Friday, February 18, 2011

Simplify - Write It Down

Simplify. It's a whole sentence all by itself. I've been giving it a lot of thought lately. Part of me feels a tad guilty that there is this need to simplify in this season of my life. It is the season of an empty nest - a time I thought would be filled with leisure hours. It hasn't quite worked out that way.

In thinking about simplifying - or more accurately for me, balancing - I have realized that I would have more of those leisure hours if I didn't waste so much time. Hours to use wisely and well.

For example, often I turn on the computer to check email after breakfast. That simple task should take only a few minutes. Seriously, I don't get that much email. In reality, an hour or more later I am still sitting there in my bathrobe having allowed myself to wander over into blogville and FB. The rest of the morning becomes a mad dash to catch up. The sad thing is, I am apt to repeat this performance again in the evening. I plan all sorts of creative pursuits - knitting, writing, reading, any number of things I enjoy doing - and then leave very little time to do them. Feelings of guilt follow me to bed, and I vow to live a more balanced life.

One simple thing that has helped me to find balance n the past, and one I used to do faithfully when there were actual children living here and lots more work to get done, is make lists. I have old notebooks filled with them - a sort of journal of daily life in my home. I stopped writing daily lists when there weren't as many things to do in a given day, and I need to get back into that habit.

For me, writing things down helps me not only do them, but it helps me think things through. When I have procrastinated about doing the necessary little tasks around the house, they begin to weigh on me. I even have dreams about trying desperately to get something done and being frustrated at every turn; simple things like making a phone call (I know I sound absolutely paranoid). In my dream I try over and over again to make the call without success. I wake feeling exhausted.

If I take the time to make a list of those things, they suddenly look quite manageable. As I work my way down the list (without allowing myself to get distracted), it seems to go so quickly. I cross off the last item with a real sense of accomplishment.

That is one step I'm taking toward simplifying my life. I've also gotten away from keeping a journal - letting blogging take its place. I somehow never feel that things are "finished" if I don't write about them. It helps me sort out my thoughts. I am sure that would help me to find the balance I'm looking for to.

So...onward in the journey.

Visit Cheryl's blog if you would like to come along.