I’ve never been someone who likes a lot of “stuff”. If you look in my closet, you’ll see most of the same clothes and shoes year after year. If I have things I don’t need or don’t use, I try to give them away. I don’t keep two of something just in case I might need it someday. But I still have a lot of work to do. If you look around my house, you’ll see that it’s not as simple and clutter-free as it could be. This is something I plan to focus on over the next year.
I’m trying to teach my kids that having so much stuff doesn’t make you happy. What matters more are friends, family and having a good heart. This time of year tends to give me anxiety because of the focus on gifts. My 5-year old and 3-year old just celebrated birthdays and now Christmas is quickly approaching. That means lots and lots of presents. I try to go with the flow and recognize that some people are just gift-givers. That’s how they show their love and to a certain degree, I need to respect that. But at the same time, it drives me nuts because I feel like it takes away from the lessons I’m trying to teach, and the life I’m trying to create for my family.
To me, living a simple life isn’t just about “stuff”. It’s also about slowing down and appreciating each moment. I’ll admit: I’m terrible at this. I live life at a frantic pace, always preparing for what’s coming next. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time, but still haven’t figured out how to change.
I don’t want to be so distracted (and stressed out) all the time, but my personality doesn’t always help. I want to do everything for everyone, all the time (and do it perfectly, of course.) My kids deserve a mom who works hard to make their lives as wonderful as possible. That sounds nice, but often leads to burnout and seems to take me further and further away from that simple life I’m longing to create.
As the New Year approaches, I’ve started thinking about Resolutions. I’m not a big fan of making life changes just because the calendar turns to January 1st, but since I’ve been thinking about it so much, there’s no time like the present. I don’t want to look back on my life and wish there were things I’d done differently or sooner. In order to become a healthier person, I need to simplify and slow down.
Have you ever felt like your life is too complicated and moving too quickly? Do you ever feel like you’re just racing to catch up? If so, how did you handle it? How did you begin to make changes?
I ask all of these questions because I don’t have the answers. Although I know I’d like a life that is simpler and slower, I’m just not sure what steps I need to take to get there.
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