"She did not need much, wanted very little, a kind word, sincerity, fresh air, clean water, a garden, kisses, books to read, sheltering arms, a cozy bed, and to love and be loved in return."
--Starra Neely Blade
As I think about simplicity, I have asked myself what simplicity would look like in my daily life. Thoughts begin to take shape. Dinner with friends, keeping it simple with simple meal of pizza and a toss salad and popsicles for dessert. A birthday party with a simple meal, a few simple gifts, a fun activity out, and time to connect and celebrate the birthday boy. Scrapbooking simple moments in a simple way. Less toys in the toy box, our very favorites to play with and easily put away. Instead of doing 5 camping trips a year, doing 1 a year and making it simple and special. Less clothes in the closet to keep track of. Could this work?
This idea of simplicity is tricky for me. I love to accomplish things and get things done. I love checking off a huge to do list and working on big projects. Work comes easy to me. Connections and relationships are more difficult. How do you measure relationships? I didn't seem to struggle as much with this as a child, a young adult, or a new mother. I had the time to spend and felt connected. I might have wished for more time with my friends or alone time with my husband or more time to visit family that lived far away, but when I felt the need, I could figure out a way to fulfill it. In my life now, with four children and a busy schedule, I can't find the time to do it all, and at times the relationship side of things seems to fall away. I feel the need to connect, but the to do list calls to me, and I more often then not, I turn down opportunities to spend time with family and friends. I have to let go of the to dos to really be in the moment. I can't be thinking about all that is on my list if I'm to live in the moment.
I am beginning to see the light. I have been getting rid of things and simplifying my schedule for the last couple years, scraping off a little here and a little more over there. I'm starting to see the benefits. Rooms are staying clean longer and are easier to clean up as we have less stuff to clutter it up. My kids are less overwhelmed by jobs, since there is less stuff to put away and keep track of. I'm enjoying simple dinners, celebrations, and family adventures since I'm letting go of all the elaborate ideas and embracing simplicity. I'm finding moments in my days where I can say yes to helping and serving more, knowing my to do list is simple and completed for the day. I'm taking time to rest and rejuvenate in simple ways.
There are things that I want to do in the near future, some small, some big. I need room in my life to do these things. I don't see how I can add more to my home or my schedule right now. I have to simplify to create this space. This is the answer. it will take many choices that will be difficult. It will take letting go and saying no. It will take experimentation, filled with failures and successes. It will be a journey.
I see this as a journey to create two things. A simple life and a simple home. They go hand in hand for me. I take my job as a professional homemaker and mother quite seriously. I need to simplify my schedule and to do list. I also need to simplify my home. As I organize and move forward with this focus, home and schedule will be central.
Nothing will be off limits. Birthdays and celebrations, hobbies, scripture study, meal planning, time with family, time in service, how tasks are accomplished, how often we do dates and family activities, homework, sports, school, wardrobe, and personal beauty products are just a few of the things that will be analyzed and scrutinized.
I want to share this journey on the blog. I love reading what others have shared as they have simplified and created space to live and thrive and want to join in with the conversation. I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this. Is this something you worry about, and are striving for? What have you done to simplify your life?
Living Simply Part 1