A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Hey friend! I’m so glad you’re here. Yes, you came to the right post. It’s not Christmas. Even though you’ll see some Christmas decor in my pics, but it’s all put away at my house now. Let me explain.

This time of year it seems we’re not only all setting goals, but we are wanting to simplify.

Besides simplicity in our belongings, I’ve been reading quite a few articles and posts lately about people abandoning their social media accounts because it’s just become too stressful to keep up with so many people who now use these sites (and of course, the stress of being exposed regularly to the unrealistically perfect lives they seem to live!). Not to mention the pressure felt by many content creators to keep up that pace and image.

Interestingly the founders themselves of these big social media sites are actually leading the way out to a simpler, more meaningful existence.

I think many of us crave a slower, simpler life…whatever that means to us as individuals or as a family. We want to feel uplifted, not more frantic. We want serenity. Now.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

I’ve even seen few people recently indicate they miss the good old days when you could just enjoy the community of a few favorite blogs along with morning coffee. Anyone remember those days?

Funny how life sometimes comes full circle, and what seemed so “new and improved” or “bigger or better” in the world doesn’t turn out to be what we want or need after all.

Perhaps we all crave returning home to enjoy more simple pleasures.

But how do we do that?

How do we get there?

What is it that we need to let go of in order to experience that simplicity we long for in our life or home?

I think definitely it’s a good time of year to slow the scroll for a bit. It’s helpful to quiet all the noise and the visuals so we can consider what it is we really want to be surrounded with.

Sometimes though I think even as we are trying to balance out the chaos in the world outside our door, we set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations for our own home.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Our Christmas tree had only lights on it until Christmas Eve. It wasn’t necessarily a design statement. It was intended to create more free time for our family. Yet while we actually enjoyed the simplicity of the tree in its natural state, we also love our simple traditions.

My son and daughter decided to pull out our classic forest & sea creatures on Christmas Eve and decorate the tree. They had fun and seeing it all decorated delighted everyone on Christmas morning. I am so glad they did what stirred their hearts at that moment as it blessed us all to see our whimsical decorations on the tree.

And honestly, it may not have even felt like Christmas happened if Jack hadn’t had the chance days later to sneak into the living room and confiscate a few of the plush animals from the tree. We do put the decorations up high, hoping this will be the year he will ignore them. I really don’t know how he goes about it without us catching him in the act year after year, but he always finds a way.

It’s become his yearly tradition, so who are we to be annoyed over the simple shenanigans he’s grown to love?

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Once again we find ourselves crawling on the floor searching for the creatures’ heads and bodies that are strewn about the room. We see bits of their furry tails dangling from Jack’s lips (all while he undoubtedly proclaims his innocence).

After the shock wears off from seeing these dismembered ornaments, we start to laugh and laugh.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

I think we feel better when we focus more on building happy memories than on creating or scrolling through perfectly serene and stylish settings.

Sometimes that means we will surround ourselves with things that establish memories and have to let go of control to keep those memories alive and close to our heart.

We’d have less to clean up and less to deal with if we just got rid of everything. It’s tempting, ha!

We’d definitely have less to do, less mess and less stress if we didn’t have pets! We’d certainly have less noise and less chaos, ha!

Paring down excess and creating a perfectly styled rooms can feel refreshing. But trying to control everything so tightly may also (inadvertently) write a generic story that doesn’t stir our heart as deeply as it could.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

The truth is, Jack sometimes unmakes our bed after I make it.

He throws our pretty pillows on the floor after I style them.

He barks in my face when I’m trying to have a moment to myself.

Jack has been known to barf on my cozy rug and scratches my charming Dutch door.

He destroys our ornaments.

Does that mean we shouldn’t have nice things? Ha!

I don’t think so. I love those things. I love those memories. I love that dog.

Those moments weave together a vivid memory of our story.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Making peace with the ever-evolving state of our home (and the imperfect creatures in it) is sometimes about letting go of control more than it is about letting go of stuff, so our wonderfully wild life mingles with the simplicity and beauty we long for. 

A beautiful life and even a perfect-for-us home sometimes will look a little messy. It can be a little out of step with the rest of the world, or a bit out of style, or even a little chaotic. And that’s OK. That’s exactly how it is supposed to be. A home comes undone and things unravel when there is love inside. Living among the un-photoshopped candid imperfection of it all is when those happily after ever tales (tails?) of life are able to be written.

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A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Find more of my books about the home right here.

Home Goals 2019 + Worksheet and IG Template

Home Goals 2019 + Worksheet and IG Template

Happy almost 2019, friends! I know many of us think through and set personal goals at the start of each year, but do you make goals for your home? Every year before I think ahead, I think back with gratitude for the improvements big and small we’ve been able to make thus far (come back tomorrow, I’ll revisit our projects!).

Next I think about what matters most to us as a family. Are there improvements we could or should make in the new year to both protect our investment as a structure and/or as an investment in the well-being of our family?

Home Goals 2019 + Worksheet and IG Template

Each year I post a Home Goals worksheet here on Onerror to help us all think through and plan what matters most. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by our project list, isn’t it? I often am asked about where I start when it comes to my project list.

I find a simple home goal sheet like the one above really helps me to start thinking realistically, and helps me to to zero in on the most important elements to our family in our home this year. It’s also really helpful tool to save to check in on your progress or as a reminder of your goals throughout the year!

This year I made the Home Goals template that you can use to inspire your own goals. 

If you are on Instagram you can save the template above and fill it out to share on your own  stories! Just upload it to your Instagram story, and type out your answers to share to your story! When you share it, be sure to tag me so I can see it. :) Feel free to post the blank template and tag me for others to share, too (if you use it in a blog post you can just link back to me here!).

You’ll also find this template in my story highlights on my (you can screenshot it there).

Home Goals 2019 + Worksheet and IG Template

As a first step in planning, I find it is also really helpful to define your main purposes for your home. Once you think through what you hope your home will help you accomplish this year and what you dream about achieving through your home (a place of rest, a safe place for nurturing your family, a place to gather friends and family, a place to invest in hobbies or a home business, your sanctuary from the stress of the world, etc), it makes specific goal planning much easier!

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