I’m a sucker for click bait. So when I saw the article, “7 ways to make life simpler,” I knew I was a goner. The timing is especially fitting considering the overly busy last two weeks I’ve had.
There has been too much on my plate and the to-do list is truly not getting any better. I mean, the work to-do list is going fine because I am at work eight hours every day. But the home/personal list? I can usually knock off a few things every week, but J and I are in such a hole of daily survival that nothing else is getting done. So I’ve nearly entered “Throw your hands up and screw it. Screw it all!” mode. But I’m a Martha, chained to the never-ending to-do list, so you know that’s only a realistic reaction for exactly 4 hours at which point reality sinks back in and the person God created me to be HAS to get back to finding supplies for the school auction project.
So of course I suckered for the article about making life simpler. Here’s what I learned:
I’ve already eliminated a crap ton of stuff by choosing to not feel guilty over saying “no.” Easier said than done, right? But I’ve hit such an extreme wall of overcommitment, that it’s been fairly easily to respond: “Thanks for thinking of me, but I can’t add this to my plate right now,” to several recent requests. And I’m eliminating a couple more responsibilities in the next two months.
My house is freakin’ clean. We have little clutter. It’s the downside and bonus of being a Martha. And OCD (not really, but close).
“Schedule one distraction-free time block every day.”
Alright, touche, blogger. I am so not doing this right now. I try to start yoga by 8:30 or 9:00pm, otherwise it probably won’t happen. I get up 2 hours before our family has to leave for the day, but apparently I should get up earlier. (Which won’t happen. I need at least 7 hours of sleep a night. 8 is ideal. I read somewhere that the most successful people in the world get a good night’s sleep. I need mine and a shower so I feel like a human again.)
“Accept. Appreciate. Be grateful.”
I know people who are like this. I am not necessarily bad at this, but I definitely am not good at this. I’m a whiner. And I’m judgy. Saying you don’t judge others is like saying you don’t sin. We’re human. We do it. It’s just about curbing the amount of it you do. And obviously, I need to have a judgment check-in. Daily. Well…maybe at every meal. That’s a bit more…honest.
So if I’m implementing half of these strategies, how do I really make life simpler? How do I relax?
Rather than living simpler, here are my tips to living life less high-strung:
Alright, I know, that’s not a very productive answer.
Or is it?
At any rate, it’s always the first thing that comes to mind. Ok, I’ll be less naughty…let’s start over…
Number 1: Breathe deeply.
When I am feeling like too much is coming at me, taking a few deep breaths does help a lot. It not only helps get oxygen to my brain, but it also provides me a few seconds of perspective to recognize I’m alive – and this project is not so terrible. Fresh oxygen to the brain always helps. Am I right?
Nothing gives me perspective better than my two-year-old diving into a home dance party with me. We work out our wiggles, throw in some giggles, and I recognize his total innocence in his perspective of this world. Being reminded of the simplicity of life gives me a break from the pressure I put on myself. And that’s good for me – physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Number 3: Connect with God.
I struggle to pray – either formal or via conversation. But I do find that when I sit with my thoughts, I sometimes get ANSWERS that I know don’t come from my own mind. They are God talking to me via thoughts. And that’s pretty cool. It’s my way of praying.
Living life high-strung is not a place I enjoy being. So here’s to more praying, dancing, breathing, and drinking. (Lord…am I a country song, or what?) And likely more instances of feeling high strung. But you’ve gotta start somewhere, and today I’m choosing to make life simpler. Wish me luck for tomorrow.