Friday, August 27, 2010

The Simple Life

     I'm in a space right now where I'm trying to figure out who I am, what I'm doing, and what I want. I wouldn't call it a mid-life crisis; it's more of a mid-point check in. Until recently I've been running at top speed going and doing, but never pausing to think about being. With the best intentions, I gave of myself to the point of being on auto-pilot and no longer having a voice. A complete crash and burn, hysterical freak-out woke me up and helped me to articulate that this was not working and that immediate changes were necessary.
     Over the past few months, I've been working on saying "no", asking for help (rather than being the control freak who has to manage everything perfectly), and using my voice to say what needs to be said, including "Be quiet, I'm speaking here. I will give you a chance but first hear me out." In doing this, I have started to find time and space to reflect and think about what I want, what my priorities are, and what needs to be let go. The more I do this, I realize that simplicity is key in this complicated, high-speed world.
     Pretty ironic, coming from me, the Queen of Complicated. Not to be confused with 'high maintenance', which refers to behaviours, my complications stem from conditions and situations that either pre-exist or have been created by myself or others when I've allowed them. Complications in pregnancies, complicated family situations, complicated workplace dynamics, complicated religious backgrounds, complicated schedules, complicated renovations, recipes, and arrangements. Ask me a question that anyone else would respond to with a straight answer, and I'll always start my commentary with, "Well, there's a bit of a story..."
     Because all this can be quite exhausting, it has become important, no, necessary, for me to start simplifying the heck out of everything else in my life. Aside from decluttering and organizing our home, slowing down, observing, and savouring the immediate moment are things I'm learning to do and enjoy. For example, I took a vacation day from work today for some "me time". I read a book while drinking coffee in the sunshine, savoured an al-fresco lunch of flavourful of farm-fresh egg omelette and tomatoes, and spent some time admiring my tidy house courtesy of our house-cleaner.
     I do recognize there is a price tag attached to all of these - time away from work, the 2 kids in daycare (my guilt eliminated by the eldest asking to go there today, and knowing me-time is important because if Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy), and the financial cost of someone else cleaning the house. But it's worth it, and for me, necessary. Things are less complicated this way and I am a believer in spending more on experiences than I spend on things. Not to say money buys happiness - I know a very wealthy individual who, in the pursuit of happiness, finds joy in destroying others' self esteem. The core of what I'm getting at is pausing to be present in the moment, breathe deeply, and have gratitude for the people, experiences, and good things like health, in one's life.
     In my search for simplicity, I write more, I think more, I listen to music and stare out the window a lot, enjoying "our garden across the road" in my neighbours' yard, and I find in this I am starting to figure things out. The dots are starting to connect and while I don't have a plan, I am starting to have an inkling of what I enjoy, what's going on my bucket list, and what I might want to try doing. A cup of tea, the cat curled in the sun, trees rustling, these are priceless, simple things. An uncomplicated situation - I couldn't ask for anything more, and in this, I am content.


  1. You go, girl! I've got this bookmarked (and you should, too) - to connect with anytime the whirlwind gets going and it is time to remember to pause!! xo

  2. Have you heard of Louise Lebrun and the Wel-Systems? It sure sounds like you took one of her courses. I totally agree with what you are saying... guess that's why I live my life the way I do; for the moment and not for tomorrow.