Monday, December 26, 2016

Taking simplifying my life to a new level

In Matthew Kelly's book Perfectly Yourself:  9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness, the lesson that has had the biggest impact for me is the one on simplicity. I'm already a big proponent of decluttering and having a simpler environment. Even as a child, I knew that having things tidy helped me be more peaceful. And last year I embraced Marie Kondo's tidying-up with enthusiasm.

Kelly's discussion of simplifying does include his version of that, which he calls dejunking his environment, but it goes beyond our stuff. It includes also what he calls our moments of decision, where we commit our time and energy. This resonated with me because I'm finding myself awake in the middle of the night scheming as to how I can keep all the plates spinning as I ride my unicycle through life.

I have a great life and many interests, and that is leading to an embarrassment of riches in opportunities. And like any good consumer, I'm reluctant to do two things: turn down new opportunities and not explore the current opportunities to the fullest. So I'm finding myself with four businesses and two artistic endeavors, all asking for a lot of time. I'm a high energy person but even for me, this is too much.

So following Kelly's advice, I looked at what I have and what I want. Where are my priorities and what's most in line with my values. And here's what I came to: I want and need to continue to make art and write books. I need to continue editing as my primary income. And I am committed to promoting the Life between Meals program for the enxt 12 months. So that means setting my art business and big marketing efforts for my books aside for now. And while my perfectionist self is saying No, come on, you can do it all, I know that's not true. And there's relief in the paring down.

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