photo credit: Weronika Karczewska/unsplash

Brett and my guiding word for 2023 is SIMPLE. That is, we intend to either make, maintain, or change things in our lives to enhance simplicity.

Although I feel we already live quite simply, we would like to add nothing to what we have (after a year of downsizing, and accumulating stuff again), and figure how to do more with what we have now. Living simply will mean doing more of the things that make us happy, of finding and enjoying challenges in trying something new, rereading books I’ve read before, or relearning/reusing old skills we haven’t used in a while. This will also be a year of spending less and saving more, and using less technology whenever possible. I want meal preparation and planning to be more simple as well, even if it means we have to rely on more prepared foods (easier to do with the food stores and healthy choices we have available here).

I am going to continue to blog, hopefully somewhat regularly, but I will be giving up the Sunday Morning post. It had been the most-read post every week for years, but decidedly not a simple one for me to write (totally my own fault; I kept making it more complicated in spite of trying to cut back) and last November it nearly drove me to folding up the blog all together. For the time being I plan to take the weekends off from writing, and use the time to do things with Brett, our daughter-in-law, and our grandchildren, even if that’s just staying home, reading, and enjoying each other’s company. Several readers commented that they hoped I would continue with news about the family, and I know there are ways of doing that other than the Sunday post. Hopefully with time there will be some regular features again as there have been in the past, but for now the only one I know of will be a recap of our monthly goals and how we did with them the month before. I don’t want to feel trapped or obligated to write certain posts which is what had been happening.

We have nothing on our calendar this month other than an eye appointment for me (getting new glasses – yeah!), dog grooming, and haircuts, and will otherwise take each day at a time. We will continue to enjoy time with our little Kaipo as he segues from puppyhood into adult life, and pick up and watch our grandchildren after school, or when otherwise necessary. We plan to choose one local site to visit each month. We also hope to do a couple of local hikes and more walking, weather permitting.

It’s simply going to be a great year!


25 thoughts on “Simple

  1. Good morning and Happy 2023 to you both!

    First, it’s so funny to see your pictures and hear about things in your neck of the woods when I’ve actually been there. It was so lovely to see you both, and what a fun afternoon we had with you and Kaipo! I didn’t realize my girls could be so well-behaved, and it was just so fun to catch up.

    Second, you wrote grandchildren – is your grandson going to be there as well?

    Third, I always love your blog, in whatever form. Since the Sunday Morning post got so overwhelming, maybe you’ll consider using some of the prompts in other posts from time to time?

    I’ve gotten settled here in my apartment, which is about the same overall size as yours, but with less walls. One big living room / kitchen and then the bedroom, and bath. I’m loving it as well!


    1. Happy New Year to you, Denise. Wishing all good things for you this year! Seeing you and your pups this past year was wonderful – hopefully it won’t take so many years to see each other again.

      Glad to hear you are in your space and enjoying it. Small is good, although having ALL the family here at Christmas has us wondering if we should upgrade to a slightly larger space (in the same complex).

      I am grateful for the time off – it was needed – and am enjoying writing again. There’ll be a couple more posts up this week!


  2. Sounds great! I totally understand about more time for family. I am currently out West, in the middle of a huge snowstorm that came in yesterday and dumped a foot of snow at daughter’s house. Flying back south this afternoon to tornado watches and 70 degrees….lol. Family is everything!


    1. Happy New Year, Cindy – love hearing from you! I hope that for getting through a snowstorm out west you at least got to miss the deep freeze back here – Brrrrrr! Safe travels on your return home.

      We had a blast with the entire family gathered for Christmas – post up about it all on Wednesday!


  3. That sounds fantastic to me! And I look forward to reading your posts, regardless of format or frequency 🙂

    My priorities for 2023 are also simple: Being there for loved ones, prioritizing health, and downsizing.


    1. Happy New Year, Claudia! One of my blogging goals this year is to not become obligated to write, but to do it because I enjoy it (I do). The time off was wonderful (and necessary) and I am grateful for everyone’s indulgence.


  4. I’m so glad you’ve found a way to continue the blog while being true to your own needs. I love your focus on simplicity for this year and look forward to reading whatever you choose to write. Is your grandson now there as well? I couldn’t help noticing the use of the word grandchildren :-).


    1. Happy New Year, Erica!

      Both of our grandchildren will be here this year – our grandson’s school in Tokyo just wasn’t making the grade any more for him so his parents felt he should stay and attend school here (also, our son’s new position is a VERY busy one and it was difficult for him to be around as much as needed). Anyway, we are going to have to work around two different school schedules versus one, and we’ll be busier than before. We are so glad our grandson will be here with us, and we want to support our DIL as much as possible.


