Simplify. It’s a word that keeps popping into my mind (and when things pop into my mind, I feel compelled to share them!).
Perhaps FBC is asking (telling?) me to learn to live simply.
Truth be told, living simply has never been my thing. I’ve always had a million balls in the air. Lots of things coming and going. Logistics everywhere.
Instead of rushing from one thing to the next…Hurry-Hurry-Hurry-Rush-Rush-Rush…I now like blah… like PB&J sandwiches (albeit almond butter!) on a blanket in a park.
When we simplify our lives, I believe that we have the potential to become more available to other life experiences. I feel as though I need more time…more space…more breathing room…more peace. And, I believe, the way to fulfill these needs is by simplification.
A simple life has a different meaning and a different value for every person. For me, it means eliminating all but the essential, eschewing chaos for peace, and spending time doing what’s important.
Because I’m a list person, I’ve begun making a list of things to do after our vacation to help take the next steps toward simplification:
- Evaluate my commitments and figure out which of these I value and love doing. This may mean making some challenging decisions, but I’ve been doing that for a long, long time.
- Evaluate my time. I’ll start by figuring out how, exactly, I spend my day. For example, today, I (felt like I) spent way too much time in my closet unpacking and repacking too much stuff. Note to self. Too much stuff.
- Limit my media consumption. I spent way too much time on the Internet. No doubt about it. I’ve already started limiting the time that I spend in front of the screen and am seeing immediate benefits. One thing that I have come to learn is that I now sleep better when I have turned my computer off at least one hour before I go to sleep.
- Spend time with people I love. No explanation needed.
- Purge my clutter. I plan to dedicate a weekend (at least) purging things that I don’t use so that I can be left with only what I value. When I was in my apartment in San Francisco, I had 4 plates, 4 forks, 4 glasses, etc. I got along just fine with that. Now, am I going to toss my grandmother’s silver? I don’t think so. However, I believe that eliminating the clutter in my life will create a beautiful space for peace to enter.
- Learn to say N-O. The HOTY suggested that I tattoo it to my forehead. A definite possibility, though I can’t imagine how painful that would be. It’s a good suggestion, though, because I have a really, really hard time saying the word….what was it again? Oh, right, “N-O.”
- Learn to do nothing. This is sooooo hard for me. However, I learned the value of doing nothing on those days when I felt miserable and our dog Buzz encouraged me to go outside and just sit. That’s all we did (because that’s all I could do). However, it felt really good. It wasn’t “productive” in the traditional sense of the word; however, it was the most productive thing that I could have done at the time.
- Limit my communication. Between the emails, text’s, cell phones, Facebook…etc., etc., I am in digital overdrive. I may (GULP!) try doing email only twice a day. That sounds like a lofty goal right now, but I imagine that it would free a tremendous amount of time that I spend looking down. These days, I’m all about looking and feeling UP.
- Spend time alone. I found that alone time in San Francisco was incredibly calming, fueling and stimulating.
- Find a creative outlet for self-expression. I’ve found that I love writing. Here on this blog. In a journal. Though I’ve written academically before the FBC diagnosis, I’ve never written just for fun. I’m really enjoying it and plan on continuing it because it feels like a great outlet.
I know that it’s easy to write a list. Heaven knows I’ve been doing it for years. Simplification will take an extraordinary amount of conscious effort; however it will be worth it to acquire more peace and focus which is such a Silver Lining.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.