Although this story starts long before November 2013, that is where I will start.
In November 2013 after a heartbreaking journey of infertility my husband and I welcomed our sweet baby Ezekiel into the world.
If you have children then you know that your world completely changes. No matter what experience you’ve had with parenthood, be it easy, hard, heartbreaking, world crashing, or a mixture of it all, the fact of the matter is that you are never the same. I suppose that’s the same of most things in life, we’re always journeying forward and even if we wanted to revisit the past, we only have the future to look forward to and with the journey change always happens.
Leading up to my sons birth I had grand plans for my maternity leave. I had lists upon lists of things I wanted to accomplish, I imagined my year being a year of accomplishments. I had projects lined up, grand plans of painting the house, hanging pictures on every wall, getting the yard up to snuff, refurbishing many items of furniture, organizing all our paperwork, baking every day, having a hot meal prepared at the end of every day, and in the midst of that I was also going to be a social butterfly, going for coffee and tea at least 4x/week. I was determined that my house would be perfect, and that my baby would just go along with it.
Can you tell I’m a typical Type-A personality? I found this article and it’s pretty spot on for me – even the not so great parts…
Right from the get go I was determined that my year was going to work out as planned. I cleaned my house 11 days after having a c-section – seriously I needed to just relax, but couldn’t!
As the year has progressed I have found that it has turned out far different than I had imagined and it’s been perfect for me.
The first 6 months I ended up being focused on health and nutrition. I lost a significant amount of weight and I suppose that was a a big part of my subsequent desire to simplify my life. My diet now consisted of 90% fresh food as close to it’s natural state as possible. Those 6 months I was still determined to get my lists done, but I was making lists on top of those lists (I doubt I’ll ever stop list making). As I studied my lists I realized that most of what was on them was “make work” projects, simply because I had the material. For example, I wanted to make a quilt, as well as scrapbook the hundreds possibly thousands of pictures I have but only because I had the scrapbook material, and the quilting material. The kicker of it all was that as I thought about doing those things I didn’t get any enjoyment out of the thought, in fact I dreaded it.
Eventually I realized that all these things I had in my house were cluttering my mind and my life. The were deterring me from enjoying my days with my son. When Ezekiel would go down for a nap I would quickly get started on a project, but then he would wake up in the middle of my task and I would be frustrated, and that frustration overshadowed my whole day. It didn’t take me long to figure this out, so then I just put all the projects on hold, but the “things” were still nagging me because they were staring at me every day, every where I went in my house. So I decided that it was time to get rid of my junk.
I had a garage sale, I sold virtually all of my crafting materials, all of my books (except about 20, a mixture of sentimental books, bibles, and textbooks that are still useful for my career) and my entire wardrobe that was too big. The freedom that came from this act alone was unbelievable! I literally felt like a huge weight had come off my shoulder and I had the peace of mind to just be “present” in the moments. I could enjoy the day with my son, I could sit and play with him on the floor for an hour without thinking about what I could be doing instead. I could use his nap times as my chore times but easily switch mindsets when he woke up. His awake time was now his time and not a burden or inconvenience into my own time. This switch in mindset was so evident with Ezekiel as well. He’s far less impatient with me, he’s confident to play on his own for long periods of time as I sit and sip some coffee on the couch, simply because he knows that I’m not distracted. I’m not anxiously waiting for the next moment I can tackle my to-do list. I truly have found joy in living simply, and it’s changed me deeply.
Simplicity is now my mantra.
Do I still have to do lists? Yes, absolutely
Do I still have projects I want to do? Yep
But the lists and projects have taken the back burner, and I’m approaching them at a much slower pace, knowing that they will get done eventually.
There are so many areas that I still need to simplify. There is so much more to learn, and so much I want to write about. This blog will be my platform to share how I’m living simply, and how it’s changing me.
Please join me, give me some encouragement and advice. I hope that as I write you are able to glean little bits of wisdom here and there.