I like to make plans, goals, lists, and other organizational kinds of things. Set me loose in an office supply store and I’m a happy girl!! A year or so ago, I looked back at some of my professional goals from when I was working, and I had met most of them. I was a Daytimer Diva and proud of it!!!
Life is not the same any more. I’ve never really been in control of my circumstances, but it’s become more obvious in the day to day living of life in the last five years. I’ve quit making New Year’s Resolutions and setting goals with hard and fast deadlines. However, I’ve come across a great idea to replace it. Instead of making resolutions, I’m going to have a word on which to focus this year. And the word for 2012 is Simplicity. Inherent in simplicity is the non-necessity of organizational strategies and trips to office supply stores.
The only way that something (except meal plans) is likely to get organized differently in this house this year is to get thrown out! Overall, we have plenty of shelf and storage space. If stuff falls on the floor, it’s because we need to quit being lazy and pick it up or it’s because we have too much stuff and need to get rid of some. What will simplicity look like this year? Here are some things I’m thinking:
- Menu Planning. A friend gave me a subscription to PlanToEat, an online menu planning program. So far, I’m loving it. I’m only using it for dinner but it helps me plan out five dinner meals per week and then puts together an appropriate shopping list, which I can add to for all the other stuff we need. There will, hopefully, be less stress about what to have for dinner. We have five menus. Whoever is scheduled to make dinner has five options with the recipes printed out and in a notebook.
- Limiting choices. One of the main sources of complexity in life is the plethora of choices. Choices are wonderful – most of the time. But they also can add stress to our life by making us worry about whether we made the “best” possible choice (even if it was just which movie to watch) and take up time because of all the time we spend perusing all the choices. I’m specifically limiting my time surfing the web, seeing what’s on TV, checking what’s new at the library.
- Making better use of time. I know this sounds crazy, but I really feel almost guilty about not finishing books that I start. What if it gets really good in the next chapter? I’m getting more “brutal” about my audiobook as well as traditional book reading time. If I don’t enjoy the book, I’ll quit reading. (That being said, I’ve tried to read a novel about a knitting shop at least twice, and just could not get into it. Someone brought a copy into the shop, so I decided I really need to finish it, even if just to say that I’ve read it. I got it on audio and this time I made it through the fourth chapter and now I’m hooked. This is why I’m afraid to not finish a book!)
- More silence. I’m used to having some kind of noise around. I’m such a multi-tasker that I like to have audiobooks or music going while I knit or clean, etc. I’ve started to be deliberate about spending some of my knitting time each day in silence. Of course, part of that reason is because I’m trying to learn brioche knitting which requires more brain power than other kinds of knitting, but I’m trying to do some of my “easier” knitting in quiet as well.
- Less stuff. PWM and I are gradually getting rid of stuff. When we did the Christmas decorating, we filled a couple of boxes for Goodwill. The front room probably has some more stuff that can go. We’ve made a lot of progress since the Fall, but we can still do better.
These are some steps that I hope will get our family on track to a more simple lifestyle. I’m not interested in homesteading or getting rid of technology (don’t even THINK about taking my Kindle!), but I want to be wise in our use of the time and talents God has given us. If nothing else, the chronic migraines have helped me to see more clearly that our life on earth is not about the stuff – it’s about following Jesus. And following Jesus is much easier when we don’t have to worry about full houses and full schedules.
What changes (if any) are you planning for 2012?