The Story Behind Unconvenience

This business of going all "Unconvenienced" started with a coffee pot.

Or, more precisely, without a coffee pot.  Once upon a time, our nice high-end wedding present of a coffee maker got a short in it and went on the fritz (i.e., it started melting from the inside of the display and caught ever so slightly on fire before we unplugged it).  At the time, the Mister was in graduate school, I had quit working to stay home with our kiddo, and we didn't have the space in our budget to replace said coffee maker.  So like any resourceful outdoor enthusiasts would do, we raided our bin of camping gear and resurfaced with a sturdy french press.

Sure, making coffee with a french press required more time and energy than we had spent on coffee prep before.  But the coffee was SO good (noticeably, outrageously delicious) that we decided we didn't mind the extra steps it took.  There was something we actually enjoyed about taking some steps "backwards" - that is, away from the nice convenience of a coffee pot with a timer and brew strength button - that made it feel like more of an accomplishment and less of a hassle.

That was the start of the Unconvenient for us.

We hear that it's good to "unwind" after a stressful time, that occasionally "unplugging" from technology is helpful ... so, reaching for the "Unconvenient" isn't really that much of a stretch.  Unconvenient - not inconvenient, but Unconvenient.  Backing away from Convenient.

There are so many things that I assume have to be a certain way - how I buy my groceries and prepare food, for example - that Unconveniencing myself requires something to jolt me out of my routine (like a coffee pot catching slightly on fire) and finding other - possibly slower or harder - alternatives.

Don't read into this too much to think that I believe Convenience is bad.  I LOVE my washing machine, a grocery store where I can buy produce and packaging tape at the same time, and a car to get around in.  But my two little words for this year - "intentional" and "simple" - have got me thinking that quicker is not always simpler, and more often than not convenience is the enemy of my intentionality.

Oddly enough, I think some of the Unconveniences in my life that make me slow down or spend more time on things are really, really great ... because they make me slow down and spend more time on things.  

So, there you have it: the Unconvenient Truth.

PS.  Also, this is not a rage against coffee makers.  I love coffee from any source.  And I would love to have a cup with you sometime, friend.


  1. Fun thoughts! Do you make popcorn on the stove? Similar to your coffee... takes more work but SO good!

    1. Yes - popcorn on the stove is one of my new favorite things with the kids. Love how fun it is!

  2. French press coffee is definitely the way to go especially if you splurge for quality beans.... and popcorn on the stove....mmmmm :-)

  3. I like this idea of unconvenient. Its somewhat forced for me in my life overseas. If I want whole grains, I must find them and grind them. If I want good bread, I must make it. If I want beans, I must soak dried ones. I like my somewhat unconvenient life as well. Things we are currently wrestling with however go in this same vein--efficiency and effectiveness. Effectiveness = Time with people. More efficiency shouldn't mean creating time for more things in my life. Rather, how can I be more efficient so that I can increase my effectiveness? That might mean in the work, but that might just mean in my home so that kids get more of me. Wrestling these things out with you….

    1. Sara Beth - these are some great points. One thing that unconvenience has made me think about is prioritizing what is really important to me and my family - and the effectiveness you mention hits right on that. I don't try to inconvenience myself left and right, just in the name of doing things the old fashioned way - but I do try to slow down and make intentional choices about how I interact with others and my environment. This post is just a reflection on thinking through my choices, rather than take a certain lifestyle for granted. You're right, though ... it's different when it's forced on you! I'd love to hear more of your reflections on this when you can share!