this week i learned that doing something little for someone little brings big smiles all around. i felt that a birthday where my husband doesn't buy me any big present but gives me the gift of a day of his time touches me beyond words. i learned that a little girl's evening can absolutely be made by homemade popsicles. i learned that spending an saturday with my love, working together to can cherries makes love grow. i learned that worrying less about what is being worn and more about having fun is worth it. i learned that soaking up those quiet moments that will seems like they are gone in a blink are like gathering gold.
a few days ago i turned thirty-two. the meaningful and memorable thought: that it really is the simple things that mean the most. so simplify everything you can. my love sent me this a few days before my birthday and on our date tonight we talked about it and took it to heart. a few goals for my thirty-second year.
S I M P L I F Y .
‘In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.’ (Henry David Thoreau)
Here are a few ways:
- Block off some disconnected time. The Internet is amazing, but always being connected means you’re always pulled in a thousand directions at once. It’s hard to focus, hard to connect with others, hard to get out into nature and be active. So schedule some time every day for disconnection: maybe a block in the morning where you get your best work done, and a block in the afternoon when you get out and active, or connect with friends or family.
- Start eliminating commitments. List your commitments, and pick one to eliminate today. It’s a simple matter of making a call or sending an email explaining that you can’t do the commitment. Trust me, they’ll find a way to live without you. You’ll start to free up time for what’s more important to you.
- Start purging possessions. Every day, find 5 things to donate or give to friends. Or clear an entire shelf or countertop, leaving only the things you actually use, getting rid of the rest. Slowly your possessions will be simplified to just the essentials.
- Ban shopping for 30 days. You can do this. Don’t buy anything except the essentials (food, toiletries, basic supplies). If you think you really need it, put it on a list to be evaluated after the 30 days.
- Wash your bowl. When you’re done eating, mindfully wash your bowl. When you’re done with anything, get in the habit of pausing before moving onto the next thing, and cleaning up after yourself. Put your food away. Put your clothes where they belong. Put your keys in one spot. Clean the sink before you leave it. This simple habit will keep you mindful while saving you lots of cleanup later.
- Schedule time for what’s important. What’s most important to you? Your spouse or kids? Creating? Reading novels? Cooking, gardening, crafts, carpentry? Make the time for it.
- Get outdoors once a day. Too often we are stuck at a desk or on the couch. Get outside, take a walk, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Go for a hike or a run with a friend. Play some sports. Run around and play tag with your kids. These simple activities will change your life.
- Eat some plants. Learn some simple recipes that incorporate super healthy foods you might not be eating: kale, spinach, broccoli, quinoa, berries, flaxseeds, lentils, avocados, black beans, squash, raw almonds and walnuts, garlic, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon. These simple plants will make you strong like oxen.
- Drink tea. Green tea brewed from relatively fresh whole tea leaves is calming, healthy, and wonderful. A daily tea ritual keeps you grounded and mindful.