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.



  1. good idea about the list.
    i read a twitter the other day where a fellow said
    he was dividing the day into half hours.
    i am guessing that every half hour he stops to see what
    he is going to do next or something.
    i thought that was an interesting idea.

  2. Linda, I so understand how busy the empty nest season of life can be. I also find myself spending hours online with social media. I love the "lists" and use them daily. I get a little thrill out of drawing a line through each item I finish. It's the simple things like you mentioned that I enjoy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

  3. For some reason, lists don't help me, maybe because I ignore them. But I too have dreams about stuff I haven't done. I'm working on coming up with something to help me with my procrastination. I enjoyed this--I'm glad lists work for you.

  4. Linda,
    I'm just now visiting all of the blogs from the link-up at Cheryl's, and I'm so happy I stopped by.

    I am a list girl too. I think it's because I'm such a visual person. If I can see it written down, the chances are much better that I will actually accomplish it.

    I like what you said about being surprised that you had to simplify at this stage in your life. I always am thinking in fast forward. When my kids aren't babies, when I don't work, when I just finish that project. . .I always think I will have more time after each of the above are completed, but for me, it just doesn't work that way!

  5. This is so amazing, Linda! I just decided yesterday to start making a daily list! This is a confirmation!