Simple is good. As I began to go through the transition of retiring from a career I’ve known for the last 38 years to beginning something new, it has given me a chance to evaluate my life in many ways. One thing I have come to realize is that life can get very complex. And, the complexity leads to stress and busyness, which in most cases impacts our mental and physical health as well as our relationships.
In many ways we view stress and busyness as a sign of success. Not that I haven’t known that for a while, but I’ve just never done anything about it. So, as I go through my transition and have a chance to reinvent myself. I am going to take a very close look at this and explore (and experiment) solutions to simplify. I invite you to do the same if you feel your life needs to be simplified too.
Here are ways my life had gotten extremely complicated:
- I overcommitted which caused stress because I didn’t have time to do everything, or take enough time off to rest and recreate (and felt guilty when I did).
- I was on information overload, I tried to keep up with too much information.
- I was on digital overload trying to keep up with emails, news feeds, and every social media outlet.
- I had too much stuff, which meant I needed to work very hard to pay for and maintain all of the stuff.
- I could go on, but I will spare you.
I started out by saying “simple is good.” So how does a person go from a complicated to a simple life. Needless to say, it is different for everyone. Since simple living means something different to every person so I’ll share what it means to me. To me, it is eliminating all but the essentials and finding ways to navigate through the noise and chaos of life so I can focus on what’s truly important. I’m not there yet, but I am getting better everyday.
Life is like gardening. It needs attention to be healthy and display its full beauty. The weeds must be removed, and you must fertilize and water regularly. If it does not get enough sun or water, then it doesn’t turn out very well; too much sun or water, and it doesn’t turn out very well either. There must be balance. Bushes must be trimmed annually to look good and the dead limbs must be removed. Do you see the similarities?
Like me, if you believe simple is good, where will you begin to eliminate and trim to find balance? In the weeks to come I will share my thoughts and experiences simplifying my life. In the meantime, make a list of what needs to be trimmed in your garden and start filling the trash bags.
(A website I would recommend on the topic is No Sidebar.)