Busy Boycott: Eliminate the Non-Essential

I love to wake up in the morning.  Although, judging by externals, it might seem like the opposite were true.   I'm not one of those people who is all sunshine and bubbles as soon as my feet hit the floor. In fact, I don't even want to talk to you. I need silence. That's why …

The Problem of Unitasking

Removing material clutter from our one-bedroom apartment was a great start. We didn't have it easy merging two households into one after we got married, but with focus and determination, my husband, Mark, and I have boiled most of our possessions down to two components: Do we need it? Do we love it? If what …

The Uninspired Writer

  Show up and get to work...and at the same time, listen to where the writing wants to take you. Dinty W. Moore   I've been published. Okay, now what? Wait for more inspiration? Ever since I was a child, I'd create a sentence in my mind and think, wow, that would make a good …

The High Cost of Stuff

27.2 billion dollars. That's how much Americans spent on self-storage units in 2014.  Let me repeat that number: 27.2 BILLION dollars. A quick internet search rendered at least 20 mini-storage businesses within 10 miles of my home. According to the Self-Storage Association, the self-storage industry is one of the fastest growing segment of commercial real …

When Gift Giving is About Us

We are not as generous as we think we are.  A bold statement, I know. Controversial, even. And true. A gift is something that is freely given, no strings attached. Even the expectation of a thank you diminishes the generosity of the giver. How often did I expect something in return for the gifts I …

The Year of Saying “No.”

The daylight fades and a gray pall is cast upon the earth. It's the first evening of the first day of the new year. What have I to say for myself? Nothing. I search for words to convey my exact meaning, and still, something is lost in translation. Wisdom Himself, Christ, once said, "Let what …

Where the hell have I been?

  It's been months, no SEASONS, since I've posted anything. What happened? Here's the long, the short, and the whole of it: I forgot about this blog. Seriously, I forgot I even started it. But something strange happened in the last few weeks--the desire to write again nosed its way back into my consciousness. Then, …

Facebook or Not to Facebook?

Here's a question to all my readers: Should there be an Essential Life Facebook page, or not? Here's a list of pros and cons for your consideration: PROS: Greater Exposure to a wider audience Ability to post quick and easy tidbits, IE, beautiful photographs with nice sayings, like this one: All the cool minimalists are …

“Good Dealing” Your Way Into Debt

A few months into our marriage my husband and I were looking for ways to save money. We began couponing. "Couponing" refers to combining coupons and sales to save maximum money. We took on this project with gusto--buying newspapers, asking family and friends for their weekly coupon inserts. We even bought a banquet-style folding table so …

Minimalism and Just Portion Sizes

Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. --Joshua Becker, Becoming Minimalist Social justice issues have always been important to me, from feeding the hungry and clothing the naked in parish outreach work to actually living among the poor in NYC.  The cry of the …