Simplicity In March

(Weekend rainy-slushy-muddy hiking)

In February, I shared some thoughts on pursuing simplicity.

Pursuing simplicity has many different applications and meanings. In February I looked at simplicity in my daily habits. March holds some unpleasant anniversaries for me, but this year I intend to use this month to continue my pursuit of simplicity.

You may recall that in February I went on a juice cleanse. I did fairly well sticking to it, though I did struggle in the last few days and ended up skipping some. The juice cleanse turned out to be helpful for more reason than one. Last week, I found out some less-than-ideal news regarding my health that has prompted a further change in diet. I have been strictly gluten free for 2 1/2 years; now I must cut out meat and soy, and must limit my dairy intake as well. Essentially, I now have to abide by a gluten free nearly-vegan diet.

I am now only eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, free-range hormone-free organic eggs, select grains (like rice), and (since I don’t have to cut out dairy entirely) a little cheese.
Good thing I started out with the juicing and being more conscious of my eating, otherwise I would have been a little overwhelmed.

If you have been reading this blog long, or if you know S and I in person, you are aware that we aim to do some serious traveling. Recently, we have been toying with the idea of backpacking. You can only fit a couple sets of clothes in a backpack – and the bare minimum of toiletries. Talk about simplicity!

One thing I’ve considered in backpacking is whether or not I would take makeup with me on our travels. (Please note that when we say ‘travel’, we mean long term, not a vacation. Like more than a year of backpacking.) With incredibly limited space, attempting to bring makeup would mean packing the makeup, the applicators (brushes, sponges, etc), and the makeup remover.
I’m one of those girls that loves wearing makeup. I enjoy the color and the art of it. But I’ve worn it so often that I’ve come to a place where I am more comfortable with makeup than without it.

Why should I not want other human beings to see my actual face, exactly as it is? I have decided that, for the month of March, I am going without makeup.

I realize that these particular ‘pursuits of simplicity’ sound a little superficial and trendy. I actually hesitated to post about them at all. While I maintain that drastic dietary changes are nothing to sneeze at, I’ve seen a thousand buzzfeed and sensational articles about girls around my age who have decided to not wear makeup for a while. Not exactly brave, and definitely unimportant in the face of other people’s struggles. I don’t even deny that there are better uses of my time, more meaningful things I could be engaging in.

March is not my favorite month.
This March 21 marks 3 years since my would-be-brother-in-law died in a car accident that also injured my husband. 2 days after the anniversary of Micah’s death marks 2 years since a friend of mine that I had known for 10 years died. This month is also Micah’s birthday; he would be 20 this year.

It’s not easy to think about anything else.

I’ve made a decision that this year, the March of 2015, I will not sit around and think of the end of things. I will not wonder if anyone else I care for will die this month. I have dedicated March to living, to living with purpose, to living better. I may not be making ground-breaking advancements, but I am beginning something new this month.

I can honor the past while celebrating today and building for the future.

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