Happy New Year and welcome back to some element of normalcy after the holiday season.
Whether you celebrated or not, these past few weeks no doubt have offered a change from the daily routines of the year. It may also have provided a time to reflect on what you have done in the past year and what your hopes and fears are for the year ahead.
Mike and I had an opportunity to spend time with our daughter and son-in-law and the grandchildren, ages 1 and 3 in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. In this small town of horses and buggies, there is one main street, one general store, a library, a pizza parlor, a bank, a stop-light and not much else. Snow squalls, whiteouts, power shortages and stormy weather are regular occurrences here and travel over long distances is the norm. But the area also has a rugged beauty and peace all its own and the delight of the children as they spied some Christmas lights and decorations on the awesome landscape made up for the trials of the weather. Country living may not be for everyone but we can certainly understand why people want to live in a simple and calm environment. All you have to do is travel to Toronto to understand the difference in lifestyles. Simplicity is very inviting.
One of the easiest things we can do to make our lives easier is to simplify. This not only relates to reducing clutter, but also things, people, emotions and behaviors that are not adding value. We tend to forget that fixating on the past, not letting ourselves grow, encumbering our mind with too many ideas and creating too many choices also makes our lives difficult. We need more time and space to make decisions more quickly.
Take a good look at your life. Make a list of everything you would like to simplify.
Start with your environment because when it is neat and tidy and not overwhelming, then your ideas to reduce the clutter in the other areas of your life will flow more freely. If you haven’t worn it, watered it, talked to it, read it, looked at it, made love to it, used it in a year, get rid of it…or pass it on to others. Then move on to people, determining what role they play in your life and if it is a positive or negative experience. Take steps to rectify the situation. Since your emotions and behaviours determine your reactions to both your environment and your relationships, once they are simplified you can move on to those feelings and set a plan to deal with them.
What, to you, is the most difficult area of your life to simplify and why?