Family Magazine

Simplifying Life

By Mischieviousmum

There is a lot of talk in my group of friends about how busy our lives are.   We all have kids, a couple of mums work full time,  some work part time, some are stay at home parents, some are single mums and a few of us are married, and none of us feel as though we have enough time in the day to do anything for ourselves.   We feel rushed and reactive rather than relaxed and responsive, and I think we are the ones who will pay for the lifestyle we live now, long term.

We have to learn how to slow down and enjoy the journey.  Smell the roses.  Spend the time we want with our children and husbands in the way that we imagined our lives would look years ago.   We need to let go of disappointment and toxic people, and simplify our lives so that we can enjoy our lives.

How does one simplify their life?

  1.  Declutter.
    Lets face it.  We probably don’t need half the stuff we have in our homes.  Keep those things that are sentimental, and those things that are important but get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months – 12 months.    Don’t forget to look under the bed!
  2. Plan an hour each week for ‘Power Hour’.
    Gretchen Rubin in her book ‘Better than Before’ says that this hour is for those jobs you hate doing. It might be BAS statements, tax, cleaning shoes/windows/blinds…the shower etc.   It’s one hour every week that you schedule into your routine to cross off those jobs that you don’t like.  Before your hour power comes around, know exactly the next task you want to cross of the list.

  3. Schedule catch ups with friends on a regular basis.
    Some friends like to catch up for dinner once a week, or every Saturday they might meet for breakfast. Some like to catch up fortnightly or even monthly, but its important to make friendship a priority.   Catching up with friends reinvigorates your soul.

  4.  Schedule fun with your family in the calendar.
    Marking the calendar ahead of time with events gives you a chance to look forward to events coming up.   If its something you really want to do….make sure the event becomes a priority.

  5.  Schedule everyone in the household on housework tasks.

Add sub-Train up a child in the way that he-she should go, and when he-she is older he-she will not depart from it.- Proverbs 22

Okay this verse may not have been written for the context in which I use it….but let’s get real for a minute.  If parents don’t teach their children to do housework – who is going to teach them?   Think about their future flat mates, wives or husbands?    We need to teach our kids to be responsible adults and learn to do house work and money management well without us.   Home should be comfortable for every person in the family, but not at the expense of one person.  ‘Home’ a good training ground for kids.   Today our eldest is 13, but in 5 years time she’ll be 18.    Sadly that time will go quickly.  Will she be ready for the adult world…well, that is up to her father and me!

Teaching kids to do their jobs at home well, means that you know that when its chore time each person will get their chores done well.   We have 6 people in our family,  We can get all our housework done in an hour if everyone is doing something on the list.   It works well when everyone is on the same page, which happens more often than not now.    I feel as though we can schedule in more time to have fun…which of course is a pay off to the kids for helping out.

  1.  Turn the television and computer off and go outside.
    This is a great way to simplify our lives.  We only have our television on in the evenings and I must say that I love the quite.   I often put music on and I feel much better in myself for doing this.  The kids spend more time outside on their bikes and scooters and the heaviness of life seems to disappear.  Its far calmer than it used to be when we used the television more often.

We might think we are addicted to the internet but if you want to feel better about your life and feel more connected to what’s going on around you and the people around you – get off line and move away from the television.  Spend more time off line than online.  Use the internet and television as a tool rather than a place of enjoyment.    The internet and television stops us living life to our full potential and as a result we feel disconnected from our lives and dissatisfied.

Life is busy.  Its always going to be busy, but its how we respond to the busyness that will make or break us.   If we want a simpler life we need to do something different to get our desired simpler life. We need to stop looking outside of ourselves for happiness.  We need to get real with ourselves and own our decisions.   We need to work out what makes us happy – how can you do that if the television or social media is yelling at you all the time?

Take a moment and describe the life you would like to live, grab a calendar and schedule, schedule, schedule.  Then go and do.   Change your thoughts.  Change your world.

Insanity- Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

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