larger number of people to live in harmony in a small home provided you work together. While society tends to frown on such things, living in a small home can not only help families get on their feet after homelessness, it can help them live on less money when needed or desired. Let’s face it: it costs a lot less to live in a small place than it does to live in a big one.

I wanted to share this story because in my books I mentioned that I had reservations about a larger number of people living in really small homes. While I did point out that it has been done in the past, the thought made me nervous. Since then I have learned that it is definitely possible provided that mutual respect and cooperation abound with the family members.

I personally am grateful for the experience.

Have any of you lived in really tight conditions with other people? Please share your stories in the comments below.

To The Simple Living Haters

Published / by Annie / 16 Comments on To The Simple Living Haters

Over the years I have had so many people tell me that I am insane for keeping my bills low and living such a simple life. They have told me that I’m cruel to my daughter by forcing her to live in a small one-bedroom house (despite the fact that she gets the bedroom), and that I am depriving both her and myself of things that we need.

But you know what? Those haters can take a long walk off a short pier. Living a simple, frugal life has saved my ass more times than I can count.

And in recent times it managed to save us from being completely homeless.

As you know, I’ve been unable to work a public job for around two years. But guess what? Thanks to my extremely frugal lifestyle, my books generating passive income, and with help from my friends all of my bills are paid off with the exception of my rent bill (I’m working on that).

And guess what? I’m starting a nice, simple, part time job at a grocery store today. I’m not sure if I can do the work but by golly I am going to try!

The lifestyle that so many have condemned allowed me sufficient time to heal to the point to where I am now able to try working a bit. The lifestyle that so many have declared insane will allow me to work just a few hours a week to keep my bills paid up and continue paying my rent debt down.

The lifestyle that people have declared impractical has once again saved my ass. Literally.

So to all the haters out there who believe that a simple life isn’t worth the effort, you can kiss my behind. This lifestyle has saved me yet again.

I have survived the impossible. Again.

So the next time someone tells you that you shouldn’t reduce your recurring expenses, that you shouldn’t live in a simpler, less expensive home and ditch the fancy stuff, point them to this post.

It is time the world got a wakeup call.

Constant Connectivity

Published / by Annie / 6 Comments on Constant Connectivity

The other day I found myself thinking of the days of dial-up Internet connections. You went online, did your thing, and then went offline to go on with your day. As a result of the intermittent connection you didn’t have the constant interruptions. Your email wasn’t constantly pinging, your Facebook contacts weren’t constantly demanding your attention…when you were online, you were online, but when you were offline your time was your own once again.

It is easy in this modern age to lose track of time with the constant demands of others. Instead of being present with your family and friends, we stare at our phones as we text and communicate with everyone but the ones we are with.

This needs to change.

Now that my daughter is working at a public job we are no longer able to spend as much time with one another as we have in the past. Our interactions are crammed in between her school, her work, and her studies, so it has become much more valuable. At first I didn’t realize this but when my daughter came home after a stressful day at school I knew what had to be done. I messaged my friends and told them that my daughter was off for the evening and I needed to spend time with her. I then shut my computer down and did just that. We sat and talked for hours, eventually settling down on the couch to read books. Not talking by that point, just enjoying the company of one another as we did our own thing.

Of course I was hit with a bunch of messages when I went online this morning but that’s okay. My daughter was more important and I gave her the time that we both needed to reconnect.

I went to sleep thinking about this drive we now have to be constantly online. This pointless need to check our Facebook fifty times a day and to converse online with everyone but the person we happen to be face to face with and it disturbed me to realize just how far I’ve fallen. Instead of spending time with the person I love the most I spend it online doing pointless stuff.

The thought made me so angry that I was tempted to cancel my internet on the spot. However, I realized that the problem isn’t with the Internet, it is with me personally. It’s not the fault of the Internet that I spend too much time online any more than it is the fault of food that people overeat or the problem of alcohol that people become alcoholics. The problem is with ourselves and a lack of setting limits in our lives.

