Today is my beautiful daughter’s birthday. She is 13. I now only have one offspring that is not a teen… 3 teens… and one engaged. Talk about complicated!
I’ve been giving simplifying my life some major thought lately. I decided to start a new program for myself, “The Practice of Simplicity.” I’m going to give a shot for the next month. I specifically chose the word practice because of its broad meaning.
1. habitual or customary performance; operation: office practice.
2. habit; custom: It is not the practice here for men to wear long hair.
3. repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency: Practice makes perfect.
4. condition arrived at by experience or exercise: She refused to play the piano, because she was out of practice.
5. the action or process of performing or doing something: to put a scheme into practice; the shameful practices of a blackmailer.
6. the exercise or pursuit of a profession or occupation, esp. law or medicine: She plans to set up practice in her hometown.
7. the business of a professional person: The doctor wanted his daughter to take over his practice when he retired.
Living simply will require practice. No one goes to bed one night in complete chaos and disorder and wakes up the next morning “Master” of an organized and clutter-free wonderland… but wouldn’t that be nice? This transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Achieving simplicity will take practice. Maintaining simplicity will most definitely take practice.
Have you seen the schedule I’ve created? LOL! I am going to have to WORK at this!
Simplicity isn’t really THE goal. Simplicity is a means to an end; the ultimate destination being a remarkable life focused on what matters most – God and family.
The trick will be to avoid practicing simplicity for simplicity’s sake. That would just complicate things. I need to practice simplicity to clear the distractions that get in the way of the peace I truly desire.
Up to now I have spent a lot of time practicing other, less helpful skill sets — lack of focus, stress, worry, poor time management, operating on auto-pilot, clutter, less sleep than needful and complicated eating habits immediately come to my mind. I have become an expert on these traits. Go ahead. Ask me anything.
Time to simplify.
Today’s Practice of Simplicity:
5:30 – Leave a SIMPLE note and a “treat” for my hubby. Yesterday was stressful for him because it was his annual review. It was ok, but I thought it would be a great way to remind him that I’m grateful for the SIMPLE fact that he works hard to provide for us.
5:40 - Enjoy a SIPMLE breakfast of GF French Toast my hubby whipped up. Today I used my homemade strawberry jam. Yesterday I realized that we were “recycling” the syrup bottle and the syrup had milk in it. No wonder my palms have burning and itching in the morning. Darn those allergies!
6:00 - Teach Seminary… actually, I observed a class. The teacher did a great job. I was reminded of a few SIMPLE things I could do to improve my own style as well as, hopefully, helping the teacher consider one thing to help her class. I really had to stretch to find one suggestion because she is that good.
7:00 - Rotate laundry and help Lilli hang up her clothes. It was so much more SIMPLE to “help” her rather than to “tell” her and then to be frustrated that she never completes her task. She is 7 after all.
8:20 - Start blog thoughts early instead of cramming at night so that I stay up too late. This should make evenings far less complicated and stressful. There will be no need to be grumpy at the kids for “bothering” me while I try hard to create the next brilliant thought to publish.
9-noon – scoured the house top to bottom. I decided that it would be SIMPLER to do some of the chores myself, rather than waiting for the kids to get with the program. I did a fair share “tossing” too. I even threw out a nasty area rug. My life will be much SIMPLER without a nasty “potty” place for the new poopy, I mean puppy. LOL. It’s amazing how much nicer the house smells too. I also turned down 2 invitations to complicate my life (are you proud of me Jo and Shar?). Today is going to be about keeping it SIMPLE. I WILL not add to my schedule today.
1:00 – make a salad and enjoy it’s crunchy goodness. Today I used kale (I’m really developing a love for this unsung mystery green), romaine lettuce, baby zucchini, cucumber, the hottest purple onion EVER, baby carrots, cabbage, a tomato, and a handful of pumpkin seed trail mix. I also used a little Thousand Island Dressing. It’s amazing how long it takes to eat veggies! It took me 20 minutes to chop all the veggies and to clean up after myself. (I even did the dishes assigned to one of the kids AND scrubbed the sink – scary I know.) The drive through takes minutes to decide, order, pay, and be ready to snarf lunch. There was a time when I could inhale (seriously) a burger and large fry in minutes. This salad took me 50 minutes to crunch through.
2:00 – Expected to see a friend and to babysit a baby. However, he didn’t show so I spent a couple hours studying for next week’s seminary lessons and prepping for the Missionary Game that is for tomorrow. Read a great article on Agency. Keeping it SIMPLE. Action-consequence. I choose. I can follow with exactness. SIMPLE… yet not so simple.
4:00 – Completed a SIMPLE 2 mile walk on me treadmill in 40 minutes. There is no exercise as SIMPLE as walking. While I was sweating to Pandora (my son’s No Doubt station) some truly wonderful SIMPLE young men taught me that it is true, “by small and SIMPLE things great things come to pass.” They are cheerful, persistent, believing, and patient. Their small efforts to befriend and counsel my son have all the appearances of making a difference… at least today. God bless them! I am grateful for anyone who can reach my son. He has been such a source of stress and contention. Plus, my daughter’s friend came to “hang out.” I love seeing her develop her friendship with this kid. He is good for her. Ah! The SIMPLE pleasures of life.
6:00 – attended a Music Booster Club meeting. Thankfully, it was a SIMPLE meeting and we were done in an hour. I’ve sat through a few meetings that went on for hours! This one was merciful and we got most of the business done. I also got in an impromptu wedding planning meeting with the groom’s mom. Unfortunately, the birthday dinner for my daughter never finished cooking. Glad she likes SIMPLE $5 pizza and chicken wings. I stopped on the way home and everyone was happy.
8:25 – finish up my first “Practice of Simplicity” blog. It’s been a great SIMPLE day. I got my salad for the day into the mix. I enjoyed the SIMPLE beverage of water most of the day. (I did splurge for the birthday and enjoyed a little root beer). Now, I’m heading to bed.
Salad – Day 4
Practice of Simplicity – Day 1