Simplify Sunday- A More Streamlined Life

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” Lin Yutang 

I was going through an old book where I have written down quotes over the years that have touched me. A friend wanted some quotes, so naturally I flipped through my book. I selfishly kept this one for myself, and for you.

As much as I am a doer, someone who must accomplish and be on top of everything, someone who will never forget your birthday… I am also a firm believer in keeping life simple and trying to let things go.

Don’t misunderstand- I often SUCK at letting things go. However, I have made a large effort over the last year or so to do just that. Love and let live. Say no more to things that I just don’t want to do. Stop creating ridiculous tasks for myself that just don’t need to be done. I do still have a running to do list, but I don’t force myself to not relax until everything is done. Sometimes (okay, often) I just sit at home and enjoy the company of my Shibas.

A critical part of my success is minimalism. I have never been able to relax in a messy environment. I’m sure anyone who is into minimalism already knows about Marie Kondo’s book, the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In the spirit of minimalism, I put it on hold at the library (I almost never buy books. I read very quickly, and just don’t like having things sitting around that I no longer need. I always end up donating them, so I try to not waste my money.) and waited for a few months. This week, it was my turn and I was excited to pick it up. I haven’t finished it yet. I got too excited about going through stuff, and went and did that instead!

Really, her philosophy is very similar to what mine has been for a while- get rid of as much as possible. You don’t need it, you won’t miss it. If it doesn’t give you pleasure, get rid of it. In the YEARS I have been doing this, I know there have been one or two things I have missed, but I literally cannot think of what they have been.

I consider my “things” to be pretty parred down. Still, I regularly go through them and almost always have a bag in my closet where I place things to be donated. This time, I filled six bags. Four will go to Teen Challenge and two will go to a women’s shelter. I noticed I was getting rid of several pieces of warm clothing and a blanket. Honestly, I’m lazy, but my conscience won’t let me out of making that extra stop in the dead of winter. It makes me sad to think of others being cold and wet. So, there were a few items that I was on the fence about getting rid of; but once I realized I would be making the trip to to shelter it was easy. I may get pleasure from looking at this scarf, but I have worn it once. It can make someone else warm, so let’s get rid of it! This post on reallifeofanmsw.com inspired me to try to make better use of the things that I’m donating.

I want to live in a cozy, peaceful environment, and for me I can do that best with no clutter. Then I can cuddle my dogs and be happy with all of the warmth and love in my life.

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- Love and Happiness

jillian and mkThis is me and my love, MK 🙂 We showed up at a party in almost the same dress, but we love each other so much that we thought it was fantastic instead of embarrassing.

Today I’m going to write about a different part of My 35 Project than I usually do on Sundays. Part of what I’ve wanted to do this year is be more intentional about relationships. I am an odd person because if I had to choose, I would say I am extroverted. Maybe I should take a poll and see what those around me say, but I am not afraid to talk to strangers, I tend to be loud in inappropriate situations, and I feed off of the energy of groups of people.

All that aside, I like to stay home and snuggle my dogs. I do make an effort to stay in touch with the people I love, but I’m bad at making plans and sometimes I get anxious when I think about going out in public. I make plans that I really look forward to, and then when the day comes I get anxious. I’m just kind of nuts.

I made goals to see a friend once a week, and to send something in the mail once a week. The mail has been easy and fun. I love writing a letter or card, it makes me so happy. I hope that it makes the person receiving it happy too! The in person visits I am 5/7. I don’t know why I can’t pull it together. Every time I make time to see a friend, I feel so rejuvenated and so much happier to be alive. That may sound extreme, but it’s true. I love to connect with other people, catch up, share a snack, whatever.

To me, that’s what it’s all about. Getting to know other people, finding true friends and love ❤ I guess everything is about priorities in this world, but it frustrated me that I have to constantly revisit mine (just to figure out what I’ve always known). I want to spend my time doing the simple things in life that make me happy- spending time with people I love, exercise, food, sleep… back to the basics!

Jillian