letting go feels good + some other stuff

On June 14th Mike and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary.  We took the afternoon and ate at the local (rather yummy) chip truck, wandered and played in the beautiful park in Kinmount, then took the kids to see their first ever movie (Epic) in a theater.  We may live in the boonies, but we are pretty lucky to have the coolest ever movie theater just 15 minutes away.  It was really nice.  This August marks an entire decade together.

I turned 33 on Saturday.  It included some of my favourite things; cake for breakfast, sweet thifting finds (brand new Blundstones for $25!), and then a spontaneous stop at the Peterborough Zoo and Splash Pad (an awesome FREE attraction in town we do our grocery shopping and errands).  We didn’t have swim suits for the kids, but it was humid so we just let them run in and we’d worry about the rest later.  After they were soaked, we realized we had forgotten the diaper bag with extra clothes, diapers, etc.  Oh well.  The kids were in their glory and we ran into friends we hadn’t seen in years.  afterwards, we stripped them down, a kind stranger offered us a diaper, rung out Poppy’s underwear, and gave them the blankets I had picked up at the thrift store.  It was actually way easier than being prepared to be honest.  A new summer ritual to end off our errand days in town.

Last week, with the help of my step dad and a little birthday money, we replaced out haggard living room furniture with great kijiji finds.  You’ve all heard me complain about the state of our furniture before.  We inherited my Gramma’s furniture about 4 years ago and it was/is pretty, but not kid friendly.  There were two arm chairs covered in light floral material and a light coloured couch that showed every single spot, fingerprint, and wet bum mark.  I would remove the cushion covers regularly to wash, but they were wearing out quickly and the zippers were giving out.  I would scrub the arms and sides with spot cleaner, but the watermarks started to look worse than the stains.  I knew we had to do something when Mike started commenting on the state of it.

Kijiji to the rescue!  I first found a beauty ivory leather couch, chair and ottoman that was worth $4000 selling for $375.  I was the first to reply and I even offered a small deposit to prove we were serious, but because we couldn’t get there with my step dad’s truck until Thursday they sold it out from under us.  It was likely for the best as I thought about the inevitable day it met a pen or marker.  So, staying true to our always eclectic style, we managed to to find three nice quality, though mis-matched pieces of leather furniture.  An over sized chair for $70 ( a birthday present from my step dad), an 8 foot black leather couch that makes me think of Mad Men for $350, and a leather recliner for $120 (birthday money from my mom and father in law).  All in all it was a good thrifting success!

At first it all felt like it stuck out in our home like a sore thumb, but with a few throws and pillows, they feel a lot more like my style now.  Comfort and wipeability took priority in this decision, but I couldn’t be happier to have clean, comfortable, furniture to finally sit on again!

A few weeks ago, we adopted 2 sweet little guinea pigs.  The kids named them Tony and Gus Gus.  I am quite surprised at how sweet and tolerant they are.  The kids are in love,  in case you couldn’t tell.

*****

Oh right!  The letting go part of this post.

Mike and I recently decided that, at this season of our life, or priority will be enjoying the kids.  For us, that means letting go of some of our big “homesteading” goals, ideals, and dreams…not forever, but for now.  So, instead of spending our weekends doing chores and improvement projects while becoming frustrated with the kids, we will go to the beach, play in the sand, stop at the zoo,and let them run into the splash pad fully clothed.  Instead of planting the garden and worrying about the weeding, we will get out early and roam around the Farmer’s Markets and hit up yard sales.  Instead of piling the last bit of wood or cutting the entire lawn, we will opt for a dip at the beach or a play in the park.  We will go for walks, fill up the kiddy pool, paint with watercolours, pick wildflowers and learn all their names, have picnics, and sit under trees.

Our house won’t always be tidy, things will take longer to get done, and some plants may die.  All the things I want to paint and build won’t be done at once.  The truth is, we often feel trapped between many worlds.  One world in which we live up to our own high ideals of making our own food and clothes, living off the land, being more self sustained.  Another world in which we take our kids to every available extracurricular activity within a 100 km radius, and have a beautifully manicured house and lawn.  And yet another world in which we stop doing what we think everyone else thinks we should do and do what we feel is manageable and happy for us.

The beautiful thing is that we are blessed to live in an area and be surrounded by a varied group of people, family, and friends.  We live in a wondrous time where we get to choose.   Letting go feels right.

These young days only come once.  Socks in pairs; dinner parties with jazz; a tidy, plastic free yard…all these things will return.  Honey bees, a huge productive garden, canning, and putting down enough for the winter…will all happen as the kids get older and can learn alongside us.  Right now, we choose to be present.  We are recognizing and honouring our own limitations.  We are remembering that our greatest investment are these crazy cute, often frustrating, sticky fingered, ever-loving, perfect little humans.

Our 30’s really do seem to be all about liberation, no?

P.S.  I also realize this space has become undefined.  And that is ok too.

go gently+ be wonderful

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14 Comments

  1. Posted June 24, 2013 at 11:42 am by Danielle | Permalink

    Two things:

    First, I think I need to get the girls a guinea pig.