So this is me, setting another limit in my life. Just like I only eat when I am hungry (and stop when I’m full) I am only going to use the Internet to check my emails and surf occasionally. Instead of being constantly online I will go on, do my thing, and then return to my peaceful offline existence.

For the record I’m not sure how well I will manage this. The hardest part will be managing the expectations of others but it is something I need to do in order to reclaim my life.

Will you join me in this new goal?

Simple Indoor Hobbies for Everyday Happiness

Published / by Annie / 2 Comments on Simple Indoor Hobbies for Everyday Happiness

Written by Zak Andrews. 

 

Living a simpler life means you have to see the beauty in everyday things and activities. But in the midst of a hectic lifestyle, it’s sometimes hard to have spare time to sit back and relax. People are so busy with work and some even have extra jobs on the side. Others have businesses that require almost 24/7 attention. While being productive is great and necessary in the long term, there are times people forget the simpler things they have that can also bring them joy.

Verywell.com emphasized the importance of hobbies. They not only serve as outlets to relieve stress; they also provide small pleasures and happiness. Here are some simple hobbies you can do in your home to have your everyday dose of happiness and relaxation.

Learn a craft or two

Photo: Pixabay

Picking up a craft or two will not only increase your knowledge, it will also give you a sense of fulfillment after each project you have completed. At times, the creations you make may even give you an extra source of income.

Immersing yourself in DIY tasks is an excellent hobby, due to the fact that you can choose any type of object you like to create. As such, you will be happy with what you are doing. There are furniture, decorations, gardening projects, etc. Blankets, cushions, vases and storage boxes are some of the daily house items which are easy to make.

Watch shows and play games

Photo: Pixabay

There are thousands of great TV shows out there. Shows like The Good Wife or The Walking Dead, which was conceptualized with our little town in mind, will appeal to audiences who want a dose of drama or suspense.

Meanwhile, the acclaimed fantasy title Game of Thrones may have paused after Season 6, but nevertheless lots of people are anticipating the next arc in the story and fans are temporarily getting their GoT fix through related media inspired by the sensational series. Video games based on the medieval show now attract global attention as well, thanks to the popularity of the show. The famous Telltale Games which created a version for The Walking Dead also has their own take on Game of Thrones as a decision-driven narrative game; while the popular slots game platform Spin Genie collaborated with the show to bring titles like Game of Thrones 15 Lines to GoT fans worldwide. Either way, whether watching an episode of your favorite TV series or playing its game iteration, the effect is the same: it can help you unwind after a hard day’s work.

This is not just a baseless claim either, given that the stress-reducing capabilities of these visual hobbies are backed up by science. For example, research shared by Men’s Health tackled interactive games in particular, which were found to “evoke a stronger sense of relaxation”. There’s an abundance of studies that correlate watching TV or playing video games with relaxation.

Indulge in cooking

Photo: Pixabay

Cooking is one of best hobbies you can partake in. Indulging in food is among the guilty pleasures we all succumb to from time to time. Considering that there are innumerable cuisines from various cultures, you will never run out of things to try out, not to mention that you can acquire kitchen techniques which are highly useful. In our Food section, we’ve shared topics like bread making and meat tenderizing, both of which can be utilized in everyday living.

Of course, it’s also recommended to balance the kinds of food you eat to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. Aside from regular meals and dishes, you can also check out healthier alternatives such as gluten-free recipes.

To sum it up, happiness is all around, even in the simple things that people have or do in their homes. What’s needed is to just appreciate everything around you and make the best of what you have. Don’t worry, be happy!

The New Shoestring Girl is now LIVE on Smashwords

Published / by Annie

Hello everyone!

Guess what? As soon as I started working in a program I remembered well from before I was hurt I managed to get this book properly formatted on the very first try!

It is now live on Smashwords here, and will be coming to Amazon, Apple, and other retailers soon.

I will let you know  just as soon as other retailers begin listing it; you can keep up to date on my Facebook page and the sales page here on Annienygma.

