5 Years On Am I Living Better?

It dawned on me, last Thursday, I’d reached a milestone.

Had I achieved a million hits on Simply Being Mum?

No, not quite, although that would be lovely. 

It was my 5th anniversary.

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Of what? Getting married? Moving house? Giving up coffee (unlikely…)?

It was the 5th anniversary of choosing to live a family life simply done.

I’ve told the story, before, of how it all began. But I sometimes forget to update on how our family journey is progressing.

It’s going well. It was a great decision to take a simpler approach to family life. We are living better.

Although it’s been 5 years since making that life-bettering decision, this blog didn’t go live until 18 months later.

Before starting to blog, I read. I read a lot. Particularly blogs about minimalism and living a simple life. Blogs focusing on paring down and decluttering, not just physical space but mental space also.

There are many bloggers who, had they not decided to put themselves out there and blog, I wouldn’t be able to thank for my incredible 5-year-journey to date. The community inspired the journey, and kept me going.

‘It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop’ Confucius.

Thank you Rachel, Kristen, Katy, and of course Leo.

I’ve learnt a lot from Leo.

So, if you feel you’d like to start your own journey, or would like further inspiration to keep going – my advice would be to read. Read a lot. Then if you feel able, blog. Blogging takes time and perseverance. But the personal rewards are immeasurable in keeping you on track with making the changes you want in life. Try it and see.

To get you started, or to keep you going, here’s some recommended reading.

Today The Guardian launched the Live Better Challenge.

“The Live Better Challenge is all about positive action. Over the next seven months, we hope you will use this website to tell us about the projects your local community is setting up, organisations that you like, gadgets you have tried out, shortcuts you have discovered – or the plain joy of growing your own tomatoes/making three dinners out of one chicken/watching your children jump in muddy puddles. We want to share knowledge, pool ideas, and think, together, about the future.” (source)

(I am in no way compensated for highlighting this challenge. But, as you know, I like to share.)

I’ll definitely be taking part. And who knows maybe you’ll see me over there, at some point, talking about living better? 😉

{ 48 comments… add one }
  • lipsyy March 3, 2014, 11:28 am

    Happy Simple Anniversary!! 😉

  • lipsyy March 3, 2014, 11:28 am

    Happy Simple Anniversary!! 😉

  • Paula March 3, 2014, 11:52 am

    I’m not ready to start writing a blog but I do read a lot and I’m lucky to have found your blog which has been a great help and inspiration in my journey to a simpler like. So Happy Anniversary and Well Done too!

    • simplybeingmum March 3, 2014, 12:43 pm

      Thank you Paula. I’m lucky to have you as a reader.

      • jmatk March 3, 2014, 9:36 pm

        I’ve recently hound your blog but am too trying to change ways as a single parent. This week I’m on a mission to live on very little money

  • Paula March 3, 2014, 11:52 am

    I’m not ready to start writing a blog but I do read a lot and I’m lucky to have found your blog which has been a great help and inspiration in my journey to a simpler like. So Happy Anniversary and Well Done too!

    • simplybeingmum March 3, 2014, 12:43 pm

      Thank you Paula. I’m lucky to have you as a reader.

      • jmatk March 3, 2014, 9:36 pm

        I’ve recently hound your blog but am too trying to change ways as a single parent. This week I’m on a mission to live on very little money

  • anexactinglife March 3, 2014, 11:54 am

    Congrats on 5 years of more peaceful living (and 3.5 of blogging)!

  • anexactinglife March 3, 2014, 11:54 am

    Congrats on 5 years of more peaceful living (and 3.5 of blogging)!

  • rebeccahalpern2013 March 3, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Congratulations! I always enjoy reading your blog. I keep thinking that I would like to write another blog (in addition to my one about autism) and set myself some sort of simpler-living challenge, but have never quite got round to it!

    • simplybeingmum March 3, 2014, 12:45 pm

      There’s no time like the present! I haven’t been over to your blog in a while. I’ll pop over!

  • rebeccahalpern2013 March 3, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Congratulations! I always enjoy reading your blog. I keep thinking that I would like to write another blog (in addition to my one about autism) and set myself some sort of simpler-living challenge, but have never quite got round to it!

    • simplybeingmum March 3, 2014, 12:45 pm

      There’s no time like the present! I haven’t been over to your blog in a while. I’ll pop over!

  • Live and Learn March 3, 2014, 12:34 pm

    I checked out the “Live Better Challenge”. Even though they are targeted to the UK, I think I can get some ideas from them.

    • simplybeingmum March 3, 2014, 12:46 pm

      Agree. I’m participating in #saveitsunday which is US based. The world gets smaller every day!

  • Live and Learn March 3, 2014, 12:34 pm

    I checked out the “Live Better Challenge”. Even though they are targeted to the UK, I think I can get some ideas from them.

    • simplybeingmum March 3, 2014, 12:46 pm

      Agree. I’m participating in #saveitsunday which is US based. The world gets smaller every day!

  • Heidi @ lightlycrunchy March 3, 2014, 1:13 pm

    I’ve just recently found your blog, but I think we are both on the same journey. I’m not quite minimalist, but as a family we are as non-consumer as possible and living as simply as we can. It has made life much more enjoyable.

  • Heidi @ lightlycrunchy March 3, 2014, 1:13 pm

    I’ve just recently found your blog, but I think we are both on the same journey. I’m not quite minimalist, but as a family we are as non-consumer as possible and living as simply as we can. It has made life much more enjoyable.

