This Minimalist Monday you're in for a treat -- I met Jeanine via email and was inspired by her lifestyle -- namely she lives freely in an RV. I imagine RV living takes "minimalism" to a whole new level, so I asked Jeanine if she'd guest post. I love her message here about happiness, I hope you're as inspired by her as I am!
HAPPINESS IS.... the SIMPLE things in life, the GOOD THINGS in life!
My name is Jeanine and I am a minimalist! I was very touched to be invited to write a piece for Minimalist Monday because I've always been able to "identify" with previous MM posts. My own story is one of being fortunate enough to live, and LOVE, a full-time RV lifestyle.
The roots of my "minimalist" preferences go back to childhood when my family and I lived out of tents while my father built our house. More wonderful memories followed living in studio apartments prior to married life. Now, after 31 years of marriage (and several homes along the way), my husband and I are back to living simply and efficiently.
In late 2008 we sold our house, sold or donated the bulk of our possessions (YAY!), and loaded only "basics" into the RV. Finishing up our fourth year at this now, we are "seasoned" RV'ers!
RV living is all about having "systems in play" for minimizing the stress and enjoying the cozy environment you're in. The kitchen area was one of the biggest challenges for me but it has worked out far better than I could have imagined. What "was" in my in my previous, full-size kitchen (Cuisinart food processor, Oster blender, tons of pots/pans, etc.) now consists of only the "basics" that serve multiple purposes. A "stick" style hand mixer is my food processor/blender, my old fondue pot also cooks our rice and oatmeal, and a small convection/microwave oven does everything I need for a "party of 2". I also own a small assortment of pots and pans that work for mixing, cooking and sometimes serving.
Still, something was missing from our life and it wasn't until two months ago when the path we were on took another incredible turn.
With the help of our dear (plant-based) friends and their daughter, my husband and I began our own plant-based journey. That's when I found Lindsay, the Happy Herbivore Cookbook and Everyday Happy Herbivore, her facebook, her blogs, and her SUPPORT - and gained incredible STRENGTH from all of it.
I had been a vegetarian in my single years and continued with it for a while in married life. But, eventually, "mainstream" eating habits took over and the years flew by with very few glances back over my shoulder.
NOW, we're tracking again and we couldn't be more pleased with the results! My husband and I have each lost over 19 pounds and we feel so much better! Beyond that, I also "visualize" my internal body and KNOW that things are clearing and "breathing" again! It is SUCH an empowering feeling!
While this may be a ("road less traveled") eating choice for us, it IS a "fit" and I am busy planting seeds of "better choices" with others in our life as well. "Lead by example" is a powerful force; Lindsay sets that example so WELL on a daily basis for us all.
I now feel that I am truly "home" again - no matter where the road takes us. We've entered a "new world" of plant-based eating and further enhanced our "minimalist" approach with a healthy, simplified diet. This experience has been, and continues to be, wrapped full of excitement, adventure, realization, exploration, and self-improvement. It’s been the best "compliment" to our lifestyle and is the final missing piece to my own (life) puzzle that I've longed for. I've come full circle - back to "minimal" - in more ways than one... Happy Trails!
Thank you Jeanine for sharing your inspirational story!