At the beginning of the year, I decided that I wanted to focus on Simplicity. I wanted to have more time and energy for my family and anything else God puts in my way as well as more quiet and more space. How have I been doing?
1. Menu planning has actually becoming a bit more complicated instead of simple. Bummer. I’m on a “migraine diet” which limits the foods I am permitted to eat. I’ve been doing that for about a month and doing well. For the last two weeks, I’ve been avoiding sweets. That’s more difficult and I’ve started allowing 1 sweet on the weekend as kind of a way to “let off steam”. With all the headaches, fatigue, and diet restrictions, I’ve been really bad about planning meals. PWM has done a fair amount of cooking. We’ve had a number of days when we all just ate what we could find – sandwiches, chicken salad, cheese and crackers, etc.. Hopefully, I can come up with an easy way to deal with meal planning despite the dietary restrictions.
2. I’ve done a much better job at limiting choices. I don’t spend much time checking the library websites unless I’m ready for another book to read. I’ve reduced the numbers of blogs I read and don’t feel bad when I don’t read posts that look interesting.
3. I am doing a better job of using my time. I don’t mean that I’m necessarily more productive, but that I’m more comfortable with what I am doing with my time. I don’t feel guilty for just listening to music when my head hurts. If I do some knitting, great; but if not, that’s OK, too. I don’t feel compelled to do two or three things at a time. Sometimes I do like to listen to books while I knit or clean, but I’m pretty comfortable with being quiet as well.
4. There is much more silence in my life. This is new for me. I was used to having music or TV or audiobooks or conversation going on. I purposely make time for quiet now. PWM and I moved our bedroom downstairs, so it’s a little easier for me to hole up in my bedroom for a few minutes if I need to.
5. The biggest change is that PWM and I have really made some strides in getting rid of lots of stuff. We rearranged rooms a few weeks ago (Wild Man’s room is now a music room, our old bedroom is Wild Man’s bedroom, the old schoolroom is now PWM’s and my bedroom, and the front sunroom/office is now the schoolroom) and got rid of lots and lots of stuff in the progress. We still have to finish cleaning the sunroom and do some work in the basement, but I’m generally pleased with how we’re doing. And St. Vincent de Paul has gotten lots of stuff for their store.
Overall, I’m pleased with my progress. The diet is still a challenge. Eating only the same food over and over is difficult for me, so my counselor and I are working on finding good alternatives that fit the migraine diet and my own requirement that they aren’t sweet. The headaches aren’t much different these days, but I think that simplifying life is giving me a little more “space” to handle them. I’m not as stressed now when I get a migraine.
I am slowly getting more focused in life. I’m growing as a Christian. I’m spending most of my energy on my family, homeschooling, and The Knitting Nest, and far less energy on extraneous “stuff”.
One of my biggest concerns right now is to keep this outlook on like and staying focused on the important things after school starts. I want to keep our homeschooling focused on the essentials and give the kids freedom to learn other things on their own. Rosie Girl really flourished at Music Camp and is looking forward to Composition lessons. Wild Man has a hankering to play every variation of guitar he can get his hands on. I need to tattoo “Simplicity” on the inside of my eyelids!
How is your year going? Is Simplicity an important value to you? How do you make it work in your home?
(But, not everyone in the family is buying into the simpler life concept. Rosie Girl’s quote: “Simplicity is for the weak.” Sigh. She’s an artiste.)