The beginning of this year was a challenge to the simple mantra, I'm not going to lie. I've spent much of the last several months feeling displaced in many areas of life, such as politically, spiritually, and in a sense in community because I like being a hermit and want to run at signs of conflict, and I don't know if you've popped your head outside the door or logged onto a social media account lately, but conflict abounds. Plus, I am an anomaly whose views do not fit in any one group, a mutt of sorts, so I've watched people take up pitch forks and just waited to see which direction they were going to hit me from.
This is how I walked into my year of simple.
What I have tried to do this month is to boil life down to what I want to accomplish and how I get there cutting out all of the BS along the way. Try this if you want a sure fire way to see how full your life is of BS.
Here's what has helped me make my way back to the simple this month:
Uno: Yep, the kids' card game has done wonders for simple in this house. Everyone feeling cranky and stressed? Uno. Everyone leaning too much on junk food and technology? Uno. Too cold to go outside without your six year-old suffering frost bit because he won't wear pants? Uno.
Kodaline's Album, In a Perfect World: Music centers me, and one of the things that scares me most about losing my hearing is losing my memories. They are tied up in song and the sounds of people laughing.
This album is beautiful and haunting and never fails to help me center and release tension.
Picnics: These are not elaborate picnics with an actual basket and a trek to the woods. We picnic in the backyard. We picnic in the living room. It's a great way to fellowship together that feels exotic because we don't do it every day.
Coffee: Do I really need to explain this?
Story Time: I recommend the following books for stellar story time: The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home, Naked (it's a children's book, I promise), and Leo, the Terrible Monster. They reset us every time.
Writing: Writing is a great way for me to avoid therapy.
Actions Over Words: I am opting for actions over words, which isn't to say I won't use words, but they will be in putting out there what I think is important and not arguing with people who don't agree. I'm not going to try to convince other people, but I am going to protest. My kids already know how to call their representatives, so I'm teaching action as well as practicing it.
Prayer: If I love someone, I pray for them. If I don't, I begrudgingly throw their name out there and let God deal with me. It works either way, and it never fails to calm me and give me purpose.
Simple is not easy, but I think it's going to be worth it.