PAREdown... Unravelled!

It is 11:49 P.M. and I have just gotten out of bed to write down the whirling thoughts in my head. I am totally nuts to be sitting down to the computer at this hour. I have two children, 3 1/2 and 2-years-old and on a good day they wake up at 6:00 A.M. But, my mind is cluttered and seemingly spinning in circles and it just dawned on me how ridiculous the reasons are…

Lying in bed, I realized that my new business venture is having the exact opposite effect on me than intended. PAREdown is supposed to create time, space and peace to allow us to get off the hamster wheel and live purposefully.

Wow, what a contradiction!

PAREdown is a lifestyle site where the goal is to show that living an intentional, minimalist life that respects the boundaries of nature is achievable. Our family goal is to eliminate waste from our lives and to one day live completely waste-free. To “pare down” in its most literal meaning is: to simplify. Well, right now my life feels anything but simple.  I have never been one to heed the cautions of family and friends when it comes to taking on too much, and while there is a part of me that is starting to grasp the concept, I feel I may be dealing with something that’s going to be an ongoing challenge or — a life lesson. The lesson? Pursuing my dreams in a balanced manner so that I do not over do it and go overboard.

In my effort to PAREdown our home, whilst raising two children and attempting to start a business, this is a snippet of the revolving door of chatter inside my head.

5:40 a.m ish…. my daughter starts crying….(Kev and I both lay still, pretending not to hear – pretending to sleep… hoping the other will get up). Finally, about 15 minutes later…. groan… it is my turn to get up with the kids. Have I baked bread, granola bars or muffins recently for breakfast? Shoot – no…. ok, what am I going to make? Is it a pre-school day or an “off” day or a work morning? What’s for dinner? (We purchase virtually no foods packaged in plastic, aside from our Mulligan List, so making soup and slow cooking has become an almost daily activity in our home). I still have to de-clutter the laundry closet, my closet, our glassware – THE SHED! I am behind on my “blogging” AND writing the business plan…. Do I need to grocery shop? Have I enough fruit for snacks? When was the last time I made butter? Must go to bulk store for baking supplies. What about household cleaner? Right, I need more vinegar and baking soda for that….MAN, the diapers smell and need to be washed! Wait, wash? When was the last time I showered… or for that matter, did laundry? Is it Kev’s day or my day to walk the dog? Hope it’s Kev’s… but I really should do it because I want to run a 1/2 marathon this year… soooo, I probably should get on that thing called training! Also, MUST.STOP. SURFING.NET and get to work…but it’s hard – SO hard… I just discovered Instagram!!! So many projects around the house – finish painting kitchen chairs, finish painting frames and hang family photos, start painting my son’s “new” bed. SELL all the items we are paring down and donate the culled “stuff” at the front door.

On occasion my Mother has expressed her thoughts around how nutty living this way is, especially with wee ones. Today is one day that I would give in and agree… NUTS! She agrees with the fundamental drivers behind the idea buuuut – what’s wrong with new gifts, pre-packaged foods and single-use coffee cups? Nothing really. I am not here to judge, but we are committed to something and that means saying no to old habits and working through the struggle… and struggle we do at times! Perhaps the right approach would have been to get a handle on the lifestyle and ….. wait for it…. THEN start the business venture! Okaay, uh – huh, Ya, got it! It’s okay…. being nuts is fun!

But as I sit here venting from my head to my hands and into the computer the noisy muddle of unsettled thoughts tumbling about in my mind, I know that I am just temporarily in the thick of it and it WILL get easier. Say it again (if only for myself) – IT WILL GET EASIER!

Just looking back over the last year and realizing how many changes we have made and turned into positive habits is encouraging. We have gone from one full black bag of garbage per week to a one kg jar that sits on our counter, we do not put it out bi-weekly – we are hanging onto our trash. We have also cut our recycling by at least half. Perhaps deciding to tackle the business end of things this early into our personal transformation was a bit much. But, what the heck, why not grapple with a life lesson in the midst of everything else?

12:47 A.M. – off to bed.


“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” – Deepak Chopra