  • Rachel Jonat (@racheljonat) March 3, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Congratulations and thank you for the kind shout out. I remember when I first “found” your blog. It was an encouraging voice as I started my own journey and getting to know you virtually and IRL as they say, has been a real gift.
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us.
    P.S. Thought of you last night as I did a quick scrub of the fridge before a grocery delivery. Not a perfect week – smidge of chili and half a lemon in the bin – but emptying my fridge in one minute was priceless. All thanks to the woman that got me started with meal planning and less food waste.

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:10 am

      Rachel, you are too kind. I was lucky to meet you virtually, and IRL too. Blogging rocks!

  • Rachel Jonat (@racheljonat) March 3, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Congratulations and thank you for the kind shout out. I remember when I first “found” your blog. It was an encouraging voice as I started my own journey and getting to know you virtually and IRL as they say, has been a real gift.
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us.
    P.S. Thought of you last night as I did a quick scrub of the fridge before a grocery delivery. Not a perfect week – smidge of chili and half a lemon in the bin – but emptying my fridge in one minute was priceless. All thanks to the woman that got me started with meal planning and less food waste.

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:10 am

      Rachel, you are too kind. I was lucky to meet you virtually, and IRL too. Blogging rocks!

  • Sharron March 4, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Jo, your blog is one of the simply living blogs i read that inspires me, so thank you! I made my life simpler for no other reason than headspace. It gave me the oppurtunity to think about my future. You know the rest and even though life’s busy, my chosen career fulfills me on so many levels. Happy Anniversary and here’s to the next 5. I may start one myself…

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:12 am

      Sharron – you are a real life simple living success story. I always love to have you over and comment. So pleased to hear all is on track. And when you get that blog up, let me know. I’d read it! 🙂

  • Sharron March 4, 2014, 3:24 pm

    Jo, your blog is one of the simply living blogs i read that inspires me, so thank you! I made my life simpler for no other reason than headspace. It gave me the oppurtunity to think about my future. You know the rest and even though life’s busy, my chosen career fulfills me on so many levels. Happy Anniversary and here’s to the next 5. I may start one myself…

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:12 am

      Sharron – you are a real life simple living success story. I always love to have you over and comment. So pleased to hear all is on track. And when you get that blog up, let me know. I’d read it! 🙂

  • Clare March 5, 2014, 8:53 pm

    Happy 5 year Anniversary! Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement and thank you for sharing your life with us. It’s amazing how just sharing the little things we do everyday can make a huge impact on someone else’s life, and your blog has been a huge inspiration for me in simplifying, wasting less, and having fun doing it! And I even baked a cake with fondant icing! Never thought I would have done that, but you made it seem not so hard (and it wasn’t 🙂 ) Thank you for your friendship online, it is truely valued, and hopefully one day we can chat IRL as well as on twitter! (but I will have to save a considerable amount before that can happen…thank goodness for the internet in the meantime!)

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:15 am

      Clare – a IRL meeting may not be a pipe dream. NZ is on my bucket list. Ever since I saw Thorn Birds as a child 😉
      I treasure your online friendship. Blogging is amazing because you meet like-minded people all around the globe. It is such a tremendous support, and inspiration. Everyone who reads and comments inspires me to do better on my personal journey. If you write it, you do it. The internet can get such a bad rap, as does technology and social media. But if used for the right reasons it is indeed a blessing.

  • Clare March 5, 2014, 8:53 pm

    Happy 5 year Anniversary! Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement and thank you for sharing your life with us. It’s amazing how just sharing the little things we do everyday can make a huge impact on someone else’s life, and your blog has been a huge inspiration for me in simplifying, wasting less, and having fun doing it! And I even baked a cake with fondant icing! Never thought I would have done that, but you made it seem not so hard (and it wasn’t 🙂 ) Thank you for your friendship online, it is truely valued, and hopefully one day we can chat IRL as well as on twitter! (but I will have to save a considerable amount before that can happen…thank goodness for the internet in the meantime!)

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:15 am

      Clare – a IRL meeting may not be a pipe dream. NZ is on my bucket list. Ever since I saw Thorn Birds as a child 😉
      I treasure your online friendship. Blogging is amazing because you meet like-minded people all around the globe. It is such a tremendous support, and inspiration. Everyone who reads and comments inspires me to do better on my personal journey. If you write it, you do it. The internet can get such a bad rap, as does technology and social media. But if used for the right reasons it is indeed a blessing.

  • Jessica March 6, 2014, 3:47 pm

    Congratulations!
    I really like your blog and I get a lot of inspiration from it! I especially like the no-waste Fridays, before I was really wasteful with food, but this has changed a lot, your blog not only showed me that no-waste can be done, it showed me that it can be done with style and while having fun (at least for me it looks like you are having a lot of fun doing it and I like that :))

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:18 am

      Jessica – you’ve hit the nail on the head – Fun! After all life’s short, make the most of it. Maybe we should re-title? Fun Food Waste Friday. 🙂
      Thank you for your (‘first?) comment. It’s so lovely when a post encourages readers to comment – it’s a chance to get to know everyone. Thanks and good luck with your own reduction-in-food-waste journey.

  • Jessica March 6, 2014, 3:47 pm

    Congratulations!
    I really like your blog and I get a lot of inspiration from it! I especially like the no-waste Fridays, before I was really wasteful with food, but this has changed a lot, your blog not only showed me that no-waste can be done, it showed me that it can be done with style and while having fun (at least for me it looks like you are having a lot of fun doing it and I like that :))

    • simplybeingmum March 7, 2014, 10:18 am

      Jessica – you’ve hit the nail on the head – Fun! After all life’s short, make the most of it. Maybe we should re-title? Fun Food Waste Friday. 🙂
      Thank you for your (‘first?) comment. It’s so lovely when a post encourages readers to comment – it’s a chance to get to know everyone. Thanks and good luck with your own reduction-in-food-waste journey.

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