Monday, January 7, 2019

Living a Simple Life

The Headlines:

Does life have to be so complicated (when those kids grow up)?


But we're trying to chill. 

It's the New Year and I'm tired.   No, not because we partied past midnight on NYE... because it was a long 2018.  This may be one of the reasons you heard from me about 3 times the whole year.  Life has gotten complicated for our house.  I'm going in too many directions, the husband is traveling more than ever, my children are involved in a lot and we are blessed with many friends and family with whom we love to spend time.  

Every year, about once a year, I have some sort of epiphany.  Last year, it was that we had to stop raising Entitled Kids.  You can read that HERE.  We're still working on that... it's a process.  Now,  it's the need to simplify things. 

You Feel me?  I know.

It's happening to a lot of us.  We're all exhausted.  Kids are getting older and frankly, so are we.  We wake up in the morning by 6:00 and don't stop going until late at night.  There's hardly a moment to grab a bite or just stop.  What in the world are all of us doing?  Driving kids places, meeting people, working on projects, joining book clubs, WORKING, volunteering in school, volunteering out of school, attending sporting events, doing homework, preparing meals, having play dates, traveling, planning parties, making appointments, getting to appointments, holding appointments, canceling appointments.

It really is a busy life.  And as kids grow up it just gets busier.  That seems impossible to young Moms, I know.  But it's true.  See, babies need to be held, fed and loved.  Constantly.  But life is fairly one dimensional.  You stay with your baby and do all those things with him/her.  You have no time but for a very different reason.  It's you and the baby, almost 24/7... (also known as a parasite - who truly and lovingly sucks everything from you.  Literally: vitamins, minerals and bone density. I had theeee worst teeth problems after I breastfed)  You are their everything.  Their very survival depends on you.

Here's the deal, this all changes when they get in the 5 year old range.  Parents start to come up for air.  They begin to live their life again.  They walk without that bouncing baby on their hip.  This is the time when parents, mostly Moms, begin the process of finding themselves.  For the second time.  Reconnecting and remembering who they were.  And then they run with it.  They pile on life the way they used to before children.  The problem is... kids don't go away.  Their needs don't subside.  They just change.  Children no longer cry because they're hungry, they cry because someone said something mean at school.  Rather than feed them to stop the tears, you have to be with them and help mend their feelings.  It takes longer with more thought and effort.  See, just as you held them when they were 1... you still need to hold them when they're 11.  They may even need those hugs more now.  So, here in lies is the reason why the craziness begins.

Parents resume their lives before children BUT ONLY during the hours of 8-3 Monday through Friday.  Not including holidays, weekends or half days at school.  That's tough.  It's saying, pick up where you left off but don't drive in the fast lane.  Stick to the slow lane.  But that's not what happens. Your old self comes up for air and really likes the view!  So, you quickly start to pile on stuff, just like before kids.  Meantime, kids pile on life too.  Which means everyone's in the fast lane going 90 mph and no one can find the rest stop.  Hence, this blog post.

Living a simple life.

In 2019, it has occurred to us that we have to simplify our lives.  I realize that takes balance, strategy, time management and a small miracle.  What a "Simple Life" looks like to each family depends on that family.   What works for the Smiths might not work for the Williams.   Therefore, this post is hardly a "How to..." it's more of a "What if..."?  

Here's what I do know, this year, in our house we will work very hard to change the way we "do business"... sleep more, consume less, slow down, and breathe.  I need to breathe.  Why have people smoked for so many years?  I believe it's almost more about the deep breathing than the nicotine.  Deep breathing is quick, free and it calms people down.  

Simplifying Life in 2019: 

  1. BREATHE more.  
  2. Get ORGANIZED.  I've always been "sort of" organized but now we're cleaning stuff, throwing things out and getting systems in place. 
  3. PRIORITIZE.  God, Family, Work, Friends, Exercising, "Charity/Volunteering," Everything Else... in that order. 
  4. Say NO more.  I have some friends who are great at this, I am okay at this... I will get better. 
  5. TAKE IN THE MOMENTS.  This is what life is... my husband has long told me to do this more.  He wants us to spend meaningful time soaking it all in.  I'm not sure what that means, maybe more traveling, perhaps less talking, laughing and giving.. I don't know exactly but I'd like to figure it out. 

Finally tonight, I kinda feel like we're hitting one big re-set button.  You know, like when you un-plug your computer and suddenly everything that was a little discombobulated - has magically gotten better.  Yea, that's what we're trying to do.

We're on our way.  No doubt there will be a few detours... January through May in Arizona is always a little nuts.  Plus, I know life happens in the midst of crazy.  And perhaps crazy is part of real life.  I'm okay with that.  I'll just remember to breathe.  

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