    Second, what a beautiful post. Letting go is so, so hard sometimes, but liberating indeed! It’s something I’m working hard at myself. Ideals are amazing and guide us (I hope) but they can’t always be realized. That’s ok. It’s like taking risks–you’ll never know what you can do unless you try it first. With ideals, if you don’t keep dreaming them up than nothing will ever get realized at all!

    Have an amazing summer waiting for your new little one!

    • Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm by erin | Permalink

      Apparently they do better in pairs or trios of the same sex as they are social animals. Very sweet little critters. I bet you could find some lovely little rescues considering your location! I wanted to rescue them, but the drive was too far so we ended up going to Pet Smart.
      Thanks for the kind words :)
      e.

  2. Posted June 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm by Desiree Fawn | Permalink

    Good stuff, mama. <3

  3. Posted June 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm by Stephanie K. | Permalink

    Breathed out a big happy sigh as I read this. Summer is soo fleeting and the beach beckons. Kids in water are happy. The whole day passes without a whine, memories are embedded in their spirits, mom and dad become more playful. Farmers’ markets are our go-to veggie experience this year, too. The kids are still too young to appreciate home grown food. They really just want our time and attention and playfulness. I think you and Mike are coming into your wisdom…knowing that these years are fleeting and that all that matters right now is raising those beautiful kids! I love how Poppy smiles with her WHOLE face…awesome.
    Your furniture looks great, love the photo of the dog gazing in love? hunger? at those GPs!

    • Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm by erin | Permalink

      A huge part of this decision was based on your own wisdom and words.
      I remember you saying during our little visit last fall that happy connected parents is much more important than always having to teach them table manners and get them to settle at the dinner table. That went deep. That one statement alone has allowed me to let go of some guilt.
      Oh, and yes, I am quite certain Soma thinks the guinea pigs are his long lost puppies. So curious and in love.
      much love friend

  4. Posted June 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm by Stephinie | Permalink

    “And yet another world in which we stop doing what we think everyone else thinks we should do and do what we feel is manageable and happy for us.” ~that is so perfect and so true. also…. an undefined space is real. love it.
    xo,
    s

  5. Posted June 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm by Krisztina | Permalink

    Love the Piggies! We have two of them as well.

    I admire your decision to let go! My ideals and reality are constantly. Needles to say this only bears confusion … Recognizing one’s limitations is definitely the key … Thank you for your post! It inspired me greatly!

    You also mention Peterborough … any favourite thrift stores there? We vacation in the area and I am a huge fan of thrifting … $25 for Blundstones? What a steal! I love the thrift store in Coe Hill as well. I think your parent’s farm is in the area.

    • Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:02 pm by erin | Permalink

      It seems like so many people are from the area!
      I’ve only been to the Coe Hill shop once, but loved it. We are usually with kids so we can’t stop in all the little shops and yard sales as we’d like so we ususally go to value village. On Saturday I decided to finally figure out where Vinnies was (it used to be called St. Vincent de Paul) and it is right near the mall/grocery store/costco area. Lots of stuff. decent prices compared to VV. There is a great one in Haliburton called Lily Ann’s and it is dirt cheap and have found some great stuff there too.
      I enjoy the hunt :)
      e.

    • Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:03 pm by erin | Permalink

      Oh, and yes, I nearly fell over when I found the blundstones 😉

  6. Posted June 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm by Krisztina | Permalink

    Sorry! Correction:
    My ideals and reality are constantly at odds with each other.

  7. Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm by Morgan G | Permalink

    I’m in a similar place with letting go and ironically, it’s after leading a several week church class on ecospirituality and sustainable living. I decided to do very little gardening this year (just some herbs and a few pepper plants) and I’ve also key go on pushing some greenie goals. One reason is work changes occupying my headspace and also a roofing project that consumed a lot of funds. This summer is about having fun and enjoying my weekends, not pulling weeds and making my own laundry detergent. I’m starting to get some clarity on where I’m going on my sustainability journey and I’m ok with not squeezing myself into a crunchy SAHM homesteading box.

  8. Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:35 pm by meghan | Permalink

    this is just perfect, and good for you to realize this while your children are so young. I’m determined to have a great summer before sending my youngest off to kindergarden in the fall. That means not lamenting about the gas used to drive to the beach…just go! Lots of picnics, a couple trips into Toronto, mornings at the Ptbo. Zoo and Ecology Garden, letting the floors get dirty and not stressing about keeping my shop filled up (and buying my yogurt instead of making it!) Leather furniture is so great with little kids, we were given a used set a few months ago….so much less stress!
    Sounds like the perfect birthday by the way :)

  9. Posted June 26, 2013 at 6:23 am by Vanessa | Permalink

    Loved reading this. Yes, we are often caught between worlds, many worlds it seems. We must do what works for us. There’s only so much we can do and whilst I’m always muttering ‘progress, not perfection’, I think I only truly grasped this very notion this past week. Let go, loosen up, go with the flow… that’s what is being said to me. Thank you x

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