When I finally realized that what my life needed was less stuff and busy-ness, and some time and space for me and my family, I was not in a position to just wake up the next day to a totally different way of living. Right now, DH and I are in an in-between phase, changing from our old lifestyle to a new one. For us, it’s paying for the last semester (hurrah!) of college for the kids. It’s also me working two jobs; one as an RN to help pay the bills, and the other as a small business owner. For many other people, it’s debt that has to be paid off, or a too-big house that takes all your time and money. Add the busyness of everyday, and a simple life seems as impossible as scaling Everest with a shoestring.
But I’m not giving up.
What I have come to understand is that this is an incremental process, a winnowing of the chaff in my life. So I’m taking a hard look at the things I spend my time on, reevaluating their importance, and deciding how much time these things deserve.
My simple life has to start now. Not when kids graduate, or this and that gets paid off, or the business make XX amount of dollars. I need to create some white space in my life now, and make time to do things that feed my soul, my mind, and my relationships. But how to do that, when I have feel like there is so much that needs doing??
Someone once said that you always have time for what matters. So I’m making time. I’ve started getting up 30 minutes earlier, and focus on having a meaningful, instead of mindless, start to my day. I do yoga again in the mornings, and even though it’s only been a few weeks, I feel amazing; more energetic. It feels good to use my muscles, and to just be in the moment during a session. Why on earth did I ever stop?
After yoga, I break out my new journal and a cuppa. I like this one. It’s a goal planner, a to-do list, a gratitude journal, a success tracker for long term goals. Since I’m a bit of a glass-half-full kind of personality, the gratitude section helps me focus on the positives. The timed to-do keeps me realistic in what I can accomplish in a day. Journaling is so much better than 20 minutes spent clearing Facebook notifications while I drink my coffee.
The real upside of having a plan is that I have a stopping point. So I’m done by 5 or 6, instead of working until midnight. I cook dinner with my hubby, instead of eating take-out. Get to bed at a reasonable hour. In general, I’m trying to take better care of myself. It just simple little things; nothing flashy, nothing magical. But it’s a beginning.
What’s next? Honestly, it’s learning how to not be “productive” all the time. To be able to just hang out, or read a book, and not have a mental “to do list” running through my head. To remember how to live in the moment. Once I master this most basic of simple living tenets, I will add another building block to my simple life. I’m not sure what it will be, but I am certain that I will find it.