One of the many blogs that I have enjoyed following is Ali Edwards (check her out here). One of her post this week talked about picking one little word to focus on for the New Year with the challenge being finding ways to incorporate that word into your everyday life. After reading her post a word immediately popped to mind – simplicity
• The state, quality, or an instance of being simple
• Freedom from complexity
• Absence of luxury, pretentiousness
• Freedom from deceit or guile; sincerity
• Absence of complication
Synonyms: ease, effortlessness, minimalism, unfussiness, straightforwardness; candor; openness; modesty; integrity
For me 2010 is about going back to the basics, going back to a time when things were less complicated. Over the Christmas holiday I received word that my sister’s godfather had passed. I was devastated by the news as his death was unexpected. As I was sharing the news of my loss with a friend, I started to tell her stories about my childhood memories of him and the nickname of “Mean Mary Jean” that he had given me when I was a little girl; suddenly I was flooded with good memories of days past when life for me was just simple.
Through the course of the week I found myself reflecting on days when you knew your neighbors name, when the adults in the neighborhood knew every kid on the block and always watched out for them as if they were their own.
A time when there were no computers, emails, IM, Blackberry, cell phones, Facebook, and Twitter used to communicate with friends/family. No during those days you either had to go visit them, call them on the phone or actually write a letter.
There were no X-box, Wii, or Playstation to entertain us; we had board games, kick ball, tag, hopscotch, Barbie dolls and riding bikes. Back to a time when adolescent obesity was not an epidemic because children were outside running, jumping, riding bikes and just playing all day long.
A time where cartoons only came on Saturday mornings and then after that you were outside playing with your friends; there was no such thing as staying inside and watching TV all day long. Going back to a time where there were no DVR’s, TiVo, and On Demand to entertain you all day.
When you could actually listen to the radio and hear music that was suitable for all ages.
A time of simplicity.
What happened? How did things get so complicated?
My goal for this year is to focus on the simple things in life – spending quality time with my family, playing board games together, going for a walk, bike riding, flying kites, and having picnics in the park or better yet in our back yard. I want to focus on spending more time at the table talking and less time in front of the television. Spending less time texting and emailing friends and family and more time visiting them, talking to them on the phone and maybe even write a letter or two.
2010 is also about living a simplistic life. It’s not about having the most stuff, but surrounding myself with items that serve a purpose, items that are functional and practical. It’s also about getting healthy – going back to the basics, fruits, vegetables and whole grains; staying away from fast foods and processed foods.
This year is about removing those things and people that make my life difficult/complex and surrounding myself with those people/things that bring me happiness and joy.
It’s about looking at life from the stand point of the glass being half full…