Thank you so much for your support!

The Shoestring Book is now in Print

Published / by Annie / 4 Comments on The Shoestring Book is now in Print

Amazingly, CreateSpace worked really fast; my book is already available for sale in print!

You can find it on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Katie and I are working as fast as we can on the ebook; I made a newbie mistake when I was creating it that has forced me to completely reformat it so that it will look right. Right now we’re taking turns doing this page by page. As soon as it is published I will let you know. We’ve got over 400 pages to reformat so this is going to take a little while, I’m afraid.

 

The New Shoestring Girl Book is Almost Ready!

Published / by Annie / 4 Comments on The New Shoestring Girl Book is Almost Ready!

Hello Everybody!

I am exhausted. I’ve been working at this non-stop since I last posted. In the end I had to get Katie to help because for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to do some things with the formatting and I needed fresh eyes and a healthy mind to help review this 400 page monster.

But we did it!!!

The book cover

Right now I am in the process of uploading the print version of this book to CreateSpace to get it published. Once that is finished I will work on formatting this sucker for ebook format.

To thank you for all of your help and support I want to give you the PDF copy of the book for free. It isn’t much, but I want to pay forward all of the kindness and support you have given me. Please feel free to pass it around to your friends – and if you know of any bloggers who would be interested in it, please send it to them as well.

You can download the book here. Just right-click and select “Save As” to download it to your computer. (This link has now been removed since it is now available in ebook format. You can purchase it here.)

If you don’t mind, would you mind leaving an honest review about the book somewhere when it is published? Reviews are like gold to authors cause they are what help us get noticed. Heck, just telling your friends about us helps more than you can imagine!

Anyway, I won’t keep this PDF file up forever; I plan to remove it once I get the book published in ebook format at the very least, so grab it while you can and share the love.

Oh – I will let you know when the book goes live.

Thank you. Thank you for everything!

Love, Annie

Remember this as you pursue a simpler life

Published / by Annie

This was originally posted on my blog back in May of 2010. The image is a new addition.

While you are pursuing simplicity there is one thing you must never lose sight of.

This one thing is simple yet complicated at the same time.  I can’t take credit for it however, Shakespeare said it best:

“This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Don’t follow my idea of simplicity.  Don’t follow your mother’s or the dude’s down the street.

Follow your own.

Mental Peace

Published / by Annie / 2 Comments on Mental Peace

This post was originally published September 26, 2009.

~~~###~~~

In our pursuit of simplicity, we will meet a lot of people who live and think a lot different than we do. These people may even try to convince us that we are wrong in wanting to pursue a simpler more peaceful existence. We may watch others doing this or that and think how silly they are to be doing this, while they are looking at us with the same disdain.

That is not peace. Nor is it simplicity. When we worry about what others do or think, we rob ourselves of energy better spent on making our own lives as peaceful as possible. We waste time better spent on us by worrying about what these folks are doing and saying.

Let’s be frank here: Who cares what they think or do? Honestly, in a hundred years, who’s gonna care what these people have done? In a hundred years, who’s going to care what YOU have done?

Since in the end it really doesn’t matter what you or anyone else does, why waste your time on it? Why not instead focus on having the most peaceful existence that YOU can have?

Plowhorses are frequently fitted with blinkers to keep their focus on the row ahead. This helps the farmer to keep the rows straight as he plows. The farmer has to do his part as well, for if he is distracted he may guide the animal in an unwanted direction. He has to pay attention to where he wants to go.

We are like that. If we are worried about what the field near us looks like, we won’t be paying enough attention to our own field, and thus our rows will be crooked.

This is true for any pursuit, but the pursuit of simplicity, frugality and minimalism concentration is very important. We tend to lose track when barraged by those who don’t understand, who don’t share the same goals as we do.

Instead of worrying about them we need to spend that time focusing on ourselves, focusing on what we want to accomplish.

The less we worry about what others want and are doing, the more peace we will have in our lives.