Saturday, January 24, 2009

Simplifying again

I don't know how it happens, but somehow around the middle of the academic year, my life always ends up full of junk. Some of it is physical junk (piles and piles on my desk, stuff on every shelf of my closet), some of it is time commitment "junk" (I've had to be somewhere every night this week), and some of it is psychological junk (worries, anxieties, anger). No matter how clearly I try to set goals, priorities, and expectations, I never seem to make progress because I am always putting out fires. Even when I have a moment to myself, I just feel so overwhelmed that all I want to do is crash and vegetate. I can't see through all the junk.

I remember in my last life, in my last move, I only worked part time and we lived on almost no money. I baked bread, we never went out to eat, our furniture was all from Kmart and Ikea (okay, so most of it still is). There were a lot of things that I didn't like: I didn't really have any friends, I wasn't putting away any extra money. But there was a lot about it that I remember fondly. There was quiet in my life . I went to the library, and read actual books for pleasure. I had time to write, to walk, to breathe.

I don't think that that's a life I can really completely get back to, and in a way I probably wouldn't want to. But I do want to clear out some of the junk that is between me and some kind of peace. I want to stop the flow of stuff into my life, even if I can't get rid of some of the stuff I have. I need to find ways to carve out moments of peace for myself.

I don't want to set any more goals or requirements for myself because, in the end, I think that will just bring me even less peace. What I do want to do is give myself permission to say no, and to accept that sometimes I am going to have to or want to say yes and not to beat myself up about that either. I want to use the things I have (lotions, candles), give away some of the things I don't want, and let go of some of the things I do that don't add significantly to my life.



I relate to this. Thanks for saying it for me. Ellouise

Garret Gillespie said...

Some time ago my wife and I read that just because someone throws you the ball, it doesn't mean you have to catch it. In our latest adventure, our new job and relocation, we've found that to be a big help. sometimes we just want to be peaceful. Sometimes that has meant getting out of our little rental and out to see the area we're living, and sometimes it just means walking away from the computer and being quiet. Thanks for the post, it's nice to know we're not alone.