Thursday, June 3, 2010

Simplify

My summer starts on June 11th. I am one of those blessed individuals who has two months off after dealing with the puberty filled world that is middle school for ten months. As opposed to having an endless to-do list, which is my usual way, I want to simplify everything I can, enjoy my daughter, my husband, and being pregnant. As opposed to being focused on things to do and things in general, I want to focus on people and my relationships with them as God would want them to be. Plus, though I am a good multi-tasker, I hope to shift into a lower gear this summer and focus on one thing at a time. I want to declutter; I want to not turn on the computer all day; I want to wear no makeup and not dry my hair; I want to have coffee with girlfriends; I want to date my husband; I want to spend all day in the pool with my daughter or sitting in the floor covered in paint as she decorates a canvas; I want to do one thing at a time and savor it. I guess I just made a list, but I think it’s a meaningful one.

There are practical things waiting for me. Weaning and potty training are pending, and though potty training will be a fun adventure, weaning has been ripping at the threads of all of our sanity lately. I am still trying to decide what my employment situation will be when the baby arrives. Technically, we can afford to pay to put two kids in daycare, but that is two-thirds of my salary. That means of my eight hour work day(when it’s only eight hours, which is rare), over five hours would be worked just to pay someone else to spend time with my children. I’m just not sure I can get behind that on principle. That means I will have to start looking into what else I want to pursue and continue to grow the business I am already working on. That will be work, but it definitely has the potential to pay off.

For me I think simplifying is about getting away from our generations belief that you can have and do it all. You can’t, and I don’t want to. I want to be a mom. I want to help provide for my family financially, whether I have to or not, because that’s what I’m used to. I want to be more organized, have good things always going for my family, develop more meaningful relationships with friends, and be a better Christian. I don’t believe I can climb a typical corporate ladder and have the time with my family I need. That’s why I’m no longer in the banking business. I want to live way below my means because I don’t believe in chasing money as a means to happiness. I’ll work hard at whatever I do, but not just for cash. The time it takes to accrue riches is time spent away from people I love. I just want no debt and the ability to give and provide for my children. I want to be organized because the time I spend looking for things is ridiculous and a bad example for my daughter. Blaming it on being right brained is not an excuse anymore. I am right brained, but I’m also sick of starting every sentence with “where is” followed by the missing item of the day.

We are pretty much doing away with our cell phones, and I am looking forward to this more than I ever thought I could. It’s not that I don’t like contact with people, but I hate text messaging. I have also read studies about how many other countries are banning cell phone use in children under a certain age because the effects on brain development aren’t known, and what is known is not great so far. That was enough for me. And I’m ready to deepen the contact I have with the people I’m sitting with face to face. Is it really a bad thing that when my immediate family is out to dinner no one can get a hold of us? I don’t think so. I’m all for technology, but I’m less for having the life I love interrupted anytime because of it.

So, I’m hoping by focusing on the moment and what I want and need to do at the time that I’ll be able to more clearly hear God’s voice. Right now, the voice I usually hear in my head is mine saying, remember to pick up bananas, remember Wren’s first progress teacher conference is this week, remember to get the final exam copied for the students, remember the meeting you have after school, blah, blah, blah. It’s not that these things aren’t important; like I said, I’m just ready to shift into a lower gear.

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