In 2018, I completely downsized from a 5-bedroom, 3000 sq.ft. home and multi-income property to 200 sq. ft. of living space. This space once was part of a small efficiency apartment and our family business office, then converted to a one-room school room during my children’s homeschooling years and later became my art studio.
Now it has become my co-housing/co-living “Gma (Grandma) Pod, that I share with my daughter’s family. As a baby boomer and grandma, I now spend more time creating in my art studio and writing my blog and less time working on the road as a travel nurse.
I share some living area necessities like a bathroom, laundry area, and running water but I also have my own entrance and live independently from my daughter’s family.
I enjoy the companionship and security of their presence while spending more time with my two grandsons.
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When was the last time someone said to you, “Drop me a line”?
When was the last time you got a simple handwritten note or letter in the mail?
Heck, I only mailed out two Christmas cards this year which went out to my children and their family’s that live outside of the United States. I find it hard to spend money on things people will just toss out after a few weeks or months. I decided to purchase and send Christmas cards that were Chinese paper quill frameable art, hoping that they will frame them and put out during the holiday seasons for years to come.
As a practicing minimalist, I like to keep a narrow threshold of materialistic things from entering my personal space. Taking me less than 15 minutes this morning. I cleaned my 425 sq. ft. of living area which I affectionately call my “Grandma Pod”. I really don’t regret my decision to keep things minimal after owning and caring for a 5-bedroom, home, rentals, and large yard for almost 30 years.
I enjoy the freedom it brings to my life as I continue as a travel nurse. Technology has been a great way for me to keep the paper clutter minimal and I find myself frustrated at times when I receive unnecessary junk mail. Even more annoyed with political organization advertisements with elections only 10 months away.
It pains me, that even in a more paperless society, we still have so much waste in paper products. Have you ever watched a movie where someone comes across some old box or trunk tucked away in a dusty old attic somewhere?
The actor/actress will gingerly open the treasured box or trunk and sort through the items until they come across a letter or papers. Maybe they find a bunch of letters that have been bound together with a tattered old string, much like presents for the finders to read with muse.
Were they from a lover, a friend, a spouse, a war hero, someone who has passed?
Handwritten letters and notes are a tangible extension of the writer. We try to imagine them as they sat and wrote them. Were they happy, sad, joyful or hopeful? Was their handwriting representative of textbook cursive, printed block letters or swirly and whimsical? Do the stamps on the envelopes have some cultural story of the day and times or hobby/interest of the writer?
I have letters on military stationary from my first husband which he wrote to me while in the Army. I own notes from an athletic boyfriend that are folded in tiny footballs, that he punted to me with a finger flick behind the teachers back across the classroom that landed into my lap. I have “I love you, Mom” notes and cards from my children written in preschool and school age scribbles. Jokes written in my Dad’s whimsical handwriting inside cards.
So, when I downsized, I had to decide what to keep and not keep. I could have easily scanned or taken pictures of all those notes, cards and letters and keep them handy on a flash drive. Or keep a chosen few with significant meanings that could be treasured in their original form. I decided on the later.
So, today as I was cleaning and decided to sort through any unnecessary clutter; which still seems to have a way of accumulating even with practicing strict minimalism decision making practices. I came across these beautiful note cards below. The art was done by my 5-year-old grand-daughter and given as a gift to me last year for Christmas.
Signed on the back by my grand-daughter as the Artist and her Age at the time. This was a wonderful and thoughtful fundraiser gift idea done by her playcentre and printed by www.kidsartworks.co.nz.
I have decided that it’s time to sit down and “drop a line” to those I failed to send a Christmas card to this year. So, if you are lucky to be on the receiving side of this particular card maybe you will be less likely to add it to the rubbish bin and use it as some frameable art. You never know, the artist may be the next Jackson Pollack.