Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Simplifying Life–November 2, 2011

I know, I know.  I’ve been talking about simplifying life for years, but I have been spectacularly unsuccessful at it.

Symptoms that I need to simplify life:

  • The house is never clean.
  • We have too much stuff – there’s no room to keep it all and we don’t use it all.
  • I generally feel overwhelmed.
  • I am almost always doing more than one thing at a time – knitting while watching TV or listening to a book, cleaning while listening to a book, etc.

I haven’t been successful with this previously because I’m still addicted to the idea that I have to be “productive” at all times.  I feel bad when I am reading a light novel or when I’m just watching TV.  Multitasking has been my life since I was in high school.  But, this needs to change.


I’ve been reading the Zen Habits blog and getting some good ideas.  I’ve also been going back to some of the ideas from Foster’s The Freedom of Simplicity and Willard’s The Spirit of the Disciplines.  Not only that, but my counselor and I have been talking about how to manage stress, particularly when I start to get busy on days when I don’t have a migraine.  Here are some of the steps that I’m taking, although I’m only changing one thing at a time (for the most part).

  • Have Grape-Nuts for breakfast every morning.  How is this simplifying life?  Well, I don’t have to think about what to eat and it’s healthy.
  • 20 minutes of stretching and yoga-type exercise without watching TV or listening to a book.
  • One fiction and one non-fiction book at a time.  I usually have 3 or 4 or more books going at a time – and then feel guilty that I haven’t read enough!
  • One fiction and one non-fiction audiobook at a time.  I enjoy listening to audiobooks when I knit, but I’m going to limit the number I have going at any one time.
  • Get rid of stuff!!  The rest of the family is helping tremendously with this.  PWM is highly motivated to get rid of things we don’t need, which is good.  He and the kids cleaned the school room on Monday so I have a place to block my large swirl jacket that I’ve knitted.  I really need to get rid of some clothes and go through the kids’ school stuff.
  • Only have one or two things on the to-do list for each day.  If I don’t have a headache and I get more done, great; that leaves more time to knit!  If I have a migraine, then there’s no guilt about not doing something.
  • Spend time every day just sitting and being mindful of where I am and how much God loves me.

That’s it so far.  I don’t think I’m going to leave behind my overachieving, multitasking ways completely overnight, but I’m starting.  And, now, I’m off to do some light reading.  And nothing else.

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