  5. Welcome back! I will look forward to reading whatever posts you feel like writing. I hope you’ll do one about your time over the holidays with the girls.
    Simple sounds like a good goal for 2023. I don’t think our year is going to be simple though….. still watching our grand girls several times a week while our daughter is finishing up radiation, traveling for 6 weeks after we are done with that….a trip to see our son and family in Africa and then a couple short trips with/to family. And then the plan is to have two knee replacements, one in April and one in July. By fall I should be able to go line dancing! LOL! A good, but busy year! So I’ll enjoy reading about your simple life!


    1. Happy New Year, Addy!

      Sounds like you have a very busy year to look forward to! We will too, somewhat, but nothing like yours.

      Thanks for the writing break – it was needed, but I’m glad to be back at it again.


  6. I’m happy to hear you are going to continue to blog. I look forward to reading your posts and if it’s not on a regular basis, that’s ok! You have to do what’s best for you. I made a resolution yesterday to downsize and simplify my life, so it seems we have similar goals.

    Happy New Year!


    1. Happy New Year, JJ!

      Last year was anything but simple, and Christmas with everyone here was pretty wild, so simplicity is a good path for Brett and I to be on this year. I can’t believe how many times I’ve already whispered “keep it simple” to myself in just the past couple of days. We won’t be downsizing, but will definitely not be adding anything more to the mix this year!

      I’m going to write when I feel like it – I think it’s a better fit for where I am now and should see the blog through several more years (I hope!).


  7. Simple is good. And I will be happy to read whenever you write. I would my like the pressure of having to keep a rigid schedule, and having more time to hike and explore — as well as more time for your family — sounds nice. It must have been wonderful to have them all together!

    Happy New Year to you and Brett!


    1. Happy New Year, Hope! Hope your daughter is feeling better, and I know you’re glad to be able to help at this time.

      We had a lot on our plates last year, and it really all got to be too much. We’re adding another grandchild to the mix here in Tennessee, a middle-schooler, so that is going to require more of our time, but otherwise we’re not setting major goals, etc. and keeping life as simple as possible.


    1. Lovely to hear from you, Joy – Happy New Year to you and Les!

      We’re looking forward to the coming year – our first full year in Tennessee. I have a post coming eventually about Hawaii/Kaua’i – things I miss, and things I don’t. You sure hit the sweet spot there, but Kaua’i will always hold a special place in our hearts.


  8. Happy New Year Laura. So glad your family was able to gather for the holidays. As others have said, I really enjoy your writing, about any things that interest you and on any schedule you like. Simple is a great word for the year! I’ve been (slowly) simplifying my life for a few months. It’s a process not a destination, and can honestly say it was a good decision.


    1. Happy New Year to you, Carol!

      Simplifying is definitely a process. We’ve been working on it for years and still have much to learn, but I’m hoping that making it our focus this year will teach us more. We’re happy and satisfied with everything we have now, and currently have no desire to add more. There’s a lot to see and do here and we plan to focus more on that this year. There are some big things coming up later this year, but we’ll deal with those as they get closer.


  9. My New Years resolution is to try and learn a new language. I know you have studied several and mentioned them in other posts. Can you tell me again your pros and cons of Babbel and Rosetta Stone. Thank you


    1. Happy New Year, Vivian! What a great goal for the year (Brett and I are also trying to improve our Spanish skills this year).

      I think Rosetta Stone is a great back-up for language learning, but I thought what it covered was somewhat limited (I used it for Japanese) and in the end didn’t feel like I got much out of it other than reinforcement of what I already knew. I have heard of Babbel, but don’t know enough to evaluate it. Most online learning sites are good places to start but you miss out on lots of chances for reinforcement and practice that you get from a classroom. Is there a community college near you that offers adult education classes? They usually offer language classes at an affordable price and provide the means for live practice and instant correction from an instructor.

      Finally, I wrote a post a few years ago about learning a language as an adult and offered a few things to think about as you undertake the process: Language Learning for Adults. Whatever path, program, or goal you go after, I’m impressed and wish you much success!


      1. no community college anymore. It became a 4 year institution and the focus is mostly stem courses. Only two language courses French and Spanish. Very limited I think 5 credit hours.


  10. Hi Laura! It was wonderful to read your first post of 2023! I’m glad you’ve decided to keep blogging and will look forward to when the notification of a new post arrives in my inbox (whenever that may be). I love the goal to keep things simple. I’ll be focusing on my health and finding a consistent routine that I can stick to. But that won’t be starting until later this month as we are currently in Australia visiting family. We are having a blast and soaking up every second of being together. Exciting news that your grandson will be staying in TN as well. I’m sure this will be a very special time for you and your family.
    Can’t wait to see what 2023 holds!


    1. Oh, I envy your time in Australia, although I imagine it’s hot there now (it was blistering when we were there in mid-January).

      The school here will be a much better fit for our grandson. He had been attending a small international school in Tokyo, but it lacked so many things that he needs at this stage of his life and education. We’ll get the scheduling all worked out, but we are going to be busy this year!!


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