After the passing of Hannah, our other dog, also fairly elderly, began to show signs of illness. Her gait was off and then she could not hold herself up with out up. Five week after Hannah left us, KC followed suit. We will miss them both, but we know that they are both free from pain and they have left us with many wonderful memories which we will cherish for our lifetime.
It's amazing to me the outpouring of love and caring that so many friends and family have shown us through it all. What's even more amazing, how many offers of new puppies came within hours of losing KC. I appreciate the sentiment, but truly, I could never replace my sweet dogs AND we still have Rosie who is full of life and is trying to adapt to being the top dog in the house.
We are on a de-owning/de-cluttering journey and I had a thought cross my mind after KC passed away. I have noticed less dog hair. Less noise/barking. Less requirements to let a pup in and a pup out. Less food bowls, less beds on the floor in the walking area, etc. I would not trade one day with my dogs and would have given most anything to have more time with them, but to my surprise, I am kind of enjoying the "less" aspect of having only one dog...for now.
The big project over the last few weeks has been the boys' room. I decluttered and they helped me to de-own many, many items, books, toys, clothes, etc. They were much more willing to let things go than I was. We hauled off several bags of donations, sold some furniture, and threw out A LOT! What is really crazy about that is we did a huge clean out last September!
The boys have about 10 books that they love in their new-to-them bookshelf. They have Legos and a few small toys that fit in a plastic box under their beds.
We were able to find nice hooks for their race medals and ribbons and aside from those, an initial for each boy that they painted and a crucifix there is nothing on the walls. It looks fabulous. And speaking of the walls...my daughter volunteered to help paint the room. My older son had painted it 4 years ago and the colors were dark grey, rust, and dark teal. The trim was painted teal. I decided upon a lighter grey and to repaint the trim white. I plan to paint the closet door with chalkboard paint for the boys to decorate.
They love their "new" room! They are proud of it. They want to show it off. They want to spend time in it. They say they sleep better! All of this inspired my daughter to thoroughly clean her room and cleared out that wonderful dark place...under...the...bed. She is quite proud of herself.
I have taken June as the month I will work on my closet, wardrobe and bathroom. If I can finish that up, then I will start in the bedroom. So far, I have shrunk my wardrobe of my every day clothes down to 45 items. This does not include undergarments, pjs, or workout clothes. Also left out of the count are about 6 more formal dresses. I placed my "winter" dress scarves and blouses/pants (about 15 items) in a box that will be stored under my bed until the temperatures return to Texas winter standards.
Along the way this past month, I have tried to be kind to myself with my expectations, my goals, my to do lists. I am finding that things are "feeling" more open, less cluttered, and more organized just by the nature of having less. One big de-own for us...our coffee maker. We drink coffee. In fact, we drink lots of coffee. My son received a percolator as a gift and I fell in love with it. It is reminiscent of my childhood when I would prepare coffee on the stove-top percolator for my great Aunt FoFo. This new electric model is fast, clean, and keeps the coffee the perfect temp! In the bin with the coffee maker. No more vinegar rinses! And when my son goes back to college, I will have my own percolator.
I don't know that I want to call this process a journey to "minimalism" or "simplicity" because I don't think I am after what the truest sense of those lifestyles represent. I do desire to reach a level of intention in how I am living with the flexibility that is needed for a homeschooling family with 3-4 kiddos still at home.
Whatever label this thing we are moving towards is called, it brings with it a sense of ease, a real presence of peace, and an affirmation that relationships with those around me are the focus of my life, not the thing I try to fit into my day after taking care of my possessions.
***will add pictures once I can get the files to upload. Technology hates me.