I did not expect my Simple Year to teach me more than how to go zero waste, but that’s what happened. It wasn’t so much about simplification as it was about coming to terms and finding peace with where I was at and what I was able to actually accomplish in all areas of my life. I posted this on April 5, 2017, as my year was coming to an end. My original post is HERE. — Trisha
I was drinking coffee and reading one of those blog post roundups delivered straight to my email on Saturday when I clicked on a link to “What If All I Want Is a Mediocre Life” by Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui.
And, as 5-year-old Johanna was prone to say, “Connection!”
O’Reilly-Davi-Digui wrote about embracing a simpler life — well, she calls it mediocrity — and just being happy with the life you’re living now. I could quote the whole thing, which would be awkward and also plagiarism, but my favorite part of the piece was actually her opener:
What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? … What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?
If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to do so — it’s definitely food for thought. O’Reilly-Davi-Digui is basically saying, look, we’re leading lives that are good enough — just enjoy where you are now. That can be hard, even when you’re a minimalist and pretty good at simplifying. I’m just as guilty as anyone of letting what I perceive to be expectations — by myself, by others — cloud my vision. There have been times this year, for example, when I haven’t felt zero waste enough because what we’re doing doesn’t quite measure up to what others are doing. I want us to do more and be more and achieve more.
But maybe that’s not realistic. Or maybe it’s my perfectionism getting in the way.
Johanna and I were at the grocery store this weekend, standing in line to get tare on my jars, when one of the cashiers was like, hey, you’re the model zero waste family! And I was like, um, maybe it’s more accurate to say, ‘the family who is trying to be zero waste,’ because I can’t get to zero, and she was like, you know what? You are a model family.
And I was like … huh. I don’t feel like we’re a model zero waste family, but maybe that’s because I’m trying to get us to a place that is possibly unattainable in our situation. Maybe I need to just say, enough.
I mean, not enough, let’s just quit with this whole zero waste thing — we’re happy with this lifestyle, and we won’t be stopping just because our year is up. (Although the girls seem to think there are more chips and ice cream in our future.) I mean, enough, we are doing the best we can with what we have to work with, and that’s all we can do.
How wonderful it would be to just be at peace with where we’re at!
I don’t know, you guys — I say that to other people and I mean it with my whole heart, but when it comes to myself, I’m tougher. Less flexible and understanding. I don’t know if that’s a personal problem or if it’s human nature. (Man, self-refection is hard.)
Thoughts? Feelings? I feel like I should say more about this, but I also need to make Johanna pudding because she’s getting braces today … and Jo is gonna win.