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.



Blessings,
Linda

5 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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!

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

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