I’m not a big, reflective THIS YEAR’S GONNA BE DIFFERENT kind of gal. I generally take life one day at a time. I finish projects at the last minute. I plan spontaneous vacations. I don’t usually think about what to have for dinner until dinner time rolls around.
There are some pros and cons to living my life that way. I’m sure you can guess them so I won’t state the obvious. But I do think our lives should be a continual state of improvement.
I’ve seen a lot of people in this space talk about their “word” for the year. Like, one word that was going to be behind all of their actions, aspirations, and motivations. I really don’t do resolutions as you might have read here before. I don’t need a list of things that make me feel like I’m constantly failing.
But I like the idea of one word. So I sat down with my husband yesterday and said,”Honey, what’s your word?” He had a hard time coming up with THE word. He mumbled about doing better, eating healthier, yada, yada, yada. We all want to do that. It’s just that we don’t always know how.
So, in talking to him, I came up with two words. One for my professional life and one for my personal life, although they really both apply to both.
The older I get the more scatter-brained I get. I forget stuff and I get easily distracted. I don’t necessarily want to change that. It’s part of what helps me work as a multi-tasking fool. Sure I may be in the middle of cleaning my son’s bathroom while he’s taking a bath, then go in his room to get a towel for him and decide it’s time to rearrange the furniture. Eventually I’ll get him the towel and he will eventually make it out of the tub and the room will also get rearranged. It just may not happen in a linear fashion.
I’ve got two freelance jobs and my blog that all generate income. And an additional three-ish blogs that I shall not talk about right now (and another blog I want to do as well as a website). So I spread myself thin. But that’s okay. I just need to make sure that when I’m working on Job A, I’m focusing on Job A. Same for Job B and so on. Because that will reduced my stress, increase my productivity, and generally help me feel less insane.
How am I going to do that? I don’t know. I might try time blocking. Working someplace not at my house. Closing Facebook. I’ll figure it out and be sure to let you know if I find the magic method.
Coincidentally, I read that the color blue is associated with clear thoughts, focus, and relaxation (think ocean). So that big blue word FOCUS up there is intentional.
This is a really hard one for me. I consider myself a complex person so why should I expect my life to be any different? But this is something I can control. I have a lot of things. A lot of material things. It’s not that I’m a material person but I love interesting things and my house is full of them. And sometimes, that can be a bit suffocating and, I suspect, something to do with my ability to FOCUS. I swear I’ve held no less than 7 yard sales in 7 years and yet I still could probably fill up a small trailer with things I don’t really need.
So this past week, I started a simplification process. It started when I read my friend Amy’s post with some simple tips for organizing my life. I actually printed out her list of 5 Value Questions and I’m taking it with me as I inventory every room in my house. My closet, my kitchen cabinets, my bookshelves.
What do I plan to do with all the excess? I’m sure I’ll sell some, I’ll trash some, and I’ll certainly donate the bulk of it (I’ve actually done an indoor yard sale during the winter before). But this is going to be an ongoing process. It takes a long time to go through everything you own and make decisions, especially when you’re the kind of person I am and attach emotions to everything you buy (“oh, but my sister picked this out for me 10 years ago” or “this was Evan’s bib he wore when he ate his first meatball”). And I will make more conscious decisions about what I bring into this house including the products I choose to review and the products I simply buy.
And yes, I chose purple for the word SIMPLIFY because it’s a restorative color that calms and rejuvenates you.
Well, now that I’ve put it out there, I feel better. I actually feel some CLARITY. I’m not going to make that an official word for this year but I’ll take all that I can get.
What’s your word for 2014? I asked the question on my Facebook page (I mentioned that mine might be “pasta” for 2014 but I think these words have a little more value) and I’d love to hear yours now that 2014 is in full swing!