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I chose my word for 2016 after a great deal of thought. But, in the end it was an easy decision. There is nothing I want more this year than to simplify.
But first, I need to understand the now: what the issues are, what’s driving them.
I need to work out what I need, what I want; and why.
I need to find somewhere to start.
I need a plan.
Life with three kids is inherently complicated. However it would be unfair, and wrong, of me to expect them to give up activities in order to simplify my life!
Rather, I need to get better at organising and coordinating. I need to prioritise more effectively, to accept help and to learn to say no (without the guilt).
None of us need to be entertained at all times. We all need down time. It can be tempting to overbook yourself. It can be even more tempting to overbook your kids.
I’ve always believed that kids don’t need to be doing an activity everyday. But, looking around me, I often feel that I am somewhat alone in that.
I’ve stuck to my guns, but even so our weeks are full of sports, activities and play dates, not to mention the homework and projects.
Added to that, I have a tendency to want to do everything, all at once.
Rather than doing one or two things well, I’m doing a lot of things quite badly. This has to change, for my own sanity if nothing else.
Stress arises from me trying to do too much, not from living life with three children.
I am a hoarder and I hate clutter.
Yes, I realise that those two statements are mutually exclusive! And, they are probably the biggest cause of stress in my life.
This will be the greatest challenge to my time this year, I find the thought of it overwhelming. I also know that it is not simply a question of getting rid of stuff, but of a change in mind set. I must rid myself of all baggage.
If I’m to end the year in a happier, calmer place I must get on top of the stuff cluttering up my house, and my mind.
Clear clutter. Make space for you. Magdalena Vandenberg
The last few months have seen me reduce the amount of time I spend blogging. A lot. But, even though there have been times when I’ve thought why on earth am I still doing this? I know I do this because it is my space, my outlet; it has saved my sanity and given me purpose.
I would be lost without it.
Having said that, if I’m to get on top of my external (and internal) clutter, I must keep tight control over my time spent elsewhere.
The blog will have to take second place for a little while.
So, February will see me continue with The Prompt, some photography projects and a few other scheduled posts.
I think perhaps the blog needs simplifying too, and I need time to think that through.
Ultimately, a physical and mental declutter will give me the space I need to develop new ideas.
So, the plan? I need a plan!
I’m going to break things down, month by month. It’s all too overwhelming otherwise. So, the plan for February is:
Get the coloured pens and stickers out and get the family calendar sorted. No more forgotten appointments or last minute panics. No more double booking. Instead, more play dates, more written in pen family activities, as well as more defined blank spaces for spontaneous adventures!
Clothes! I have a huge pile of kids clothes sitting in the corner of my bedroom. By the end of the month they will have been sorted into keep, gift and recycle piles (and stored, given away or recycled!). In their place will be a reading corner. Just for me.
Another blog break is called for on this front, from linkys in particular. The biggest time-suck ever (apart from Facebook). Don’t get me wrong, I love joining in with linkys, they are one of my favourite parts of blogging, but the commenting takes up so much time. Time that I simply don’t have if I’m to make a proper start on simplifying other areas of my life. February will be about focusing on developing ideas, not publishing (and publicising) blog posts.
This year of simplifying is all about clearing space for me and my family. Physically and metaphorically.
Better organisation, less stuff, more time.