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Looking for Simple Life in 2015

Simple Life 2015
My 2015 want-to’s…

I have been dreaming of a smaller house and a smaller car. Wanting to “thin out” my closet, my kitchen, and my whole house. Stirring for more ‘want-to’s’ in my life, and less ‘have-to’s.’ I have a yearning to throw a lasso around everything, and corral it into a smaller, simple life.

I think a psychoanalyst would say these are signs my life is getting too big, too out of control. And that’s probably a fair assessment.

Although many New Year’s articles will talk about eating healthier, losing weight, spending more time with family, and many other personal improvements—I am not going that route this year. Truth be told, I am facing a hectic, cluttered life—both personally and professionally. I need to trim it and tone it down.

My resolutions, or my want-to’s, are strong, but turning them into new habits–a simple life– is daunting. It means something has to give. Or be re-tuned.

My yearning for simplicity has been growing and strengthening all year. As I mentioned above, I am now, literally dreaming, and fantasizing about it. What would my life be like if there was no Facebook or Twitter to update? If my kids were home every night for dinner? If I de-cluttered my kitchen counter every night before bed? If I exercised almost every day? If I streamlined my work to stop at a certain time every day?

I want many things that I don’t have.

I want to cook more. The truth is my family isn’t around to eat it together. My kids are playing sports, involved in theater, or working during the dinner hour. And that makes me a frustrated, and sometimes sad, cook. I miss those days of simpler schedules and a guaranteed family meal.

I want to exercise more. Time is my obstacle. Yes, I can get up earlier, schedule it on my calendar, and all the other things experts say work. The truth is, my job of writing is undoubtedly a sit-down job, and my career married with my large family often pushes exercise to the back burner. My struggle has always been how do I get it all done? I want to find a way to resurrect the athlete in me.

I want to spend more time having fun. The kind of fun that involves friends, activity and laughter, like playing more golf, being part of a book club, and entertaining. Yes, work is fun—I personally feel work is not worth doing if it’s not fun, so I try to make it fun. But it’s not the same fun as school girl giggly fun. That’s what I want more of.

Not unlike many of you, my life is complicated. And busy. And big.

For a long time I have enjoyed this “hectic-ness.” I have welcomed and relished the comings and goings of kids in my house. Our crazy day-to-day schedules. The unpredictable twists and last minute changes throwing off the daily plan. Exciting, brand new business opportunities landing on my desk. The thrill of getting a long list of personal tasks and professional deadlines crossed off the list. My mantras have been “Yes, I can do that.” and “Pile it on.”

I have thrived on a crazy, big, demanding life.

But this fast, complicated life brings stress, fatigue, and many sacrifices.

While I want to simplify my life, especially my work life, I am steering away from more personal sacrifices. Taking a birds-eye view, I realize that many of the sacrifices I have made over the years have been personal ones.

I don’t want to sacrifice the athlete in me anymore.

I don’t want to skip out on adventurous cooking, or entertaining friends, or playing golf in a league, or any other social activity because I have a work deadline. I don’t want to miss a trip because I have “too much work.”

Bottom line: I don’t want to sacrifice my ‘want-to’s’ for my ‘have-to’s’ anymore.

I am looking for simple. I can feel it from my tippy-toes to my brain, and all the bones in between.

It’s time for a shift to simplicity. What that will look like, I am not sure.

But this I know–It’s my new ‘have-to.’

What are you focusing on in the New Year?

 

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  1. This is my “resolution” exactly. I’m tired of running on the hamster wheel all the time, tired of never having time for friends, tired of being too tired to watch a movie with my husband after the kiddo goes to bed, tired of working all day for what feels like nothing. I am craving simplicity in a way that I can hardly put in to words. My goal for the year is to purge and declutter my whole house (well, at least my stuff and maybe a little of my kiddo’s…my husband is a project in itself) :p So, my goal; read the books that haven’t been read, scan the pictures that sit in a box, read and recycle the 4 year old magazines in the corner, use the recipes that have been saved and never tried, donate the clothes that hang around “just in case”, spend more time outdoors and less time in front of the screen and focus more on myself (not in a selfish way). Just discovered this blog and this is the very first post I’ve read!

    1. Welcome, welcome!! Yes, I feel your pain! Too tired to have fun is NOT the way to live LIFE! I hope the year is off to a good start and you’ll be back here looking for inspiration!! 🙂

  2. Hi Jill,
    I love your post– it really sums up how I’ve been feeling and want to make simplifying a theme for my 2015. Would love to hear more about how you accomplish this and any suggestions to help get started. Thanks!!
    Betsy

    1. Betsy

      I will update periodically–the first thing i did was make a list of what i have to do, and what i want to do. then i have that posted so it reminds me. i have also promised myself not to take on anything new for awhile…:) hope that works!

  3. Hi Jill, i can really relate! I took 12 months off my job starting in September. I had a light bulb moment where I realised my kids (3&5) are at the stage where they actually enjoy spending time with me and I was missing out – mostly because I was working long hours but even when I was with them I wasn’t really present because I was worrying about work, or trying to get them to leave me love so I could do more work! This was the motivator for me, but once I made the decision all those other things cane into play – I was tired of being too tired to cook or not around to cook, of having no time to exercise, if not having any time where I could catchup with friends. The personal cost was feeling too great. I’m lucky that we have the option for me to take time out., but do far its great. I have found it very hard to slow down and be in the moment – I am so used to squeezing every last minute to get my to do list done. But the whole family now feels less stressed. Good luck to you in simplifying!

    1. Jess

      When my kids were young i didn’t work at all. then i went back to work and work all the time. now i am trying to fall somewhere in between and it’s really hard! i do better with an “all or none” type of life–it’s the trying to be both full-time mom and full-time career person that is the hardest for me! good luck!!

  4. these words could have come from me. thank you for articulating what I’m feeling and thinking. Happy New Year!